Powys Digital History Project

Coelbren School 3
Health problems


Disease among the children
In Coelbren school, as at almost every other school in Powys, the early years were very much affected by the ill health of the children. Without antibiotics, and with a limited diet and poor sanitary conditions, the children from poorer homes were prone to a wide variety of illnesses, as shown in the School Log Book entry below.
In May and June 1895 there were many absences from an epidemic of mumps. In January the following year the head teacher recorded an outbreak of a more dangerous disease and its tragic consequence.

Coelbren School
Log Book

County Archives

School log book entry  
  School log book entry 


The extract above (for the 7th and 8th of January) reads:-
"My children are decreasing in number daily owing to a fever known [as] Diptharia being in the place.
Doctor Thomas of Ystalyfera was at the school today and informed me that I was not to send for one of the children who lived in the Prices Row.
I find that one of my pupils is dead owing to the above fever."
The original
school building
which opened
in 1898
In 1912 Coelbren school was closed for three weeks for an outbreak of measles and in the great Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918 it was shut down for eight weeks. Health problems were then a very real threat to the whole community and a source of anxiety for parents and teachers alike.
  There are 10 pages on Coelbren School. Use the box links below to view the other pages.