Influenza at Seacliff Hospital

Influenza at Seacliff Hospital

Seacliff mental hospital, circa 1910.

Institutions containing large numbers of people living in close quarters were particularly at risk during influenza epidemics – but the risk could be minimised through the enforcement of strict quarantine. Alert superintendents at Auckland and Christchurch mental hospitals imposed isolation and only two people died at each institution.

Meanwhile, Seacliff and Porirua mental hospitals suffered serious epidemics. There were 22 deaths at each institution and many more staff and patients fell ill. Jean Thompson, who was nursing at Seacliff at the time, recalled: 'Out of a staff of 80 we had only 18 nurses on duty at one point. Keys had to be given to patients that had disturbed and even dangerous case histories, yet they never let us down.'

Community contributions

4 comments have been posted about Influenza at Seacliff Hospital

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Greg Watt

Posted: 23 Sep 2010

Hello Keren Mackay My father Frank Watt was the farm manager from the mid 40s until 1962 at Seacliff hospital.I did my primary education at Seacliff school.I think from memory the school roll was about 78.The school was just above the village hall and close to the village store. Did your family live in the hospital grounds, or in the village ? Greg Watt

Florence Annan

Posted: 10 Sep 2010

My Grandparents John Annan who was a warden and Florence Annan (Williams) was a nurse at Seacliff. they were there around 1898-1901 Also Alexander Annan was a Warder there from approx 1891 to at least 1893. Does anyone know anything about the above people. any help at all would help in my search. thank you


Posted: 30 Aug 2010

Julia Kirby was a patient at seacliff for many years she shows in many records Im very keen to know anything about her can anyone help colin kirby christchurch

Keren Mackay

Posted: 05 Mar 2010

My grandfather was a Doctor at Seacliff in the 1930's and my mother was born there. My aunt who was a little older and started school there in 1936 is keen to find out where the house they lived in was but cannot remember either. She knows she started school with Alastair Findlay, the son of the Farm Manager, but doesn't know if there was a school at Seacliff or Wsitati. Can anyone help? Thanks.