Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Victorian school life
  A terrible accident in 1883

This entry from the Ynscedwyn school diary for 1883 tells of a very sad accident which happened to a little girl from the school when she was crossing a railway line to go home for dinner.
Industrial areas like the Upper Swansea Valley then had many local railway lines to carry coal and manufactured goods, and children would have crossed these railway tracks regularly on their way to school.

Amputated - cut off
27th June

This sad diary entry reads:
"As Maggie Elizabeth Thomas, a Second Standard [class] girl, was going home to dinner today over the railway, two wheels of a loaded waggon went over one of her legs. She was immediately taken home to the Gurnos and the injured limb was amputated by Dr Thomas, Ystalyfera".
It is quite likely that poor Maggie was in terrible pain when her leg was sawn off, because many operations like this were carried out without pain-killers or anaesthetics in Victorian times. (Anaesthetics are used in hospitals nowadays to put you to sleep before an operation so that you don't feel any pain at all.)
The teacher wrote two days later that before he could not stop children from crossing the railway tracks, but after this happened they all went the long way round by the road. (There is a map showing the dangers near the school on one of the coming pages.)
But there was another awful injury to another little girl seven years later...

Another serious railway accident...


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