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Centenarian still recalls her miracle escape 98 years ago
Buy this photo » Frances Newman, who is 100 today, with the shoe she was wearing when she was struck by lightning at the age of two
THEY say lightning doesn’t strike twice, and the old adage is still a comforting thought for Frances Newman.
As she reaches the grand age of 100 today, the moment she was struck by lightning when she was only two is still fresh in her mind.
Miss Newman, who was born on October 15, 1913, had only just moved from London to Carterton with her family to escape the Zeppelin raids of the First World War when their house was hit by lightning in July, 1916.
The centenarian, who now lives at Brookfield Christian Care Home in Little Bury, Greater Leys, Oxford, said: “The funny thing was it was only two flashes of lightning in the storm and it did all that damage.
“It wasn’t a big storm at all. It was just a couple of flashes.
“It knocked me flat. I was picked up and thrown.
“If it had been a bit bigger I would have been killed.”
The incident, reported at the time as a ‘Marvellous escape from death,’ singed the boot Miss Newman was wearing at the time, but she escaped unharmed, as did her mother who was also struck.
The bolt of electricity damaged the roof of the house in Black Bourton Road and passed through the sitting room.
Miss Newman, who never married and had no children, later lived in Beech Croft Road, North Oxford.
During the Second World War she worked for the rations office in Oxford and then for a correspondence course college in Banbury Road.
Her last job was at Oxfam, where she did clerical work, dealing with incoming donations and writing messages of thanks to donors.
She worked there for more than 10 years and retired when she was 60.
On turning 100, Miss Newman added: “I have never thought about my age. The more you talk about it the higher it gets.”
Nephew David Pomroy, 63, from Old Marston, said: “I am absolutely over the moon.
“It is lovely that somebody can make it to 100.”
Miss Newman will be celebrating the milestone with a birthday party at the care home today.
And her secret to a long life?
“Just good living,” she said.
“And plenty of walks.”
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