Armistice Day - remembering the 1918 influenza pandemic

Those suffering from influenza had little interest in celebrating the end of the First World War.


[Woman speaking] Well, I was very bad in bed. I worked at dressmaking, and I just fell on the table and got taken home in a taxi, and I … had to sit up in bed when the war was over and wave a little flag; I couldn’t go out to celebrate. My boyfriend was away at the war at the time.

[Woman speaking] And it came, Armistice Day. I went to town early that morning – a friend came and drove me in – as we simply had to have more hospitals, more room to nurse cases. I got into town just before 9 and the bells started ringing. I said, ‘Whatever’s going on?’ ‘It’s peace,’ they said, ‘Peace!’ How I loathed the sound of it. Everything shut up, and I could get nothing, not a thing until tomorrow. And that was just the day that I’m sure cost hundreds of lives. But simply had those people been able to be taken in to those hospitals that day, they might have been spared. But you couldn’t do a thing about it; it was peace and everyone was celebrating.

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