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November

1st November

German leader Writes to All German Princes

Prince Max of Baden wrote to all of the German princes seeking their approval of the abdication of the Kaiser.

American Troops into Europe, Importance of Cobh

Over the previous seven months about two million American troops had been conveyed across the Atlantic Ocean. To protect them about seventy ships had been based in the harbour of Queenstown in Southern Ireland.

Victims of the ‘Leinster’ Disaster, Washed Up on Isle of Man

The bodies of two women and a number of men were washed up on the shores of the Isle of Man. They could not be identified and were buried in a number of cemeteries across the island.

Isle of Man Newspaper Headlines

As victims of the sinking of the Leinster began to be washed up on the shores of the Isle of Man, newspaper headlines reflected the feelings of the islanders. Some of the headlines read, ‘Victims of the R.M.S. Leinster Outrage,’ ‘More Victims’ Bodies Washed Up,’ ‘German Brutality,’ ‘Seven More Washed Ashore,’ Last Victim of German Brutality.’

Local Men Lose His Life in the First World War

Jack M Montgomery served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Orbitary in Local Paper

Thomas Mooney served as a rifleman in the Rifle Brigade and was killed on 1st November 1918. Shortly after his death, Jane Smith and Cassie Jervis of Primity in Newbuildings inserted the following lines in a local newspaper.

‘His youthful life for King and Country gave,
He slumbers now in a soldier’s grave;
Far from the noise of shot and shell
He is gone to God in peace to dwell

2nd November

Riot in Rural Village in County Limerick

A crowd had assembled in the small village of Broadford to celebrate the release from prison of three Cumann na mBan members who had refused to pay a fine. A local priest Father Tomas Wall witnessed the events.

‘The peelers in Broadford were so frightened by the magnitude of the turnout that they telephoned for military to Newcastle West. The peelers, who had kept quiet until then, cheered their arrival. A mess was made of the crowd, the peelers using the butt ends of rifles and batons. The military did nothing except march up to where I was with fixed bayonets. I announced that our meeting was over and called on the crowd to go home quietly which they did. But the peelers, wherever they came on an isolated group around the village, they batoned fiercely. The whole incident will do no good.’

Influenza Peaks in World Capitals

Health authorities across the world estimated that influenza outbreaks had peaked in cities such as New York, Berlin, Paris and in Dublin. This however proved to be just the first wave of the outbreak. There were cases of influenza right across Ireland.

Influenza across the World

Reflecting on the world crisis with regard to influenza, the Meath Chronicle reported,’ Things have not been nearly as bad here in Ireland.’

Roman Catholic Church Calls for Prayers and For Shorter Church Services

The Archbishop of Dublin wrote to the clergy in the diocese,’ In view of the present prevelance of serious illness, it is our duty to have recourse to the Throne of Mercy in earnest prayer to deliver us from the dangers that threaten us.’

With increased numbers of funeral masses, the Archbishop also called for services to be curtailed. ‘As long as the present danger of infection continues, the solemn service of the church should not be prolonged by the chanting of ‘The Office of The Dead.’

Wexford Town, Trade Reduction

In the local newspaper The People it was stated that trade was down and the town was much quieter as people preferred to stay indoors and those who lived in nearby villages were reluctant to come into the town.

Shock in Kilkenny

It was reported in the Kilkenny People that many in the town were shocked about the deaths caused by influenza and many did not want to speak of ‘the dread disease’ and its shattering effects.

Bank Staff Struck Down by Influenza

The Connacht Tribune had a column in the newspaper which highlighted the fact that among those laid up because of influenza many of those employed in local banks.

The Wealthy in Dublin, Access to Primary Heath Care

In the Irish Independent it was stated that ‘wealthy persons stricken by the malady are able to offer large fees for the services of nurses.’

Influenza in Dublin, Distress among the City’s Poor

Reported in the Freeman’s Journal, a spokesman for St. Vincent de Paul said,’ God only knows how the poor exist and what they suffer now during the present distress and illness’. The paper reported that there were shortages of basic commodities such as coal and milk.

Nurses Dealing with Influenza, Some Struck Down

The Irish Independent reported that in Dublin nurses had attended about three hundred and forty cases of influenza in the north side of the city. At Dublin’s Meath Hospital, only half of the usual number of nurses were available for duty.

School Closures in County Kerry and Parents Keeping Children off School

A report in the Kerryman said that many schools across the county were forced to close ‘allowing for a healthy and useful holiday at home.’ It was reported in the Kings County Chronicle that some parents in the area were keeping their children off school for fear of contracting influenza.

Social Event Cancelled in Tipperary and Local Priest castigates Parishioners

An article in the Tipperary Star reported that ‘a grand commercial ball had been deferred in homage to His Majesty ‘flu.’ Parishioners near the town were upbraided by their priest for avoiding the town. The priest said,’ You have acted foolishly in shunning the town during the outbreak. There really is no need for such extreme cautiousness.’

Meath Chronicle Reports on ‘Flu Symptoms

The newspaper stated that ‘the flu is merely an acute fever with high temperature, quick pulse and general prostration. The infection is unquestionably recognised as a tax upon personal comfort and efficiency but hardly admissible as a cause of death.’

Wexford Council Fear of Cinemas

At a meeting of the council there was discussion on the spread of influenza. One councillor declared that ‘picture houses constitute a greater danger than any other place of assembly.’ Another councillor added to this statement by saying that picture houses ‘were more dangerous than schools.’

Fear Stalks Wicklow Town

A member of the council sent an urgent memo,’ The poor are dying, the infirmary practically closed. Not a moment to be lost.’

Doctors Reports from Across Ireland

From County Down in the north to County Cork in the south, many doctors who were treating ‘flu victims were reporting that many of the victims appeared to be displaying symptoms more like to diphtheria and typhus.

