View Full Version : The Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918-19

C. Flower
09-11-2018, 08:38 PM
100 million people died globally, many of them young men and women, but the Spanish Flu epidemic is glossed over, compared both with disasters of war, and with outbreaks of plague in the middle ages and with famine. Was it 'just' because it was overshadowed by the World War and Russian Revolution ?

The virus may have jumped species from poultry on mainland Europe and seems to have mainly been spread by demobilisation, homecoming troops taking it with them, world wide.


In Ireland, over 20,000 people died. I was once told by a woman from a small town nearby about a man she had known who remembered going with his father, an undertaker, with cartloads of bodies that were interred without coffins into the re-opened famine graveyard on the outskirts of the town. In Ireland, the cataclysm of the famine, still within living memory then, and the upheavals of civil war, perhaps placed the epidemic in the position of historic 'also ran'.