Sadly, some years after the story of old James Heneker surviving influenza, Thomas Leslie Heneker, aged just 2 years and 7 months died of Diptheria at the Port Augusta Hospital. Diptheria outbreaks had become less threatening due to vaccination programs which had begun in the 1930s. It is not known why Tommy Heneker died. Perhaps Tommy had not been vaccinated. The family were previously living in Hawker, South Australia, further north from Port Augusta. At this time, although a growing outback town, it was still quite isolated. Did he miss the vaccination. One would think not, as there was a hospital, schools and doctors. Other children were in hospital, however their recovery went well, and the Diptheria outbreak was considered mild. Therefore it was a shock when Tommy was taken to hospital and passed away the next day. Tommy was my father’s youngest brother, (the youngest child born in the family). His other siblings were Yvonne and Shirley (twins), James (Jim), Dean and my dad Neville. This sad event must have devastated the young family.
From: The Advertiser (Advertiser, SA: 1931-1954) Saturday 29 May, 1937 Page 34
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