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Home » Guiseley » Guiseley People » Bell, Edith Maud 1926 -1941 (Deceased)

Bell, Edith Maud 1926 -1941 (Deceased)

Edith Maud Bell 1926-1941 Cotopa Mill disaster

Title Edith Maud Bell
Date c1941
Location Guiseley
Photo ID W017
Comment Information and photographs donated by Edith Maud Bell’s nephew, Mark Pontin. Additional research by Helen M.

At the outset of WW2, Edith Maud Bell lived in Newcastle with her sister May Bell and her widowed mother Mary Bell. Once the bombing raids on Newcastle had started, her mother decided to evacuate Edith and her sister May to Guiseley, where they would temporarily live with their Auntie and Uncle, Lily and Edwin Powell.

Mrs and Mrs Powell lived at 19 Otley Road, together with their daughter Dorothy (Dolly) Vernon Powell, aged 19 years, who worked at the Cotopa Mills Munitions Factory, on Back Lane, as a cartridge filler.

Subsequently, Mrs Bell joined her daughters in Guiseley and they moved into a house at 13 Silverdale Avenue. Edith gained employment at the Cotopa Mills Munitions Factory, as a cartridge filler with her cousin Dorothy.

During September Edith and Dorothy together with three other young workers, Mrs Elizabeth Dale, aged 24 years, Mrs Rose Green, aged 21 years, and Miss Constance Mary Calvert, aged 16 years, were all involved in an explosion whilst working at the munitions factory.

All the young women involved were taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary for treatment, however, only Miss Calvert survived with severe injuries to her legs and hands.

Edith died on 27th September 1941 and was buried in St. John’s Westgate & Elswick Cemetery, Newcastle, with her late father Frederick Bell who died from tuberculosis in 1936.

Edith Maud Bell 1926-1941

W017A – Reverse of W017, Undated.

Edith Maud Bell – Undated

Reverse of W017.

Edith Maud & Dorothy Bell Undated

W015 – Edith Maud & Dorothy Vernon Powell, Undated.

Edith Maud Bell and Dorothy Vernon Powell – c1941

Seen here are Edith Maud Bell on the left and her cousin Dorothy (Dolly) Vernon Powell on the right, standing in the doorway of Edith’s home at 13 Silverdale Avenue, Guiseley, where she lived with her sister May and mother Mary.

Edith Maud & Dorothy Bell Undated

W015A – Reverse of W015, Undated.

Edith Maud Bell – Undated

Reverse of W015.

Edith Maud Bell 1926-1941

W018 – Swimming Certificate, 1938.

Edith Maud Bell – 1938

A swimming certificate gained in Newcastle before she lived in Guiseley.

Death Certificate Edith Maud Bell 1926-1941

W019 – Death Certificate, 1941.

Edith Maud Bell – Undated

A moving document which brought to a conclusion the brief life of Edith Maud Bell.

See also Round & About Aireborough, volume V, pages 122 – 124 by Martin Rigg.

To view further details of the Cotopa Mills Munitions Factory disaster please – Click Here.

It would be a fitting memorial to the four young women who died and to the young woman who survived, to have a memorial stone on the site of the incident in remembrance.

Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 30 March 2022.
Last updated: 07 October 2023.

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