Mixed Response across Ireland to the Crisis

From across the country, including the response of Inishowen Board of Guardians, some boards were displaying concern and doing their utmost to prevent the spread of the disease, while others were expressing concern at the costs being incurred and possibly being passed onto ratepayers. Some at local government level were energetic and industrious in attempting to overcome difficulties while others were unfortunately inactive and, in some cases, even unhelpful to those in distress.

3rd November

Fall of Trieste

The City of Trieste and its environs was one of the oldest parts of the Hapsburg Monarchy. The city had been claimed by Venice, but leading citizens of Trieste petitioned King Leopold III and it became part of the Austrian Empire in 1382 and was to remain so for over five hundred years until 1918.In April 1915 the secret Treaty of London had been signed between Britain, France and Russia and one of the agreements was that Trieste was to become part of Italy after the war. The Isonzo Campaign raged in this area from 1915.

A local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

Georg E. Dornan served as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps

Mutiny in The German Navy

At Kiel some sailors refused to weigh anchor and a number of ships were sabotaged. This marked the beginning of the end of the German Empire and the establishment of the Wiemar Republic. In a short period of time twenty-one German monarchs were swept aside.

German sailors feared that they were to be sacrificed in one last attempt to defeat Britain. If the sea battle had taken place off Eastern England it would have involved about seventy ships on both sides.

A meeting was held at Kiel was attended by over ten thousand sailors, soldiers and workers. They demanded immediate reforms in what was called ‘The Fourteen Points’ and for the immediate release of sailors. The German army opened fire and seven were killed and about thirty injured.

Member of Catholic Centre Party Enters German Government

Matthias Erzberger reluctantly entered the government of Prince Maximillian von Baden as secretary of State without Portfolio.

4th November

Death of the War Poet, Wilfred Owen

He was born in 1893 near Oswestry in Shropshire. His career was in education and he went on to be employed as a private tutor in the School of Languages in Bordeaux. In October 1915 he enlisted in the Artists’ Rifles Officers Training Corps and the following year he was commissioned into the Manchester Regiment. Wilfred Owen was wounded on several occasions and once while recovering from shell shock in a hospital in Edinburgh he came into contact with fellow war poet Siegfield Sassoon.

Wilfred Owen was killed while taking part in the crossing of the Sambre-Oise Canal, several days before the signing of the armistice. The following day he was to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant. On 11th November in Shrewsbury as the bells were ringing in celebration of the signing of the Armistice, his mother received a telegram informing her of the death of her son.

It has been estimated that there were over thousand ‘war poets’ in the First World War, people who put pen to paper to record their feelings and experiences.

Recipient of Victoria Cross

William Amey was a lance-corporal in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. His citation reads,’ On 4th November 1918 at Landrecies, France, when many hostile machine gun nests were missed by leading troops owing to fog, lance-Corporal Amey led his section against a machine gun nest under heavy fire and drove the garrison into a neighbouring farm, finally capturing fifty prisoners and several machine guns. Later, single-handed and under heavy fire he attacked a machine gun post in a farmhouse, killed two of the garrison and drove the remainder into a cellar until assistance arrived. Subsequently, he rushed a strongly held post, capturing twenty more prisoners.’

Recipient of Victoria Cross

Adam Archibald was born in Scotland and served in the Royal Engineers. He received his medal from King George V in Buckingham Palace in May 1919. His citation reads,’ On 4th November near Ors, France, Sapper Archibald was with a party building a floating bridge across the canal. He was foremost in the work under a very heavy artillery barrage and machine gun fire. The latter was directed at him from a few yards distance while he was working on the cork floats. Nevertheless he persevered in the task and his example and efforts were such that the bridge which was essential to the success of the operations was very quickly completed. Immediately afterwards Sapper Archibald collapsed from gas poisoning.’

Kiel Sailors and Workers Unite

Following events of the previous day sailors, soldiers and workers took control of Kiel. This involved about forty thousand people. A council was established and issued ’14 Points’ and called for the release of sailors who had been arrested earlier. This was an attack against the military system. Across Germany workers’ and sailors’ councils were set up which were modelled on those in Russia in 1917. There was now the possibility of a total revolution in Germany.

Socialist Meeting in Munich

A large meeting of socialists called for the unity of socialist parties, for peace and minimum reforms.

Hapsburg Empire Surrenders to Italy.

The Armistice of Villa Giusti was signed between the two countries and came into effect the next day at 3.00 p.m. This day, the 4th November, is commemorated as Remembrance Day in Italy.

Influenza in County Armagh

The Irish Independent reported that in Lurgan it was noted that children were not as affected as adults by the outbreak of influenza.

Publication of County Kildare Newspaper Hit by Flu

Production of the Leinster Leader which was published in Nass County Kildare was halted due to an outbreak of influenza among the paper’s staff. The newspaper had to be produced and published in Dublin.

Pressure on the Health System

The Irish Independent spoke of pressure on the health system and that one outcome was a reduction on the number of primary vaccinations. In Tipperary hospitals were full to capacity and the authorities had to use the town hall and local schools to cope with people struck down with influenza.

Royal Navy Divers at Scapa Flow

Divers in the Shetlands were sent down to investigate the remains of UB-116, which had been attacked and sunk on 28th October. Divers returned to the surface with items including the submarine’s logbook.

4th November

A Local man Loses His Life in The Great War

James O’Donnell served as a private in the Royal Irish Regiment.

5th November

Allies Conditional Acceptance of the Fourteen Points

A section of the statement reads, ‘The Allied Governments have given careful consideration to the correspondence which has passed between the President of the United States and the German government. Subject to the qualifications which follow they declare their willingness to make peace with the Government of Germany on the terms of peace laid down in the President’s address.’

