Leeds & West Yorkshire

'Ops Room' plotter Edith Kupp marks 100th birthday

Birthday celebrations for Edith Kupp
Image caption Air cadets and RAF personnel joined the birthday celebrations

A woman who served as an "Ops Room" plotter in the Battle of Britain has been given a horse-drawn carriage parade to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Edith Kupp helped track the movements of German bombers as part of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during World War Two.

She was on duty and overheard the call when her fiancé Denis Wissler's plane burst into flames and he was killed.

Her grandson George Fuller described her as a "true character".

Image copyright Paul Davies
Image caption Like Edith, the majority of plotters in World War Two were female and members of the WAAF
Image copyright Paul Davies
Image caption Denis Wissler, then 20, served as a pilot in 17 Squadron

RAF members and air cadets, including Elizabeth King, who was celebrating her 18th birthday on the same day, joined the parade from Ms Kupp's care home in Silsden, Keighley, on Saturday.

Edith and Denis were due to be married within weeks when, on 11 November, 1940, she overheard on her headphones that her 20-year-old fiancé's plane had come down in the Thames Estuary.

Historian Paul Davies said Ms Kupp - who went on to marry have two daughters - never really recovered from Mr Wissler's death.

Image copyright Paul Davies
Image caption Ms Kupp's 100th birthday coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the RAF

Mr Davies, who helped organise the birthday celebrations, said: "They wrote dozens of love letters to each other during their courtship and she told me that when she dies the letters will be cremated with her.

"They're very personal to her and in her mind then she will be reunited with him."

Mr Davies said Ms Kupp reflected on her time in war as "just something that had to be done".

"She didn't have any regrets because she told me that had she not served, she would not have met Denis," he added.

Mr Fuller said his grandmother had shown "true spirit".

He added: "She's been a light to us in our family and long may that candle continue burning."

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