Fall at Ulva Place, 1907

On Wednesday 29th April 1907, a tragic accident happened in the village in Blantyre which left a lot of the community saddened. This event took place 115 years ago today.

The Lee family lived on the third floor of the Ulva Place tenement. During that Monday afternoon, Mrs Lee, wife of William Lee a steelworker, was cleaning the house. She stood on a chair and had pulled down the upper sash window, leaning over it to reach to clean the outside. Suddenly the chair toppled forward and she fell headfirst out the window, falling to the ground some thirty feet below. To the horror of passers by, she died there and then, instantaneously, with nothing to be done for her.

As you can imagine, this sad affair created much sympathy in the close community, especially with her neighbours who felt for her husband and family left behind.

Knowing the nearby mills were demolished in 1903 and the back of Ulva Place looked out on to that demolition, I wondered if the dust and caused the windows to become dirtier than usual? Wanting to know more to remember this woman here, I retrieved her death certificate. Jane Lee was 53 years old when she passed. Dr Cowan Wilson attended. Jane Lee (nee McWilliam) is remembered here today on the anniversary of her death.

Ulva Place in the Village, Blantyre is pictured a few years before this accident, giving an indication of the height of the building and the exact location just off Station Road.

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  1. Jane LEE (ms McWilliam) was the second wife of my Great Grandfather William LEE (1854-1939) Although I was aware of William’s marriage to Jane, I didn’t know the sad details of her death.

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