German Newspaper on Events at Kiel

Reflecting on what had happened at Kiel, a north German newspaper declared,’ What happened in Kiel will spread throughout Germany. What the workers and soldiers want is not chaos, but a new order, not anarchy, but a social republic.’

Call for a German Socialist Republic

The Independent Socialist in Germany issued a call for the establishment of a socialist republic in Germany as part of a world-wide movement. A committee of revolutionary shop stewards was set up and immediately began to collect arms.

Article in Freeman’ Journal, the Financial Cost-A Report from the Aran Islands

Reflecting on the epidemic sweeping Ireland, the article said,’ Two thirds of those who have died were in the prime of life, the wage-earning age.’

From Inishboffin a doctor wrote to the Clifden Guardians. ‘I have found that the ‘flu has attacked about sixty families. The type here picks out the very strongest aged between twenty and fifty years old. The attacks are complicated with pleurisy, pneumonia, peritonitis. It is also particularly severe on the central nervous system. I consider it a virulent type-it is infectious.’

Political Rally Cancelled in Roscommon

It was reported in Freeman’s Journal that ‘a recruiting demonstration fell through because all the speakers were confined to bed.’

Dublin Newspaper accuses Authorities of Inaction

The Irish Times blamed the Local Government Boards and sanitary authorities across Ireland for ‘not having foreseen the epidemic and taking precautions against the ravages.’

6th November

Socialist Party in Berlin Reforms Demanded

The executive of this party met in Berlin and drew up a list of demands. Among the key demands were the abdication of the Kaiser and Crown Prince and for freedom of assembly. The party newspaper said,’ We seek freedom, not terror, not dictatorship but democracy.’

German Leader Has Influenza, Erzberger Sent to Negotiations

Matthias Erzberger, a member of the Catholic Centre Party was sent to the Forest of Compiegne to negotiate with the Allies. In addition to Max von Baden allegedly having influenza, it was thought that the Allies might find a Roman Catholic civilian more acceptable to negotiate with rather than a military man from Prussia. However, the French were unwilling to make concessions to the Germans.

Power Cuts in County Galway

It was reported in Freeman’s Journal that several men employed in the power station were off work because of influenza. The article said that ‘the town was practically in darkness for several nights owing to the men in charge of the electric power station being laid up.’

Distress in Dublin

Interviewed by the Freeman’s Journal, Dr. Kathleen Lynn said,’ There is no news but the ‘flu. Hundreds are waiting to be buried. People are dying too abundantly. People have difficulty getting hearses.’

Effect across Ireland in Industrial Schools

Inspectors of reformatory and industrial schools across the country declared ‘that there is a widespread and virulent outbreak of influenza which rages throughout the entire world and is exacting a heavy toll among the population of every country inflicting a high rate of mortality.’

Strabane Urban District Council critical of Inactivity by The Board of Guardians

It was reported in the Derry Journal that Strabane Urban District Council were critical of the Board of Guardians with regard to the treatment of the sick and the poor in the area. They declared that ‘no hospital is being provided for urgent cases despite the fact that an epidemic is raging. The fever hospital is available and all the Guardians have to do is to provide the nurses. Three recent deaths in the town are down to neglect, one poor boy had no other bedding than straw and rags. ’Strabane Urban District decided to request an urgent meeting with the Board of Guardians to discuss the matter.

7th November

Negotiations Begin between Allies and Germany

These began in Foch’s railway carriage at Compiegne.

Calls for the Kaiser to Abdicate

As Germany faced defeat, the German politician Friedrich Ebert demanded that his party had a greater say in the cabinet, the advocated increased democracy in Prussia and crucially he called for the abdication of the Kaiser and his son. Seeking to win over the middle classes, he said,’ If the Kaiser does not abdicate, the social revolution is unavoidable. But I do not want it. I hate it like sin.’ In response the Kaiser declared that he was prepared to abdicate but would not relinquish his title as King of Prussia.

Maximilian von Baden Meets Political Leaders

Von Baden met with the leaders of Germany’s political parties to discuss the political crisis. He informed them that he intended to go to meet the Kaiser in Spa to encourage him to abdicate, possibly in favour of the Kaiser’s second son to become regent.

Bavarian King flees The Country, Mass Demonstrations

King Ludwig III fled from Bavaria and ‘The People’s Stare of Bavaria ‘was declared. At a large meeting, people called for ‘bread and peace,’ an eight hour day and the elimination of dynasties.

Newspaper Report, Germans in Full Retreat

It an article in the Londonderry Sentinel from the Press Association their war correspondent telegraphed yesterday morning.’ The Germans are retreating all along the Front in face of the First, Third and Fourth British armies. It is not a question of a rout or a pursuit; we are simply pressing them hard and they are covering their withdrawal with a close-set screen of machine gun defences. We know there is confusion and demoralisation amongst the retreating foe, but so strong are the ingrained habits of discipline and training that the leaders manage to keep their men well in hand, and the German wireless may still boast about an unbroken front. Heavy rain continues and the ground has become sodden and laborious to cover. This handicaps movement and greatly impedes the enemy in his efforts to save material. This during yesterday evening our men advancing along the Landrecles-Marcelles road found about thirty guns which had been abandoned.

Serious Rioting in Kiel

An article appeared in the Londonderry Sentinel on the situation in Kiel. ‘The Kieler Neuesten Nachrichten gave details of serious riots at Kiel on Sunday. Following a meeting in the drill square by the crew of the battleship Margarat demanding the release of stokers imprisoned for insubordination. Walouriese Building was destroyed by the excited mob which gained possession of arms and ammunition. Troops were called out to protect the town at various points with which continually increasing crowds came into conflict. Shots were fired on both sides. Eight demonstrators were killed and twenty-nine were wounded.

