Victims of the Second Wave

Sepia toned image of couple perhaps on wedding day

Dear Bellman,

Pandemic? Which Pandemic?

My 34 year old grandmother died in November 1918. At her funeral my 36 year old grandfather fell ill and was dead a few days later.

Both of them killed by the flu pandemic.

Their daughter, my mother, not yet two years old, obviously survived and was cared for by a number of aunts and uncles in her extended family.

I have the letter, handwritten by my great grandfather, “giving away” the little girl to an aunt “for as long as they live” and donating to the aunt “one shilling every three months for clothing”.

My grandparents died in the second wave of the 1918 flu pandemic which was three times worse than the first wave.

Does this sound familiar?

We now have a massive NHS, modern medical wizardry and scientific knowledge not even dreamt about 100 years ago.

And yet the covid-19 virus is out of control and hospitals are being overwhelmed.

BUT we NOW know that the virus spreads by contact with other people and that is where we can ALL do our bit by reducing our contact with other people and saving lives.

Yours etc

Janet Dean

Daniel Gee’s letter to Emma referring to young Evelyn
Edwin Eckersall and Mary Elizabeth Eckersall (nee Gee).