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Brecon and district
Victorian school days
  When schools could be dangerous  

The spread of infectious and often dangerous diseases often had a terrible effect on the early schools, when children came together from a wide area for their lessons.
All districts suffered from epidemics, and examples from schools around Brecon are shown here. These Log Book entries are from Talachddu School in 1889 and 1893...

"Attendance still wretched owing to sickness. Counted
40-50 cases of whooping cough and measles".

Brecon Dr Coke Infants School
19th March, 1882
17th June
School diary entry "Children beginning to come together again once more after the measles - the Epidemic having been prevalent for the past fourteen or fifteen weeks".
2nd January
School diary entry "No children present owing to bad weather and Scarlet Fever in the district. One little scholar Bessie Jenkins died at Xmas from the effects of Scarlet Fever".
  Schools were often closed by the authorities on medical advice for long periods, and teaching could fall well behind. This was an example from Nantddu School in 1900...  
14th December
School diary entry "School closed today owing to the Diptheria & Measles Epidemic (5 wks)"
  Most School Inspectors made allowance for lost lessons when they paid their annual visit to schools.
Eventually the wider use of inolculations
against disease brought illnesses such as smallpox, diptheria, and measles under control, but as the above Log Book entry shows epidemics were still common right up to the end of the Victorian years.

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"Am very sorry to say another of our little ones has died I believe from diptheria, Percy Mills from our first class. He was present in school Friday morning - absent in the afternoon. Thursday he died. He was a bright little fellow and all the children seemed quite sorrowful when they heard of it".
Brecon Dr Coke Infants School
18th November, 1887
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