Report form Amsterdam, Wednesday

The following article also appeared in the Londonderry Sentinel. ‘During the rising in Kiel officers of the battleship Kaiser defended the German war flag with revolvers. However, they were overpowered by the crew, who hauled down the war flag and hoisted the red flag. Two officers, including the commander, were killed. Three of the four companies of infantry which had just arrived at Kiel immediately joined the movement, and the fourth was disarmed. Hussars sent from Wenbeck an hour’s distance from Kiel encountered sailors with machine guns and were forced to turn back.’

Distinguished Flying Cross Awarded to Moville Man.

The MacNeece family lived at Castle Cary near Moville. Captain T.F. MacNeece had taken part in the Nile Expedition in 1898 and was at the title of Khartoum. One son was twenty-five year old Captain James Douglas who served in the Royal Field Artillery and while leading his battery he was killed at the Somme on 16th August 1916. He had recently received the Military Cross. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Lieutenant William Foster MacNeece

He was a son of Captain T.F. MacNeece of Castle Cary in County Donegal. Born in 1889, he enlisted in the Royal Kent Regiment and at the beginning of the First World War he was involved in air reconnanise in the Western Front. For bravery he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation read, ‘He is an exceptionally brave and efficient officer. From 2nd July to 9th August he was in command of a balloon wing and by his energy and personal example inspired all ranks with a spirit of emulation difficult to surpass. On 9th August his balloon was attacked by an aeroplane and shot down in flames. Lt. Col. MacNeece parachuted but received serious injuries when landing.’

After the First World War he was appointed to a number of positions in the Air Ministry and in 1926 he was the British Government’s representative at the League of Nations. He also held positions in Washington D.C. and in China. At the beginning of the Second World War he promoted pilot development by using old aeroplane fusilages for the training of pilots. He also promoted the concept in aviation that the second pilot on a plane should be replaced by a flight engineer.

Illness in Kilkenny Hits Local Newspaper

The Kilkenny Journal was badly affected by staff shortages with virtually all of the staff struck down. As a result, the management had to make the newspaper smaller.

Sporting Fixture Postponed

The hurling final between Wexford and Limerick was postponed ‘because of illness of some of the Wexford players.’

Funerals at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin

It was reported that before noon there had been fifty burials in the cemetery, many attributed to the influenza epidemic. At least forty burials were expected to take place the following day.

Revolutionary Council Established in Bavaria

In Munich Kurt Eisner was involved in the establishment of the ‘Constitutional Soldiers’ and Peasants Council’ which declared Bavaria to be a republic.

Ultimatum by Social Democrats in Germany

German Social Democrats placed the following items as ‘demands ‘before the Reichstag.

‘Workers, Party comrades! The peace is secured-in a few hours the Armistice will take effect.

Let there be no rash acts now which will revive the spilling of blood that has ended on the battlefields! The Social Democratic Party will do its utmost to see that your demands are fulfilled.

For this purpose, the Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Party and the Social Democratic fraction have place the following demands before the Reichstag.

Lifting of the ban against meetings.

Directions to the police and military to use the utmost circumspection.

Abdication of the Kaiser and the Crown prince before Friday noon.

Strengthening of Social Democratic influence in the Government.

Reorganisation of the Prussian ministry to conform with the majority principle of the Reichstag.

If no satisfactory reply is received by Friday noon, The Social Democratic Party shall withdraw from the government.’

Anglo-French Statement of Aims in Syria and Mesopotamia

This statement was issued by the British Embassy in Washington.

‘The aim of France and Great Britain and in carrying on in the Near East the war let loose by German ambitions is the complete and final liberation of the people so long oppressed by the Turks and the establishment of governments and administrations deriving their authority from the initiative and the free choice of the native populations.

In view of flowing out this intention, France and Great Britain are agreed to encourage and help the establishment of native governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia liberated by the Allies, and in the territories, they are now striving to liberate, and to recognise them as a soon as effectively established.

Far from seeking to force the populations of these countries any particular institution, France and Great Britain have no other concern than to ensure by their support and their active assistance the normal working of the governments and institutions which the populations shall have freely adopted, so as to secure just impartiality for all, and also to facilitate the economic development of the country in arousing and encouraging local initiative by the diffusion of instruction, and to put to an end discords which have too long been taken advantage by the Turkish side. Such is the role that the two Allied Governments claim for themselves in the liberated territories.’

Call for Increased Salaries for Doctors in Ireland

A report in the Cork Examiner and other newspapers made reference to a speech by a Dr. Hennessy the Medical Secretary of the Irish and British Medical Association, calling for salary reform in the health service. ‘I have had letters from doctors all over Ireland who say that they are run off their feet. They are trying to do their work while suffering themselves. Their miserable salaries absolutely preclude them from providing the necessary locomotive means to cope with the ravage of the disease, and that as a result of all three causes people are dying from want of assistance.’

The Capital’s Health Authorities Issue Positive Statement

A statement was issued by the health authorities in Dublin which declared that ‘the ‘flu epidemic is abating.’

Fear in County Waterford

In the community in Dungarvan there was so much fear of contracting influenza that the tradition of laying the coffin overnight in the church was suspended. It was also reported that in village of Kilmacthomas that influenza was reported as being ‘very virulent.’

A Butcher’s Advertisement

A butcher placed the following advertisement in the Irish News. ‘Defy the ‘Flu. Finlay’s Meat Costs Less Than the Doctor.’

Orbituary in Local Paper

Thomas Bovaird served as a private in the Manitoba Regiment and he was killed on 8th November 1917. On the first anniversary of his death in 1918 his sister and brother-in-law Elizabeth and Richard Williams of 4 Kennedy Street had the following lines inserted in a local newspaper.

