Pearl Hyde (1904-1963) was ‘the queen bee’ of Coventry for much of the twentieth century. As head of the Women’s Voluntary Service, Hyde helped hundreds of thousands of people affected by the November 1940 bombing, and ‘was a powerful force in stimulating morale’ in the destroyed city. The energy, courage and leadership she displayed earned her an MBE. In 1957 Hyde became Coventry’s first female Lord Mayor. At the time she was the only woman to hold such a position in the country. Her funeral in Coventry Cathedral in 1963 was attended by over a thousand people representing every aspect of life in Coventry.
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