INSERTED SUPPLEMENTARY (November 2015)
If you read week 86 you will see that I have now concluded that they were not related to my 4 x great grandfather and there were actually two James Dalrymple’s, both living in roughly the same part of Scotland, both of roughly the same age and both emigrating to Melbourne at about the same time – however, I have decided to keep this story in my 100 ancestors as it is an example of how careful you have to be not to jump to conclusions which may lead you down the wrong garden path !
Charles and Jane Dalrymple's first son, James William Dalrymple, had been born in Geelong, 75 miles south west of Melbourne, in 1881 and was followed two years later by his brother, Charles Davidson Dalrymple.
On 1st October 1904, James, now living at 58 Geelong Road, Footscray died while cycling home. He was "found dead lying on the Ballarat Road. The medical evidence at the inquest indicated that death was due to suffocation, probably due to swollen glottis. There was nothing to indicate how the later came about, and there were no signs of a struggle or violence.
The Coroner recorded a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, and added that there was no evidence to show how the swelling was occasioned."
(quotations in mauve taken from local newspapers)
What could have caused the epiglottis to swell ? Not being medically inclined, I have relied on Mr Google to explain that the epiglottis is a flap of elastic cartilage tissue that is covered with a mucous membrane and is found attached to the base of the tongue. The most common cause of a swelling is
- inflammation caused by infection
- physical trauma including a direct blow to the throat, scald burns on the neck or face, and burns caused by drinking very hot fluids.
- swallowing a chemical or foreign object that burns the throat, smoking drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine.
As far as we know, he showed no symptoms before going out on his bike that morning, so whatever it was that caused the swelling must have occurred while he was cycling back home. Is there an insect bite which could cause immediate death ? Sounds suspicious to me !
Charles, aged 31, signed up to serve in WW1 for the Australian Forces at Adelaide on 27th September 1915. He had been a clerk before the War living at 78 Donald Street, Footscray.
On 15th February 1916, after 143 days service, he was discharged due to a Medical Board finding him "medically unfit for further service but not owing to his own misconduct." The reason for his discharge was that he suffered from frequent attacks of fever and shivering caused by a malaria infection which originated prior to his enlistment.
Looking at the Medical Board's report it says Charles "was a sailor up to two years ago" and that he had malaria "5 years ago" in "Karachi, India" and was in Bombay Hospital "2 years ago for 3 months". I haven't found anything to explain what he was doing in India.
It had only been a few years before that the discovery had been made that mosquitos were the carriers of the disease. The final piece of the puzzle was put into place by a British physician, Sir Ronald Ross, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902.