‘He sleeps not in his native land,
But under foreign skies;
Far away from those who loved him;
In a hero’s grave he lies.’

9th November

A Day of Political Turmoil in Germany, Kaiser Abdicates and Flees to Holland

Chancellor Max von Baden unilaterally announced the abdication of the Kaiser. From a balcony in Central Berlin Karl Liebknecht declared the formation of a Free Socialist Republic. He may have initially planned to declare a Soviet Republic. He concluded,’ The old and the rotten, the monarchy has collapsed. The new may live. Long live The German Republic.’

Two hours later from a balcony on the Reichstag, Philipp Scheidemann announced the creation of a Free Socialist Republic.

Revolution Spreads across Germany

Revolution was in the air as across the county revolutionary councils were established. In the capital Berlin fifteen people were killed in street disturbances. Large companies were hit by a general strike, workers’ and soldiers’ councils were formed and important buildings were occupied.

Diary Record of British Cabinet Meeting

The Chief of The Imperial General Staff Sir Henry Wilson recorded in his diary,’ Cabinet meeting tonight. L.G. ( Lloyd George ) read two telegrams from the Tiger ( Clemenceau) in which he described Foch’s interview with the Germans. The Tiger is afraid that Germany may collapse and Boshevism gain control. L.G. asked me if I wanted this to happen or if I did not prefer an armistice. Without hesitation I replied ‘armistice.’ The whole cabinet agreed with me’.

Kilkenny Hit by Spanish Flu

This town was one of the worst hit by influenza in 1918.A plea for action was printed in the Kilkenny People. ‘In numerous cases entire families are lying stricken in their own wretched homes, sometimes three and four inmate occupying a single, small, ill-ventilated room. It is surely a time when some public and concerted effort should be made to mitigate the plight of these sorely harassed people. Money should be forthcoming and will be forthcoming if the necessary steps are taken to raise it in Kilkenny, as has been done in Clonmel and other places whose plight is not worse than Kilkenny’s.’

Influenza in North Dublin Irish Times Calls for Medical Reform

The Irish Times reported that Howth in North Dublin was a centre for sickness, with several hundred ill.’ The newspaper went on to call for changes in the health system.’ There is urgent need of health reform. If a Ministry of Health Bill had been put in operation a year ago, it is almost certain that the epidemic of influenza would not have reached such serious proportions. With no central coordination, local health authorities were quite unprepared to combat the disease when it broke out.’

Influenza, Effects in County Meath and County Wicklow

An article in the Meath Chronicle reported on the effect on influenza on the railways. ‘In Navan the second wave of influenza has had dire effects among railway staff, with practically all porters and checkers on the passenger platform stricken.’

Bray Urban District Council embarked on a plan to control the spread of influenza by disinfecting houses, cleaning lanes drains and sewers. Meanwhile Westport Urban District Council made the decision to lime wash houses and remove manure heaps, stating that these measures ‘would be the best means to adopt to cope with the present epidemic of influenza.’

The chairman of Arklow Council made a statement about cleanliness in the town. He said that public thoroughfares needed cleaning up. Also, a local sewer needed to be cleared out immediately ‘as we cannot be too careful, for if the present epidemic goes ahead in the town we do not know where it will end.’ Attention had been drawn by local residents to an ashpit ‘which during the present time of sickness is dangerous and it should be removed.’

Influenza, Health Crisis in County Mayo

A report from Claremorris Union spoke about difficult conditions for health workers, with one doctor attending eight hundred cases over a short period of time.

Shortage of Coffins in the North West, many Families Wiped Out

A report carried by the Derry People and Donegal News said that in the region there was a shortage of coffins and hearses, with bodies mounting up in mortuaries and funeral homes. The paper also commented, ‘Several members of the same family are being buried in the same grave.’

Criticism by Strabane Urban District Council and a Doctor in Omagh

At a meeting of the council members were struck by the lack of initiative demonstrated by the Local Government Board during the epidemic.’ In other outbreaks, the L. G.B. wrote to us to see what was being done, but in this case there is not a word from them.’ Dr. E.C. Thompson wrote to the Omagh Board of Guardians about the spread of influenza. .’ So far as I know nothing is being done to mitigate or control its severity. The government should be able to establish a well-equipped hospital camp near Omagh and send nurses.’

Communications Disrupted in County Mayo

A report in the Mayo News spoke of communications difficulties in Claremorris. The clerk of Claremorris Union informed the Board of Guardians that ‘there has been great delay in telegraphing due to the epidemic. A wire sent from here to Tuam was delayed for four hours as there was only one man in Tuam to receive the message.’

Bray and County Wicklow, R.I.C. Statement

A report carried in the Wicklow People by the local R.I.C. referred to difficulties with health care. ‘The large number of fatal cases are due to inadequate hospital care and attendance and it is further proof that there is the need of better healthcare provision in the area.’

Derry Journal Sunday Schools Forced to Close

Due to influenza, many Sunday Schools across Ulster and in the city were forced to close’ in consequence of the prevalence of the malady.’

Doctors and Clergy Tend to the Sick and Dying in County Cork

In the Cork Examiner a local councillor spoke of the dedication of not only doctors but priests in face of the epidemic. ‘Not only doctors but priests were kept busy the whole day long and they had hardly time to take their meals. I met a priest one night who said that he had eleven sick calls to make.’

Panic Reported in Sligo and Galway

There were reports from the two towns that many people were going to chemist ‘shops to purchase disinfectants.

St. Vincent de Paul Assists ‘flu Victims

It was reported in Freeman’s Journal that branches of the organisation across Ireland were ‘providing much needed assistance to ‘flu-stricken families. Their conviction is that the relief of the poor is the first of Christian duties.’ In Thurles, the visiting committees were instructed to visit every house in the district.

