Riddell, Stella

“Stella Riddell was my cousin. Our mothers were two of seven sisters (nee Osborn). Sadly I never knew Stella as I was born in December 1944. However, all through my childhood her photo stood on the piano in our front room in Walthamstow. My mum, Lottie, (Charlotte) told me who she was and how she died. On 3rd March 1943 Stella had been taken to a matinee by her widowed mother’s male friend. When they got back to Bethnal Green, an air raid warning sounded. Her mum’s friend told Stella to run to the underground for safety while he waited in a doorway. The air raid was a false alarm. Sadly she was one of the many people who died.

“Although my two brothers were evacuated in 1940, my older brother, John, remembers Stella very well. He said she was a really lovely girl, two years older than him. When our family lived in Homerton, Stella and her mum (Violet) would often come for tea and sometimes stay overnight. Stella would read them bedtime stories, and they loved her like a big sister. She was sorely missed.”

Brenda Birch