Edward James Bourke was born on February 14, 1879, at Burramine, the fifth child and fourth son born to 35 year old Paddy and 30 year old Margaret.
Edward was born just a week after another Edward had paid a visit to his father's Burramine Hotel...Edward 'Ned' Kelly had 'borrrowed' Paddy Bourke's boat to get himself and his gang across the Murray and into NSW on their way to Jerilderie.
Edward's birth was never registered, but his baptism record exists. At the age of five months, Edward was baptised by Father J.J Egan, on July 8, 1879. His sponsors were his maternal Uncle, James Bourke, and James' wife Ellen McCluskey Bourke.
Little Ned started school at the age of 4 years and 5 months, at Tungamah State School. His date of admittance to the school was October 1883.
In the winter of the following year Ned Bourke fell ill with a condition that would kill him three weeks later. On July 17, 1884, in his Tungamah home, 5 1/2 year old Edward James Bourke died from inflammation of the brain. This condition usually related to either encephalitis (an acute inflammation of the brain, commonly caused by a viral infection) or meningitis (the inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord).
From a website devoted to "Old Time Doctor Treatments" comes the following information about symptoms and treatment of inflammation of the brain (http://www.doctortreatments.com/Inflammation-of-the-Brain.html
"The popular conception of this disease applies rather to another disease, inflammation of the membranes covering the brain, or meningitis. For it should be remembered that the brain itself, composed of nervous tissues, is surrounded by membranes which are not nervous tissues, but are simply coverings for the protection of the delicate structures of the brain. These coverings or membranes may become inflamed without involving seriously the brain underneath.For practical purposes, however, it is impossible to distinguish accurately between an inflammation of the brain and an inflammation of the membranous covering; in fact, in many instances the two are involved together.Symptoms: The disease usually begins abruptly, perhaps with a chill; there is intense pain in the head, redness of the face and eyes, vomiting, roaring in the ears, an excited, distressed look, and extreme sensitiveness to light, sound and movement. The pain may be felt over the entire head, or chiefly in certain limited portions of it.The eyebrows are usually contracted, in order to shield the eyes from the light, and sometimes the patient keeps his face buried in the pillow for the same purpose. Movement of the body or of the bed is apt to occasion unpleasant sensations. There may be delirium and convulsions, the latter especially in young children.Sometimes the delirium becomes a prominent symptom so early in the disease that the patient is considered insane. There is intense fever. After a day or two there may be an exaggeration of the head symptoms, the patient becoming so furious that it is necessary to confine his limbs in order to prevent him from injuring himself or others. After some hours, perhaps two or three days, there ensues what has been called the " stage of oppression." This case occurs when an exudation has taken place from the membranes of the brain, whereby this organ is compressed. The result is impairment, or even abolition, of many of the functions of the brain ; the pain in the head is decreased, or at least is not complained of; the extreme sensitiveness to light, sound and movement ceases ; the delirium disappears, and instead of it the patient is often stupid, or even unconscious ; paralysis of various parts of the body occurs ; this may result in the production of squint ; sometimes both pupils are contracted, or both dilated, or they may be unevenly contracted, the one large and the other small ; the respirations are slow and labored ; one arm or leg, or perhaps half the body, may become limp and powerless. If the disease terminate in recovery, these symptoms gradually disappear ; yet some of them are apt to persist for months, or even permanently. Thus there may be permanent impairment of vision or of hearing, or paralysis of various muscles. At other times the general bodily health may be recovered, but permanent impairment of the mind, even imbecility, may remain.In the majority of cases, death occurs usually in eight or ten days, sometimes within thirty-six hours. In these cases which terminate fatally so early the onset of the disease is not marked by the symptoms which have been described, for the patient seems to be overwhelmed as if by a large dose of opium. Almost from the first he lies stupid, almost unconscious, complaining little or not at all, and soon manifesting the signs of approaching dissolution.Treatment.-One of the first objects of treatment is to keep the bowels active. If the condition of the patient permit, free purging with some saline, such as the citrate of magnesia, may be employed ; but if, in consequence of delirium or obstinate vomiting it be not advisable to administer salts, a drop of croton oil may be placed upon the tongue. On the succeeding days smaller doses of the citrate of magnesia or half-drop doses of croton oil may be employed, so that the bowels may be kept free during the entire course of the disease.The head should be closely shaved and pounded ice applied to the scalp, enclosed in a bladder or an india-rubber bag. Care should be taken that the influence of the cold be distributed evenly over the entire head, and not limited to a single spot. If ice cannot be procured, cloths should be wet in cold water and applied to the head. In this case care should be taken to change these cloths every five or ten minutes, since otherwise they become warm and useless.There should also be used some means for causing the blood to circulate in the feet and limbs rather than in the head. For this purpose light mustard plasters may be applied to the soles of the feet and to the calves. Good results have indeed been obtained from immersion of the patient in a warm bath during the first two or three days of the disease.Care should also be taken to keep the room dark, and to avoid all unnecessary annoyance in the way of noise or bustle. The diet should be bland, and consist entirely of liquids.After the appearance of those signs which indicate that exudation has occurred in the brain - that is, after the patient becomes quiet and ceases to complain, the iodide of potassium may be given in doses of five grains three or four times a day in water. The scalp may also be painted with the tincture of iodine. During this stage it becomes necessary for the attendants to supply all the wants of the patient without waiting for him to express them. Thus he must be fed, and in most cases alcoholic stimulants are required to support the patient's exhausted powers. It is often also necessary to employ the catheter, since the patient will be unconscious of the necessity of evacuating the bladder.
Surprisingly, no doctor was recorded as having attended the little boy. Where there is usually recorded the doctor's name under "Medical attendant by whom certified and when he last saw the deceased" the information given is 'Not certified'.
Although Ned died in Tungamah, he was buried in the Burramine Cemetery on July 18, 1884.