Scarlet fever was a major killer in the 19th century. A gravestone in the Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington shows how devastating this disease could be. Five of the Wallace family children, whose ages ranged from three to 11, died from scarlet fever between 5 and 24 May 1865. A sixth child (not commemorated on this gravestone) died three months later. The cause of death is inscribed at the bottom of the gravestone and accompanied by a passage from the King James Bible: 'Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.'
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Marguerite Hill
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