Yankee’s Fall, 1904

This story perhaps reflects how times have changed. Doctors rushed to a house in Springwell on the last Sunday afternoon of October 1904, upon hearing of a peculiar accident.

Two men had been ‘amusing’ themselves in the sport of wrestling, a private bout with no observers to settle a score. Choosing the house of one of them as the venue. Not long into the ‘match’, one of them Mr William Ritchie, (known locally in Blantyre by many as ‘Yankee’) fell heavily on to the floor and in his descent, his head smacked squarely off the side of a chair. The man made no effort to rise to the horror of the other man, who knew he had to fetch help.

Doctors Campbell and Marshall were both summoned and found that William Ritchie had suffered a dislocation of the neck near to the base of his skull. As Ritchie came round, he found that he had complete paralysis of his whole body from the neck down. He was rushed to the Royal Infirmary Hospital where it was commented on to reporters, that he was not expected to make a recovery.

The story had me wondering what happened to William Rae all those years ago. Such a life changing event would have been very difficult to deal with, even more so in that era. If you know more, please let me know.

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