The Australian climate refugee trains of 1896.

“trains have been specially provided”

The Heat Wave in Australia.
(From Exchanges.)
The long continuance of the unprecedented heat wave in New South Wales is proving a very serious matter to the residents in some of the districts, especially in the western portion of the colony. Over 125 deaths from heat apoplexy have occurred In New South Wales, and to this number Bourke has already contributed 40. The matter has become so serious that the railway authorities have commenced running trains at special cheap fares, to enable the residents to seek a cooler climate, and a great number are Availing themselves of the opportunity. In many parts, to add to the difficulties of situation, the water supply is running short and typhoid fever and kindred diseases are very prevalent. The hospitals are all full of patients, suffering either from fever or sun-stroke. To farmers and graziers the continued heat is proving very serious, the feed being withered up, tanks dry, and horses, sheep, and cattle dying by hundreds, and many settler’s homes have been destroyed by the bush fires. Never in the history of New South Wales has such a continuance of fierce heat been known.
From West Australia also come reports of intense heat, Geraldton topping the record with 125 degrees in the shade.
The telegrams from various places include the following: —
BREWARINNA, January 18.— A pleasant breeze sprang up last evening, which was refreshing after the excessive heat of the day. Considerable sickness prevails here, and another death from heat apoplexy has occurred at Maylands, on the Culgoa River. The thermometer registered 116deg. in the shade today.
BOURKE, January 18.— The glass was at 116 today. The continuous heat is causing much sickness and fatality. Three more deaths are reported today, the victims being Michael Coleman, drover; Mrs Kermod, widow; John Matthews, woolpresser. The total number of deaths since last Sunday morning is 25. Many women and children are leaving Bourke for Sydney and the mountains daily.
BOURKE, Jan 21.— Two deaths are re- ported from heat apoplexy, bringing the record to 35. The average heat for the month to date has been 112 in the shade, and for the past four days 118. A large number of people left Bourke by train this morning, and cheap excursion trains have been specially provided, and will be largely patronised to-morrow. The residents are paute-stricken, and hundreds are leaving for a cooler climate.
WlLCANNIA, January 18.— Yesterday the heat was again intense, the thermometer registering 112, while today it reached 118. Two deaths occurred during the night, one being a child and the other the Rev Father Davern who expired shortly before 2 o’clock this morning. The rev. gentleman had been in delicate health for some time, and was to have left for Brokenhill yesterday for a two months’ vacation, but postponed his departure owing to the oppressive weather. He became worse during the after noon, and lost consciousness at 11 o’clock last night. Father Davern has been a resident of Willcannla for eight years. He was universally respected, his acts of charity having extended to members of all denominations. Reports have been received from the town and district of many cases of illness. The glass is now standing at over 100deg. without any prospect of a change.
WILCANNIA, JAN. 19.— Three more deaths have occurred here from the heat, Mesdames Hedger, Edmond, and White succumbing to the extremely high temperature.
CARRATHOOL, January 20, —The weather is again extremely hot, the thermometer yesterday recording 104 in the shade. To day, at 10 o’clock, 99 was recorded, at noon 109 and at 8 o’clock 115 with a scorching northerly wind, and dust. Tonight the weather is dull and oppressive, and a thunderstorm is threatening. At 8 o’clock the glass still showed 101.
HAY, January 18.—The weather continues to be the prevailing topic of conversation; today was the hottest of the season, the glass registering 113.5.
DENILIQUIN, January 13.—In consequence of the drought and scarcity of feed, the Riverina freezling works here will close down this week for several months, or, at any rate, until the drought breaks up. This will throw nearly 150 men out of employment. The weather today is very hot, the thermometer registering 108.
