Warning: This story contains upsetting content.
A fatal accident sadly involving a child happened on Thursday 22nd November 1849 at Kirkton, High Blantyre.
The child was the six year old daughter of William James Mann. Her elder sister and an infant had already gone to bed that dark, Winter evening when the girl attempted to light a lamp herself by the fire. Suddenly, her apron accidentally caught the flame and her clothes were instantly alight!
Her cries for help attracted the attention of a young woman passing, who on entering the house found the girl engulfed in flames and terrifying screams. The woman in a panic tried to ‘hug’ the flames out by bravely pressing her body against the child, but when this wasn’t working, she ran to fetch a pailful of water. The flames were then doused.
On removing the clothing, the child’s body was badly scorched almost all over. The poor child taken to hospital lingered on until noon the next day, when she sadly died.
Wishing to know more about this story, I found the child’s birth registered on 3rd July 1843 at Kirkton, High Blantyre, which revealed her name was Ann Mann. According to later valuation rolls, this ‘Mann’ family lived in the houses at School Lane. Knowing the child died just over the wall from where I’m writing this, albeit 169 years ago, still affected me somewhat whilst writing this. An overwhelming and instant sadness.
Today, we remember little Ann Mann by this article.
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