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Scoutmaster Dead (J. C. Walker) 1949

Dent Village

Scoutmaster dead: Two I.P. cases
in troop ‘fairly comfortable’

TWO members of a Morecambe Scout troop, suffering from infantile paralysis, from which their Scoutmaster died yesterday, were reported to-day to be fairly comfortable. The Scoutmaster, Joseph Collinson Walker (21), Lordsome Road, was well on Tuesday when he attended a Youth Fellowship at St. John’s Church, to which the Scouts are attached. The next day he complained of headache and sickness. On Thursday his condition became worse, and yesterday he died in the ambulance with his mother by his side, on his way to the isolation hospital.

The Scout troop was in camp a fortnight ago at the Yorkshire village of Dent. As a precaution the Scout troop is not holding any meetings, and the Sunday school at St. John’s has been temporarily closed.

Yorkshire Evening Post 10 September 1949

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. Approximately 90% to 95% of infections cause no symptoms. Another 5 to 10% of people have minor symptoms such as: fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, neck stiffness and pains in the arms and legs. These people are usually back to normal within one or two weeks. In about 0.5% of cases there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move. This can occur over a few hours to few days. The weakness most often involves the legs but may less commonly involve the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm. Many but not all people fully recover. In those with muscle weakness about 2% to 5% of children and 15% to 30% of adults die. Years after recovery post-polio syndrome may occur, with a slow development of muscle weakness similar to what the person had during the initial infection.

Joseph Collinson Walker was born in 1920 son of William Lister Walker and Mary Elizabeth nee Collinson. The parents were married in 1919 at St. Thomas’ Church, Lancaster. In 1939 the mother was living at 58 Lordsome Road, Heysham with Joseph and his sister Susan Mary.