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Influenza and romance in West Wyalong

Contributed by Graeme Daniels

My grandparents, William Bartram and Hilda Wyatt, met and married on account of the influenza pandemic of 1919. My grandmother on my mother’s side was a matron in Wyalong during the Spanish flu epidemic. I am enclosing some photos of her and others at the drill hall in West Wyalong. As Shire President, my grandfather also helped to transport patients to and from the drill hall as there was no ambulance those days. His efforts were mentioned in the council’s meetings, along with my grandmother and others. During the First World War he also transported soldiers to and from the train to their home, all at his own expense. William was granted a block of land at Wyalong, along with fellow South Australians the Marshmans, after spending ten years as a missionary in India. After 15 years at West Wyalong, my grandparents moved to Griffith, when William was given a wallet and 500 pounds as a sign of appreciation from the Wyalong Community.