Irish Volunteers and Cumann na mBan Carry out Assistance

In the same newspaper it was reported that in Cork these two organisations ‘were helping the people immensely. When an entire household became Ill or were otherwise handicapped, units from each organisation took over the duties of nursing, heating and food supply until the family was on its feet again, and where necessary they helped to coffin and bury the dead.’

Loss of Wicklow Council Staff

Mr. Doyle of the council informed the gathering of recent losses due to influenza. ‘Since our last meeting it has pleased God to visit us with a severe epidemic. This has brought home to us very forcibly as today we have to mourn the loss of two most amiable, good and trustworthy officials. In the chairman’s reply he added,’ It is very sad to have these two men taken away in the prime of life. God’s will be done.’

Effects of Influenza in Tipperary

The Tipperary Star referred to ‘the ‘flu plague,’ and it went on to highlight the paper’s concern ‘with the terrible toll in Clonmel.’ With regard to the town of Tipperary itself, the newspaper reported that ‘in the town and district the plague has caused within the space of a few days five or six deaths.’

10th November

Cabinet Meeting, London, Churchill and the Fear of Boshevism

At this meeting Churchill stressed what he thought should be the Allies new priority, which was to support Germany after the conflict. ‘ We might have to build up the German army as it is important to get Germany on her legs again in the fear of the spread of Bolshevism.’

At about this time in a post-conflict world Britain was preparing to carve up the Russian Empire into spheres of influence. Britain also considered controlling oil-rich places such as the Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia and Kurdistan. In this situation France had aspirations to control the Ukraine and Crimea with their valuable coal and iron mines.

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

Robert H. Hall served as a lance corporal in the North Irish Horse.

11th November

Armistice Signed

This was signed at five o’clock in the morning. About a quarter of a million Irishmen had served in the Great War and over thirty-five thousand had paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Over one hundred thousand Scots had been killed, which represented 10% of the male population between the ages of sixteen and fifty. About a quarter of a million Irishmen had enlisted and about thirty five thousand had been killed. Across the British Isles, three quarters of a million had been killed, a quarter of a million seriously disabled and an estimated sixty thousand suffered from shell shock.

German Condemnation of Harsh Terms

After signing the armistice document, the German representative Matthias Erzberger condemned the harshness of the terms. He declared, ‘A nation of seventy million can suffer, but it cannot die.’

Erzberger was never forgiven by the far right in Germany and an article declared,’ He may be as round as a bullet, but he is not bullet proof.’ Matthias Erzberger was assassinated when out walking on 16th August 1921. The successor to his Catholic Centre Party in Germany is today’s Christian Democratic Union.

Reaction in Dublin

At the news of the Armistice people flocked onto the streets of Dublin. Students from Trinity College commandeered a hearse and it they placed an effigy of the Kaiser, wrapped in a tricolour.

Czech Leader’s View

Commenting on the war, the Czech leader said,’ The war has turned Europe into a laboratory atop a vast graveyard.’

Last ‘Tommy’ to Be Killed in the Great War

At half past nine in the morning George Ellison was killed.

Last French Soldier to Be Killed in The Great War

Marshal Foch believed that the Germans were reluctant to sign the Armistice so he ordered an attack across the Meuse. Augustin Trebuchon was a messenger and was killed at 10.45, just fifteen minutes before the armistice came into place. In his hand was the message, ‘Muster at 11.30 for food.’

Last Soldier on Either Side to Be Killed

Henry Gunter served in an infantry division in the United States army. The armistice had been signed at five o’clock in the morning. Gunter’s squad came across a German road block but against orders, Henry Gunter attacked German lines and was killed at 10.59.

Canadian Soldier Killed at 10.57

While on patrol, Canadian Private Lawrence Price had been involved in house searches. He was shot by a German sniper but despite the efforts of a young Belgian nurse he died at 10.57, the last soldier of the British Empire to be killed in the First World War.

The Armistice and Germany

Conditions of the armistice stated that ‘the areas on the left bank of the Rhine shall be administered by the local authorities, under the control of the occupation troops of the Allies and the United States Armies of Occupation. The American Expeditionary Force was under the command of General John Persing. About a quarter of a million American troops were soon based in part of Germany which had a local population of just under one million people. At about the same time, 50,000 American troops were sent to occupy Luxembourg.

The Armistice Reported in the New York Times

‘WITH THE AMERICAN ARMY IN FRANCE, Nov. 11. They stopped fighting at eleven o’clock this morning. In a twinkling, four years of killing and massacre stopped as if God had swept His omnipotent finger across the scene of world carnage and had cried ‘Enough.’

WITH THE BRITISH ARMIES IN FRANCE, Nov 11- ‘Last night, for the first time since August in the first year of the war, there was no light of gunfire in the sky no sudden stabs of flame through darkness, no spreading glow above black trees where for four years of nights human beings were smashed to death. The Fires of Hell have been put out.’

Irish Volunteers Raid on Cork Gaol

Denis McNelis was born in Glencolumbcille in County Donegal and was an electrical engineer by trade. In 1916 while working in Ford’s plant in Cork he enlisted in the Volunteers there. Two years later he was appointed an officer in Cork City Brigade. A party of R.I.C men were sent to arrest him and in a fierce gun battle one of the policemen was seriously wounded.

While awaiting trial a team of Irish Volunteers decided to get him out of prison. They successfully made their way to the front gate and there the rescue team made off in haste. They left Denis McNelis behind who fled the scene on bicycle. After a short time in the United States Denis McNelis returned to County Donegal and played an active role there in attacks on the Crown forces. In Donegal he was known locally as Sean Murray.

