Wolsey Women WI - Guest Speaker - Michael Rines, and how his mother survived the Bombardment of Scarborough, Spanish Flu and the General Strike

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As a small girl, Michael’s mother lived through the Bombardment of Scarborough, The Spanish ‘Flu and, later, The General Strike.

Wednesday December 16th 1914 – just four months after hostilities began. It’s 08.00am, and the war’s a distant thing in France and Belgium. Six German battleships emerge from the mist in the South Bay, and rain 700 shells on the defenceless town. 124 were killed and more than 500 injured. Michael’s mother was just 8 years old and had a lucky escape. Her school was hit by several shells, and if the barrage had started an hour later, she would have been there, and he would not be our speaker tonight!

In 1919, like the rest of the country, the town was hit by the Spanish ‘Flu, which killed more than were lost in the War. Her parents, and her six siblings caught it, and at just 13-years-old, she had to look after all of them; one small brother died.

Then, in 1926, her father took her to London, and when The General Strike hit the railways, they were stuck. Fortunately, her father was Chief Inspector of Postmen in Scarborough, and he was able to pull some strings and got them home eventually.

Come along and listen to Michael as he tells his mother’s fascinating story.

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Event Dates

Event Date Allocation Date
Thursday 8th April 2021 @ 7:30pm to 9:30pm


via Zoom


Members free; Visitors welcome (contact us in advance for details)



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