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Public Health and the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic

February 19 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Online Talk

One hundred years ago, the 1918 influenza pandemic wrought havoc across the globe. The first wave of the ‘flu appeared in the spring of 1918, followed by a more virulent second wave in the autumn, and a third wave in the spring of 1919. In total, it is estimated that the epidemic claimed 225,000 lives in Britain. While the end of the First World War has overshadowed the pandemic in history books, and within collective memory, recent scholarship has sought to uncover the impact of the pandemic on a war-torn society.

This talk will dive into the government’s response to the pandemic, at a time when the cause of influenza was unknown and there was no consensus on treatment. Alongside a look at commentary within national newspapers, this talk will take a look at what records can be found within the state archive: from the response of military institutions and the impact on soldiers to the public health response and concern for citizens.

This talk will be delivered by Laura Robson-Mainwaring, Health Records Specialist.


What’s Online is a series of free, pre-recorded online talks delivered by our experts and special guests. Talks last approximately 30 minutes followed by a 15 minute Q&A. This online talk will be presented on Microsoft Teams. You will be emailed an access link 24 hours in advance. For more information on attending a Teams event, please visit: https://bit.ly/3hWNWwn

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