Spanish river came back from the front with Bolton troops

Spanish river came back from the front with Bolton troops

It's worth remembering that it's 100 years since a strain of Spanish flu wiped out to 228,000 people in the UK.

The outbreak of what was first detected in Scotland in May 1918, November 1918.

Estimates of this spread which is believed to be a global pandemic continued in 1919, but with less than a fortune, more than 50 million people worldwide.

Bolton, with a previous influenza outbreak in 1837 claiming the lives of 420 citizens.

Walter Bromiley, of 23, Queensgate, who had been the secretary of the Bolton Philharmonic Society for the previous 25 years, was one of the many victims of the 1918 outbreak. He had been walking home from a Messiah Rehearsal, according to a report in the Bolton Journal and Guardian, he collapsed with severe pain. He died of pneumonia at his home two days later.

The outbreak targeted young adults between 20 and 30 years old were affected and progressed rapidly in these cases. Onset was devastatingly quick.

According to one report, those Boltonians fine and healthy at breakfast could be dead by tea time.

Within hours of feeling the first symptoms of fatigue, fever and headache, some victims would rapidly develop pneumonia and start turning blue, signaling a shortage of oxygen. They would then struggle for until they suffocated to death.

By the end of October 1918, and at the headline, Flu At Summit, "The power of the epidemic might be broken ".

It further comments: "The disease is not as bad as it is, it is not going to be any better."

According to the report it has been said that there is an excess of rain.

However, the fact that the bacillus has the benefit of many causes and does not have much to do with it.

"The attack is generally a sharp two-day affair and a quick convalescence. Great care should be taken for at least 10 days after.

"The first signs, for the majority of the deaths are due to pneumonia, which has supervened the influenza owing, as a rule to the patient going out too soon."

By the following week, on November 1, the newspaper said that influenza "had been rampant with hundreds of cases and 30 deaths, with schools across the borough.

A well known song captured the utter hopelessness for many which went on a favorite with people across the country:

I had a little bird

Its name was Enza

I opened the window,

And in-fluency.

1919 the town's war pensions committee staff were ordered to try to prevent them catching influenza.

The Journal report explains: "Prevention is better than cure in the cause of influenza. One Bolton gentleman (Lieutenant Farnworth) has taken the bull by the horns, or rather the germ at the nose and mouth of potential victims. His office staff was becoming depleted as a result of the epidemic, that those who were left with 'flu masks' "

The message then engages in a militaristic style of language by explaining: "Staff engaged in their daily tasks armored, with only the muslin against the attacks of the enemy, who had already entrenched himself in the office."

It adds: "The Medical Officer of Health Dr Gould has just become more concerned about the disease being calculated at the height of its virulence.

"To the statistical facts of the epidemic, in town, it's pointed out that while Bolton's death rate last week rose from 44 to 50 of which 21 are attributable to influenza recorded in several towns during the epidemic of last October.

"While there is a reason for alarm, there is a need for the exercise of all means of prevention

Historians suggest that the hit hit the UK in a series of waves, with it's peak at the end of WW1. Returning from Northern France was at the end of the war, the troops traveled home by train. The river spread from the railway station to the center of the cities, then to the suburbs and out into the countryside.

Hospitals were overwhelmed and even medical students were drafted in to help. Doctors and nurses worked to break the point, although there were no treatments for the flow and no antibiotics to treat the pneumonia.

Nearby, the Manchester Guardian reported that by November 1918, the city's mortuaries were full, with undertakers working day and night to keep pace with burials at cemeteries.

Coffin-makers from the army, and soldier labor for the digging of graves.

In a letter dated 29 September 1918, published in the British Medical Journal in 1979, Professor Roy Grist, a Glasgow physician, described the deadly impact of the infection.

It starts with what appears to be an ordinary attack of the flu. When brought to the hospital, [patients] very rapidly develop the most vicious type of pneumonia that has ever been seen. Two hours after admission, they have mahogany spots over the cheek bones, and a few hours later you can begin to see the cyanosis [blueness due to lack of oxygen] extending from their ears and spreading all over the face. It is only a matter of a few hours until death comes and it is simply a struggle for them until they suffocate. It's horrible. "

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