HAIRSBREADTH ESCAPES UNSCATHED IN A RAIN OF BULLETS wednesday December 23rd 1914. A story from the German bombardment of Scarborough in 1914
Lily Bain, 14 year old daughter of Mr and Mr Bain, 51 St. Johns Road, had a miraculous escape. Bullets fell thick around her, and she emerged untouched.
Mr Bain had gone to work, and his wife and two children - Lily, and a little boy who has been in hospital nine weeks - were alone in the house when the shells began to shatter over the town. They were in the dining room together at the back. Lily was sitting on the sofa, immediately beneath the window, when a shell burst over the house.
The window crashed in, and the whole of the back portion of the building shattered in fragments to the ground. Shrapnel flew in all directions and embedded itself everywhere, but Lily Bain who was putting her boots on, and had one blown out of her hand, never sustained so much as a scratch.
The sofa was riddled with bullets, and her school satchel, laying on it beside her, suffered similarly, every book in it being pierced with numerous holes, while the steel handle was mutilated in a like manner. JAGGED HOLES WERE TORN IN THE FLOORS and the curtained were wrenched down, while all the glass from the windows was blown into an armchair on the opposite side of the room, not withstanding the fact that ornaments standing on the mantlepiece were uninjured, and intact, although thrown onto the sofa.
The kennel of some puppies underneath the table was damaged, but the animals were unharmed, as also were a canary and gold fish. The room itself was reduced to a condition of topsy turvydom, while the bedroom above was rendered even more chaotic. The windows were blown away, and several walls destroyed, and the furniture was knocked in all directions. Up here also the rain of bullets played strange tricks.
They pierced right through a wardrobe standing in the corner of the room farthest from the windows, and everything hanging on the pegs was holed. Similarly the drawers in a dress stand were entered and lady's blouses slit into ribbons. Smashed glass littered the place and the cistern was carried away bodily from the bathroom.
But amid all these inexplicable freaks of the firing, the providential escape of Lily remains the most wonderful.
At 49, the residence of Mrs Kidd, the damage was limited to smashed windows.