‘ David’s death was covered up. The nuns knew that they hadn’t cared for him properly
A FORMER resident has claimed she remembers how the nuns at Smyllum Park covered up a young boy’s death.
Josie Drage-Dawes, from Paisley, was at the home for five years in the 1950s and says she was regularly beaten by a nun, before she left for foster care aged 10.
Josie, a mum-of-six, says she remembers the day David Carberry died in 1955.
His death certificate says he died from
bronchopneumonia but his family insist they were told it was measles and diphtheria that killed him.
David, four, was one of 402 babies, toddlers and teenagers we revealed last week had died there.
Josie’s sister worked in the nursery at the time and was on shift when David passed away in July 1955.
Josie said her older sister had been kept on by the nuns after 15, when most kids left, and put to work at the children’s home.
Josie said: “One day she found a young boy dead in his bed during her morning rounds. We’ve always wondered what had happened. Now we know. I only hope the family know David was loved by my sister, if not by the nuns.”
Josie says when her sister told the nuns about it they sent her out for the day and ordered her not to return until night.
Josie said: “I’m convinced my sister was sent away because they didn’t want authorities to know they had left a young girl with no real training in charge of so many children.
“It was known David was very ill so why wasn’t he being properly cared for?”
David’s older brother Leon, who was 10 at the time and in care at Smyllum Park, says he was told David had died from measles and diphtheria.
The former senior officer with Western Australian Police said: “Measles can’t really be treated but pneumonia can, even in the 1950s. I’d like to see his death re-examined.”