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The Saddest Chapter
The Saddest Chapter
The Saddest Chapter
The Saddest Chapter

The Saddest Chapter$33.00 AUD

The Saddest Chapter
by Linda Rossow
In May of 1905, Maryborough was under siege from the Black Death. The disease took hold of the city for only fifteen days but in that time, it claimed eight lives.
The victims were five neglected children from one family, a kindly neighbour who assisted the desperate family by laying out the corpse of the first victim, and two nurses who undertook a most extraordinary task.
Knowing that they and their charges faced certain death, these two brave young women barricaded themselves in a ward of the Base Hospital and allowed no-one to enter and no-one to leave. Their selfless act stopped the plague from spreading any further and saved the city, though their role in this tragedy remains largely unacknowledged.
This book is in honour of those who gave their lives to save so many more. Their deeds, though disguised as 'duty' are no less deserving of honour than those who fought on the battlefields.

After writing fiction for eighteen years, the Author went in search of a factual story. Having heard of the 'plague nurses', she wondered what kind of women would give up their lives to save so many others. Were they true heroines or was this a story that went even further back?
With the assistance of the enthusiastic volunteers at the Maryborough District Family History Society she was introduced to the events concerning a brooding Richard O'Connell and his cottage of unwanted children. She sat and listened to the relatives of Mrs Edwards and Tilly Schafer as they told tales of two women whose compassion for others knew no boundaries. She learned of the love forever lost between Nurse Cecelia Bauer and her fiancé William, and also how the life and the death of Nurse Rose Wiles continues to inspire those who learn of her bravery.
This is a story that wanted to be told. Linda Rossow was saddened by the loss of each of the O'Connell children. She sensed their fear as they sat on the floor of that cottage and watched their brother die. As she imagined the scene of William standing in the corridor of the Base Hospital as his Cecelia let go of life, she cried with him, and as she stands in front of the grave of Rose Wiles one hundred years later, she sees her gentle smile and knows that dying, to Rose, was no sacrifice at all.
Linda's story will forever be inspired by the lives and the deaths of these eight people.