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Memories of Spanish flu

The untold history of Spanish Flu in Brighton/Hove in the wake
of World War One.
Do you have relatives who were involved in the flu epidemic, where 500 + people died in Brighton alone?
An oral history project exploring this period seeks interviewees.
Is this you?
Contact Sara:
Or Di

Comments about this page

  • However, that was before the terrible cost in lives became clear and the 1919 influenza pandemic raged throughout the world carried by returning soldiers to every corner of the world. It is now thought that the disease was in fact the first ‘swine flu’ outbreak and that it came from a piggery in the mid-west of the United States and passed to some soldiers camped nearby who then travelled to Europe.

    As my mother told it in 1919, Mary Scott was pregnant with her fifth child when the disease struck her down. Whilst the fighting had come to a halt and silence predominated over the great battlefields of France and the middle east, Ernest Scott had not been demobilised.

    As I was told, as the doctors did not expect his wife to survive, they brought him ‘home’ early. My mother tells Mary’s story that as she lay semi-conscious and quite near death she became aware that Ernest was by her side. As my mother Eileen related the story to me on many occasions, Mary thought ‘what a handsome man; if I die he will definitely re-marry and his new wife will mistreat my babies.’ This was the motivation for her to survive – and she was very much a survivor.

    By Terry Walls (11/05/2020)
  • I should have added that at the time they were living at 37 Stoneham Street Brighton and my grandmother was running a laundry to keep the family while Grandad Ernest was in France. He was on the Somme 1915-1919 and survived. Royal Engineers – Royal Sussex Regiment.

    By Terry Walls (21/05/2020)

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