Polish Organisations for Independence

Polish organisations in the German Empire again put forward proposals in which they declare that they wish to create an independent Polish state.

Refection on the First World War

In Bill Gammage’s ‘Broken Years’, written in 1974, he reflects on the First World War. ‘There never was greater tragedy than The First World War. It engulfed an age and conditioned the time which followed. It contaminated every ideal for which it was waged, and it threw up waste and horror worse than all the evils it sought to avert.’

Impact of United States Forces in the South-west Approaches

With support from ships and flying boats from the United States and the Royal Navy, over eighteen thousand ships and two million United States troops had been safely escorted through the Southern Approaches.

United States Flying Boats in Ireland

At the time of the Armistice, there were seven seaplanes based at Ture, which had taken part in sixty flights and had covered over 11,000 miles of ocean. At Ture there were based twenty officers and over four hundred personnel.

In all of the flying boat bases in Ireland at the time of the Armistice were based forty-three seaplanes which had taken part in almost two hundred and fifty flights and had travelled almost 50,000 miles. Across Ireland in the various American seaplane bases there were 132 officers and 2663 other personnel.

County Cork Towns Instigate Anti-Influenza Measures

Macroom Urban District Council set in motion’ very laudable and desirable measures in an attempt to mitigate the suffering and distress consequent upon the ravages of the influenza epidemic amongst the poorer classes.’

The chairman of the council assisted with the establishment of a fund to aid the destitute and sick. Sub-committees were formed and members visited different parts of the district, providing ‘suitable articles of dietary and physical attendance where whole families are incapacitated.’

In Youghal a member of the Urban District Council went into the countryside ‘to arrange with certain farmers to send milk into the town for sale and distribution among the poor.’

County Wicklow Rent Collector Requests Leave of Absence

In Rathdrum the rent collector asked to be allowed to ‘refrain from collecting cottage rents as I fear I might carry the infection home to my family.’

Independence Mission from Phillipines to United States

The Philippine Legislature authorised the sending of a commission to the United States. The resolution read,’ The special task of the Commission during its stay in the United States will be endeavour by every means in its power to advance the excellent relations and mutual confidence now existing between the Americans and the Pilipino people and to encourage the further development of the commercial relations between both countries on a broad liberal and permanent foundation.’

12th November

Peace Poem in Local Newspaper

The flowing poem was published in the Londonderry Sentinel, entitled ‘Peace.’

‘Hark it comes the news of Peace!
Glad tidings borne with lightning speed.
O’er land Neath ocean’s rolling flood,
To island homes made glad, indeed.

And silence falls, for hearts are full,
And tears can hardly be restrained;
For joy has depths. As well as grief
And tears in either are contained.

And from the old cathedral tower
The bells clang out with joyful sound,
Sending the news of peace assured
On wings of wind the country round.

Thank God for peace! And what of those
Home victims of wars sorry spoil.
Whose treasures lie, like buried gold
Of priceless worth in France’s soil.

My comfort come to them, and peace-
Such comfort as they only know
Who cast their case on God –and peace
That Christ himself can still bestow.
And as we bless His Holy name,
For those departed ones we love,
We ask for grace to follow them
In the good fight and conquerors prove.

So, when the day of Peace shall come,
When earth’s long struggle shall be o’er,
We and our loved and lost may meet
In happiness-to part no more!’

Damage to Culmore Road, Construction of American Base in County Donegal

The Londonderry Sentinel reported on the effect that construction traffic was having on the Culmore Road.’Owing to the extraordinary traffic between Derry City and the U.S.A. Naval Service Depot at Ture, the first-class road between the city boundary and the county boundary on the Derry-Moville road has been seriously damaged through its entire length which is 1370 perches. The extra traffic has consisted mainly of heavy motor vessels conveying construction materials of various kinds for use at the Air Service Depot. The County Surveyor advised that the rural council should be authorised to spend £50 on temporary repairs.’

Some Wartime Restrictions Withdrawn

With the ending of the war, several wartime restrictions were withdrawn. ‘Masks on street lights may be removed, normal shading of lights in houses and shops may be withdrawn. Military authorities will give permission for displays of fireworks and bonfires. The restrictions on ringing of bells and the striking of public lights at night are withdrawn.’

General Election Called in United Kingdom

Lloyd George called a general election to be held in December. He sought a mandate to punish the Kaiser personally and to make Germany pay for the whole cost of the war. Known as the ‘Khaki Election,’ he said that he sought to make Britain a happier place,’ a country fit for heroes to live in.’

Poland a Council of Peoples’ Representatives

This body held a meeting at the end of which they published a programme for democratic and social government.

Influenza and the Young

An article in the Cork Examiner noted, ‘This is one of the peculiar features of the epidemic, its ability to destroy youth in its full bloom.’

Medics under Strain in Dublin

It was reported in the Irish Times that doctors and nurses ‘have their hands full in this formidable epidemic carried off two thousand four hundred and eighteen, resulting in the highest death rates since registration began. ‘Cork Street Hospital was the worst affected.

Donegal Priests Dedication to his Congregation

About this time Father Phil Boyle served as parish priest in Glencolumbcille. He attended to ill parishioners across his parish, cycling in the morning as far as Malinbeg to anoint the dying. He would return at about midday to his home bathed in sweat to change his clothes. In the afternoon he would be off to another part of his parish.

12th November

Local Man Lose His Life in the Great War

Marcus E Dinsmore served as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

United States Ships in Escort Duty in St. George’s Channel

The United States store ship Bath sailed from Queenstown and it was escorted by USS Sterett and USS Beale. The USS Bath was previously the German built Dutch freighter Andromeda which had been seized by U.S. customs officials in New Orleans in April 1917. She was deployed to take cargo from the United States to Europe.

