Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llanwrtyd and district
Victorian school days
  Kept at home for fear of infection
Drawing by
Rob Davies

Apart from absences caused by farm jobs or helping Child in sickbed.out at home the other most common cause of small numbers at school was sickness. Serious epidemics of whooping cough, measles, smallpox, diptheria, and other occasionally deadly diseases were very frequent in Victorian schools.
The food and living conditions of many families were poor and illness often spread through the community very quickly, as in this 1897 example from Abergwesyn School...

Prevalent - occurring.
29th January
School diary entry
  This Log Book entry reads -
29th January - "Several children have again been attacked with the sickness prevalent in the village, and are quite unable to attend"...
Another typical example is from Llangamarch School in 1893...
20th January
School diary entry

This diary entry reads -
20th January - "There has been an outbreak of Diptheria in the village of Llangammarch, and as there has been one fatal case, a great many parents kept their children at home for fear of infection..."
Diptheria was a very common disease in Victorian times which led to severe inflammation of the throat. It was highly infectious, caused many deaths, and is fortunately now quite rare.
There is more about sickness and schools on the next page...

Death in the family, again...


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