In 1918 GP MOH. Dr Robert George Dellour Beresford completed a report on the overall health of the town, but also undertook school inspections.
Llangollen Advertiser, 8.2.18, reports that conditions at the Boys Council School were very insanitary. It was suggested that Oswestry Town Council that managers should meet occasionally on school premises!
The following week, the school at Llandysilo was closed due to an outbreak of mumps.
At the end of November, 1918, the influenza epidemic was abating and schools which had been closed, were reopened the following Monday. Dr Beresford spent the morning visiting all the schools and welcoming the pupils back.
In 1913 the Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Education estimated that of 6 million children in public elementary schools in England and Wales:
10% had serious vision defects
5% had defective hearing
3% had “suppurating ears”
3% had enlarged tonsils and adenoids
50% had injurious tooth decay
10% were dirty
2% had TB
1% had heart disease
1% had ringworm
There was an increasing stress on preventative medical care in schools, with regular medical inspections and eyesight tests.
A Health Centre was opened in Oswestry in November 1917. During its first year 479 children had attended and 200 remained on the register. A baby clothing department with sewing classes was started and a scheme was set up to provide free milk, or cheaper milk, to needy pregnant and nursing mothers and also to children under 5 years of age. The Committee in charge regularly expressed their thanks to Dr Beresford for his sterling work!
Sources: Langollen Advertiser, Census 1911, Education in England