Winifred Squires was Christened in Jeppe, Johannesburg; she and her sister, Dorothy Gwendoline Squires attended primary school in Livingstone run by a Miss McArthur (who became Mrs. J. H. Lowe); then went to a boarding school in Bulawayo called Evelyne. Also, for a short time, while visiting her grandmother in Australia, she joined a class at Sydney Sea Point. She was interested in sport and drama and was taught music, although she had no favourite subjects, she came top of the class in standards 4 and 5. She was trained in shorthand & typing and office routine at the Technical College in Cape Town. Then, in 1927 Winifred became secretary to the manager of the Zambesi Sawmills, but soon afterwards joined the Postal Department and worked as Secretary to the Post Master General. In 1929 she met her future husband, Ralph Sturman and at the end of 1931, she was transferred to the Engineering Branch of the General Post Office. She and Ralph were married on 8th November 1932 at the Presbyterian Church, as there was no minister at the Anglican Church at that time, because Rev. Kidman was away on leave.