Henrietta Victoria Udell (1882-1944) née Huntley

Henrietta Victoria Udell was died after RAF Mosquito DZ698 crashed into her house in Fartown in July 1944.


She was born on 24 May 1882 at Burnley, Lancashire, the daughter of William Huntley[1] and his wife Frances (née Hoole), and was baptised on 6 August 1882 at St Leonard, Middleton.

By 1901, she was living with her widowed mother at 59 Halifax Old Road, Huddersfield.

She married locomotive fitter and mechanic Alfred Allan Udell[2] in 1904. The couple had one known daughter:

  • Mabel Udell (1906-2000)[3]

By 1911, the family was living at 67 Blackhouse Road, Fartown, and Henrietta's mother Frances was living with them whilst working as a maternity nurse. Alfred was likely working at the Hillhouse Railway Sidings.

On Thursday 6 July 1944, she was at home at 61 West Close, Fartown, when a RAF Mosquito piloted by Flight Lieutenant Ernest Robert James Blezard of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve crashed into the neighbouring house, completely destroying it and badly damaging number 61. She was found laying in a rockery with her clothes on fire. The Rev. A. Bennett, curate of Christ Church, helped to extinguish the flames. Suffering from severe burns, she died later that day at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Her neighbours, Flora Leighton and her young son Rodney, were also killed.

The parents of the pilot lived at 110 Blackhouse Road, which was nearly opposite to where Henrietta had been living in 1911.

Henrietta Victoria Udell was buried at Edgerton Cemetery on 10 July following a service at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Fartown. Twenty-five members of the church's Mothers' Union formed a guard of honour prior to the service.[4]


1939-1945: Civilian War Dead in the United Kingdom (1954, Imperial War Graves Commission):

UDELL, Henrietta Victoria, age 62; of 61 West Close, Fartown. Wife of Alfred Allan Udell. 6 July 1944, at 61 West Close.



Notes and References

  1. Some sources state that Henrietta's biological father was William's brother Robert Adolphe Huntley.
  2. Born 19 November 1882. Died Q1 1968 at Newton Abbot, Devon.
  3. Born 24 January 1906 and baptised 15 March 1906. Did not marry and died in Torbay, Devon.
  4. "Huddersfield Funerals: Air Crash Victims" in Bradford Observer (11/Jul/1944).