Powys Digital History Project

Presteigne - The National School 4
Diseases and epidemics


Health worries in the early schools
Until the post-war years and the medical advances recent times have brought, sickness was common among poorer children throughout the country. The log books of almost any Powys school would show the effects of outbreaks of scarlet fever, influenza, diphtheria and measles.

In this entry from the National School Log Books for February 1896 one can see how seriously both the school and the authorities took these outbreaks.

National School
Log Books

County Archives

 School log book entry

This entry from the log book reads:
"Mr Ince, the Inspector for the Urban District Council came to me this morning with a letter from Dr Jacobson stating that as members of the Brunt family had been attending school the premises should be thoroughly disinfected. The floor, desks etc. were thoroughly scrubbed with carbolic soap, and a sulphur candle burnt in each room."

At Christmas 1905, an outbreak of measles was so bad that both the British and National Schools in Presteigne were closed.