ST. MARYS, January 20.—After three days of cool weather, a change has come, and to- day was somewhat similar to last Monday. The thermometer stood at 109 in the shade, and at 7 p.m. was still over 100. One child has died through the effects of the heat. Today, a number of the employees at the different factories were prostrated. The want of, a permanent supply of water is badly felt, and the outlook is serious.
BULLI, January 20.—A woman has been brought to the Bulli Hospital in a demented condition, suffering from sunstroke. She was tramping the roads, with her husband, two days before, when she was prostrated by a sunstroke. Her husband carried her through all the sweltering heat to Bulli, taking two days over the journey.
Telegrams from many other places have similar tales to tell of extreme heat. Nyngan reports 114deg. At Lithgow coal mining is seriously interfered with, the furnaces having been shut down owing to scarcity of water, throwing a lot of men out of employment. At Mudgee, Henry Lambert was sun struck, and the Cudgegon River and Lawson’s Creek have stopped running, Gilgunnia reports 112deg , with an Increase of sickness, one child dying, from the effects of the heat. Gruta reports. 110deg, ; many cattle and other stock perishing. At Singleton two men, G. Clarke and O. Solomon, were taken to the hospital supposed to be suffering from typhoid fever, but it turned out to be sunstroke. At Tamworth the maize is witting and turning yellow. Tenterfield, 106deg., grass and young crops withering. Windsor, 112deg. Lyndhurst, 110deg., .and water very, scarce. Murwillumbah reports 110deg. for five days. At
Nymagee, 114deg , the drinking water was condemned by doctors as being quite unfit to drink, and very conductive to hydatids.
SYDNEY, January 22.— At Bourke today the thermometer marked 120 in the shade. Almost all business places, except hotels, are closed. Heavy clouds are now hanging about, and there are hopes of rain. Two more deaths have taken place. Four deaths from heat occurred last week at Gundabooks. Many persons left Bourke by special excursion train this morning. The hospital is crowded with patients.
BRISBANE, January 22.— The weather has been exceedingly oppressive today, being the highest record for the summer. A high “shade” temperature prevails throughout the colony, the principal being Thargomindah and Cunnamulla, 113 ; Bolton, 112 ; Isisford, 110. Roma reports all crops withering. A Thargomindah telegram states that five more sudden deaths have occurred in the district, all attributed to heat.
Latest advices from Sydney, under Thurs- day’s date, report that a welcome change in the weather, accompanied by a fall of rain, has taken place New South Wales on the coast and highlands. In the far West it is still hot, while In the north thunderstorms of cyclonic violence are reported.
West Australian telegrams report :—
GERALDTON, January 19.— Weather very hot ; 125deg. in the shade yesterday. A great deal of sickness prevalent, and water scarce.
KALGOORLIE, January 19. — The heat on Friday was intense. Mr Z. Lane lost by sunstroke a pair of horses which he was driving to Coolgardie. At night a heavy duststorm, accompanied by lightning and rain, occurred.
The following items will show in some degree the sort of weather experienced in Perth lately. The Perth “Daily News” of a recent date says the decision of Messrs Stevens and Wilkinson to close the pantomime season for a few days on account of the hot weather was generally approved by playgoers. The same journal has the following:—”‘ The Mayor of Perth (Mr H. J. Saunders) is to be commended on the rapidity with which he gets through the business of the City Council. Last evening, at the monthly meeting, the heat was almost unbearable ; the thermometer in the room registering considerably over 100 degrees. Councillor George, however, does not consider that the dignity of a councillor should be upheld when the mercury is at boiling point, for before the meeting opened he divested himself of his coat and waistcoat, unstraped his braces, and delivered himself of oratorical utterances in his shirt sleeves. Before doing this he appealed to the. Mayor, who was taste- fully dressed in an Indian officer’s undress full evening costume, for permission to partially disrobe, and was given a hesitating, though diplomatic answer in the affirmative.”

From Wellington Times and Agricultural and Mining Gazette Saturday 25 January 1896

Further info on these trains and the 1896 heat:









About siliggy

Grossly over qualified TV/comms Tradie.
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