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Thursday's Tragic Event: Death from Blood Poisoning

Today's tragic event involves the death of Edwin J. Last, who is my first cousin five times removed.  He was born in 1863, the son of George Last and his wife Ann (nee Costello).  Edwin died  on 26th February 1896 and was buried  in the North Gundagai General Cemetery.

Source: The death of Mr. Edwin Last. (1896, February 28). The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved November 7, 2013, from


The death of Mr. Edwin Last.

THE news of the death of Mr. Edwin Last, son of Mr. George Last, of Fern Hill, cast a gloom over Gundagai and Tumut and the surrounding district on Tuesday.  It gave a shock to the community, for the news was quite unexpected, and the popularity of the family is widespread.  Eight or none days ago the late Mr. Last was in excellent health and spirits.  Being strong and active and only 31 years of age, anyone would have taken a lease of his life.  He was a native of Gundagai, and the second son, of Mr. G. Last.  Until seven years ago, he lived with his father, and helped him to put together the fine estate of Fernhill.  Then he entered into pastoral pursuits on his own account, and met with the greatest success.  He was a smart and intellectual business man, with tireless energy.  He had a sweet disposition and all the faculties that lead to success in life.  He was consequently respected by everyone and he gave promise of being eventually one of the leading men in the district.  Three or four years ago he had an attack of pleurisy from which he quite recovered.  Last week he came to town to apply for a prohibition order against an old man named Shephard, whom he afterwards took to the hospital.  There was then a pimple, which he had broken, on his face, and he complained that it gave him some little trouble, but naturally the matter was treated lightly.  Last Thursday, however he returned to town with his face bandaged, and he stayed at Leary's hotel under the care of Dr. O'Dwyer.  The doctor found that he was suffering from blood poisoning.  After a few days he was removed to the hospital, where he gradually grew worse.  On Tuesday morning he lost consciousness, and he passed away peacefully at 3 a.m. on Wednesday.  Miss Last nursed him night and day, and the other members of the family, including the heartbroken father and mother, were in attendance.  Before losing consciousness he received all the rites of the Roman Catholic Church.  The news spread rapidly through the country, and although the funeral took place the same afternoon, the cortege was one of the largest ever seen in Gundagai.  People attended from all quarters, and many travelled thirty and forty miles.  Telegrams and letters of sympathy were received from the surrounding towns and districts and from Sydney.

Source: ISOLATED ENGLAND. (1896, March 6). The Burrowa News (NSW : 1874 - 1951), p. 2. Retrieved October 24, 2013, from

DEATH FROM BLOOD POISONING. - Mr. Edwin Last, aged 31, son of Mr. George Last, of Fernhill Estate, died under strange circumstance in the Gundagai hospital.  The deceased was a strong healthy man.  A few days ago he broke a pimple on his cheek, and blood-poisoning set in.  It is thought that a fly lodged on it.  He gradually grew worse until the poison reached the brain, when he died.  The deceased was a pastoralist, and was a clever intellectual, business man, and was widely popular.  People living within a radius of 40 mile attended the funeral.

NSW BDM Birth Index


NSW BDM Death Index


Source: NSW BDM Indexes. NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  Retrieved from


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