Flora Walker b1857 – d1902

Warning, this story contains upsetting content. On the morning of 21st March 1902, Mrs Flora Walker was alone at home at Smellie’s Land, just off Glasgow Road near Springwell, Blantyre.

Married to James Walker, a journeyman joiner, Flora was at home by herself whilst her husband worked away. A medical condition she suffered unfortunately meant the 45 year old was prone to fainting fits, something which happened regularly, meaning she was often home.

That morning, one of these fits happened and she fainted in her front room, in front of the lit fire. As she fell to the ground, she managed to avoid the coal fireplace, but now lay unconscious in front of the fire.

Sadly, as she lay there, a spark from the fire ejected from the fire on to her clothing, causing it to slowly catch alight. With nobody around, it was some time later that smoke alerted a neighbour, who along with several other neighbours broke the door down and was appalled to see Mrs Walker lying on the floor alight, her clothes and body badly burned.

The fire as quickly extinguished and the doctor immediately sent for. However, the doctors diagnosis wasn’t good and Flora Walker passed away 2 hours later. The death certificate is quite graphic as to the injuries she sustained and are not listed here.

Much sympathy was felt in the community for Mrs Walker and her elderly family as well as her widowed husband, all of whom were respected greatly.

This tragic story isn’t here for sensationalism, but is retold briefly, without the greater, available newspaper details in remembrance of a Blantyre live taken far too early. Rest in Peace Flora Walker.

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