Cecilia Bauer & Rose WilesPrint Page Print this page

Fountain 2 : 15-December-2014
Fountain 2 : 15-December-2014

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / John Huth

The fountain commemorates two nurses who were victims of Australia`s only outbreak of pneumonic plague in Maryborough in 1905. Pneumonic plague, a severe type of lung infection, is one of three main forms of plague, all of which are caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is more virulent and rare than bubonic plague.

Nurses Cecilia Bauer and Rose Wiles courageously volunteered to nurse victims of the plague. Whilst looking after their patients both nurses fell ill and died from the deadly disease.

Australia's only outbreak of pneumonic plague occurred in Maryborough in 1905. At the time Maryborough was Queensland's largest port — a reception centre for wool, meat, timber and other rural products. A freighter from Hong Kong, where plague was rampant, was in the port of Maryborough about the time that a wharf worker named Richard O'Connell took home some sacking from the wharf, for his children to sleep on.

Subsequently, five of the seven O'Connell children, two nurses, and a neighbour died from the disease. Fortunately, there were no more cases but the ensuing fear, panic, and hysteria totally consumed the town, and a huge crowd gathered to witness the family’s house being burnt to the ground by Health officials.




Address:Lennox Street, Maryborough, 4650
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -25.537655
Long: 152.701412
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:Disaster
Approx. Event Start Date:June-1905
Approx. Event End Date:June-1905


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 13th August, 1966
Front Inscription

This fountain was presented to the City by the Maryborough Junior Chamber of Commerce

To honour the memory of Nurses Bauer and Wiles who gave their lives nursing the victims of an outbreak of Pneumonic Plague "The Black Death." in June 1905

This outbreak was the third recorded in history

Unveiled on 13th August 1966. by P. A. Earnshaw  C.B.E., M.B., Ch.M., F.R.A.C.P.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au