Heat too much for teen

1901 – Eleanor Mary Spencer was one of two people to die of ‘heat apoplexy’ (heat stroke) at Cue on January 7, 1901, claimed The Southern Cross Times and numerous other newspapers.

Nellie’s grave, which she shares with a baby brother, in tihe bone-dry Cue cemetery. Image: Sharyn Moodie 2020.

It was a week of temperatures above 38 degrees, in the remote Western Australia outback mining town.

The other victim, they said, was 22-year-old Thomas O’Donnell.

Unfortunately, it seems some papers got the story wrong.

Others more correctly reported that O’Donnell was killed at the Long Reef Mine, at Lennonville, not far from Cue, at about 9.20 am on Saturday, January 5.

Article image from the National Library of Australia’s Newspaper Digitisation Program

It was thought that he had gotten into the cage to go to the surface, dropped his billy lid, and in leaning to retrieve it somehow got caught between timber and the cage.

The lid was later found at the bottom of the shaft.

Cue, WA

Sources: The Southern Cross Times, Wednesday 9 January 1901, p3

The Argus, Wednesday 9 January 1901, p3

Westralian Worker, Friday 18 January 1901, p2

Published by Sharyn Moodie

Travelling around Australia for work, I've found so many amazing headstones. But what is more amazing is the stories behind some of these deaths, and the way newspapers of the day reported them.

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