Influenza pandemic: East London

Extract from a letter from the wife of E S Bennett on the impact of the influenza pandemic in Walthamstow in East London, dated 28 October 1918.

It is estimated that the influenza pandemic of 1918-19 killed as many as 30 million people worldwide. In one week in London in October 1918, it killed more people than four years of air raids on the city. Written in the same month, this letter recounts the atmosphere of death and fear created by the 'Spanish flu' (as this outbreak was commonly called). Doctors are on 'constant call', while undertakers 'can't turn the coffins out or bury the people quick enough'.
IWM 96/3/1 (28 Oct 1918)

Transcript
document section
document section
document section
document section
close window back to top of page back to top