Diptheria takes Tommy Heneker in 1937
Posted at 7:52 pm by heneker52, on July 4, 2015
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
I previously worked as a Library Technician at the State Library of South Australia and then Noarlunga Library Services. I was lucky enough to work at the State Library in the Archives department, which is now a separate entity and housed at a suburban site. I've always loved English and Australian history, and began my Heneker family history in about 1980, before the advent of the internet, and now o with so many digitised records online there is a treasure chest of information out there, and it just keeps growing. One of the most wonderful treasures we have here in Australia is the Trove website, the free digitised newspapers of nearly every place in Australia, provided for free by the National Library of Australia. This has opened up so much day to day information for people searching for further information about their ancestors. I chose to write a blog as a way for me to put down a lot of information I had that wasn't necessarily easy to slot into a "family tree" as such. And I wanted to record some of the stories of the Heneker clan, and especially James Heneker (1826-1917) who arrived in South Australia as a 12 year old boy with his family. Like most of us in the genealogy community I have become obsessed and this is a never ending story. The community of bloggers, and also Facebook specialist pages has allowed me and many of us to learn from each other, and to use some of the many amazing tools that are out there now for us to use and enhance our research. My one wish?? dad Neville Laurence Heneker 1929 - 1987, this is for you, for all the things you told me, and the stories you related, often when we were up north in the Flinders Ranges, at Beltana, Hawker, Blinman and many other amazing places. I wish you were here, so I could share all this new information that has come to light. And of course for you Pa (Laurence Douglas Heneker), your stories were incredible and watching you sleep out under the stars at Arkaroola with a rock for your pillow is an image I will never forget. Oh if only we had digital cameras back then...I think of you both every time I write my words and read my books. I love you both.
One thought on “Diptheria takes Tommy Heneker in 1937”
What a shocking loss this was for your family. So young.