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corisande

Influenza in Ireland 1918 and 1919

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corisande

In an effort to try to get a handle on the deaths due to flu among the British forces in Ireland, I have just read "The Last Irish Plague" by Catriona Foley on that Flu Epidemic

However there appears to be no overall numbers quoted in the book, and little space is given to the army deaths. As far as I can see she is suggesting that there were 20,000 deaths due to flu in Ireland in 1918/1919 - but I am not sure that is the correct interpretation of what she is says.

Can anyone quote what total flu deaths were in Ireland during 1918 and 1919 separately and if there is a figure for British Army deaths in Ireland.

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Carmania

In 1917 there were 72,724 deaths in Ireland of which 1,438 were due to influenza; in 1918 the figures were 78,695 and 10,651; in 1919 they were 78,612 and 9,406; in 1920 they were 66,538 and 1,256.

The figures appear in the Annual Reports of the Registrar-General for Ireland. As yet I haven't seen any seperate numbers for servicemen but if I find any I'll report back.

Aled

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corisande

Aled

Thank you. That happily confirms what I thought the book was saying

As British troops were about 1% of population of Ireland at that time, all other things being equal (which I accept they were not with flu, it hitting 20 to 30 year olds harder than younger or older), one could project that about 200 British soldiers died of flu - more than were killed in action in War of Independence

If you can substantiate, or disprove that sort of figure I would be very grateful

It was only when I started looking into flu deaths that I realised how bad they were at the time.

The army seems very coy about releasing figures, and individual regiments seem to vary a lot on what they report. I can only find about 25 flu deaths, but if a serviceman died of flu in Ireland and was buried in England, there is nothing to link him to an Irish death short of trying to tie Irish GRO deaths to CWGC burials which would be somewhat fraught.

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