13th November

British Soldiers Mutiny in England

At Shoreham, soldiers marched out of camp after a major had pushed a man up to his thighs in mud.

Cases of Influenza in Sligo Town

Freeman’s Journal reported that cases of influenza had been reported in the town. One week later over one hundred cases were reported. The paper also reported that ether was now a second wave of influenza spreading from towns to villages and rural areas across Ireland.

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

John Doherty served as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

14th November

General Election

Two years before the end of the war the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers Association was established in Blackburn after a meeting and was initially linked with the labour and trade union movement. The NADSS put forward a number of candidates in the General Election. Four groups associated with ex-servicemen came together in May 1921 to form the Royal British Legion.

Immediate Military Response to Shoreham Mutiny

Following the humiliating treatment of a soldier at Shoreham which was followed by soldiers marching out of the camp, a soldier from North Shields wrote about what happened next. ‘The day after the walk-out the general came down and formed us into three sides of a square. He drove his motor car into the centre, read the Army Act out and then invited any man to step out and go to work if he liked. I myself was made to fall out on the right by myself. You can imagine my feelings, as being an old soldier of over twenty year’s service. Of course, I knew the consequences of my act. But I never saw such loyal men in my life. Not one man moved. I could hear the sergeants in the rear of the men telling them to stand by me, and it was as well as they did, as I would have got ten years or so. The following morning one thousand of us were demobbed, my name at the head of the list, and one thousand of us every week afterwards.’

Fearing rebellion by soldiers at home and on the continent, the military authorities acted immediately. Perceived ringleaders were arrested and if this did not control the situation they were demobbed. The aim of this was to strengthen the power of the authorities of those remaining soldiers. At the same time all publicity of insurrection was supressed.

The War-Time Coalition

The Labour Party left the government.

Masaryk Elected President of Czecholslavakia

While in New York, Thomas Masaryk was elected president.

15th November

The First Prisoners of War Return to France

The first of these arrived at the French port of Calais.

Attendances at Church of Ireland Services

In the Church of Ireland Gazette it was reported that ‘several parishes witnessed a drift in maintaining services.’

Influenza in Cork, Pressure in Hospitals

A report in the Cork Examiner highlighted the pressure that there was in the health service in the county. The governor of Clonmel Borstal was asked to explain to the General Prisons Board why the borstal was being used as an aid centre. He explained that ‘upwards of two thousand inhabitants were incapacitated by the influenza epidemic, in many instances among the poorer classes’ He went on to say that ‘whole families have been laid low many from want of nourishment and fuel. The medical men cannot get around all the cases. Every nurse available is at work and the deaths have been considerable. Local relief works have saved the lives of several who had neither food or coal, or the ability to wait upon themselves.’

County Donegal Woman Recalls Influenza

In 2003 an elderly resident of Lifford recalled the effects of influenza on the town. In the interview, Molly Deery said,’ It hit very hard and the people were very fearful and frightened of it. You see the people had no idea what caused it. I am not sure of the exact number of victims as we didn’t read the papers in them times. However, I remember it was a terrible, terrible ‘flu and people were told to keep to one side of the road if a house had it.’

16th November

Conflict Looms in the Baltic

The government in Estonia called for voluntary mobilisation as the country’s leaders were fearful of a Russian invasion.

Influenza in County Galway

An article in the Connacht Tribune said that ‘around Tuam a sad feature of the epidemic is that the majority of victims are young men.’

Influenza in Derry

In an article in the Derry Journal it reported on conditions in the workhouse saying that ‘because of the large number of patients the medical officer suggests that an apothecary be appointed to visit the institution daily to mix and prepare the necessary medicines for the sick.’

Local Store Announces ‘Great Victory Sale’

Austin’s in the Diamond announced the start of what was described as its ‘Great Victory Sale.’ The advertisement declared. ‘The war is over; the Victory is won. We can with pleasure look every man straight in the face because we have done our duty and the best in our power to win it.’

Drastic Measures by Board of Guardians in County Roscommon

In Boyle there were fears by those in authority that the military were responsible for the spread of influenza. The Board of Guardians erected a fence to separate patients and hospital workers from the military who were stationed in the main building. This fence was to be fortified with barbed wire.

Support for Influenza Victims in County Tipperary

In Clonmel the corporation had issued supplies of milk to affected homes. There was praise in the press for their positive action, saying that this ‘was a great boon in light of the fact that death in some instances was due to sheer poverty and neglect. The local paper went on to say that in Clonmel there was ‘a collaborate effort between volunteers and officials,’ and ‘that if it were not for the efforts of the neighbours and charitable visitors who nursed the sick and procured food and fuel, the number of deaths would undoubtedly have been considerably larger, especially in the poorer quarters.’

Fear of Contagion from Influenza

A report in the Cork County Eagle and Munster Advertiser claimed that people in the area were shunning the sick and avoiding going to the wake of an ill relative or neighbour. In County Mayo there were reports that the relative of ‘flu victims had been refused service in a local shop.

‘People Will Remember The ‘Flu’

A writer in the Tipperary Star claimed that the outbreak of influenza would be remembered for a long time. ‘By all those who lived through it, the plague will long be remembered, but particularly by those who on its account mourn the loss of those who were nearest and dearest to them in life.’

The Wealthy and Medical Care

The Wicklow People reported that in the locality ‘the middle and upper classes have the resources to pay for immediate care and attention with the best medical skill and the chances of recovery are maximised through medical skill and devoted care.’ In the Meath Chronicle it was reported that ‘better-off country families can offer to pay for the constant care and skill of a doctor and nurse.’

Religious Retreat Cancelled in County Sligo

Reported in Freeman’s Journal, a religious retreat at the village of Keash near the town of Ballymote was cancelled ‘owing to the epidemic making its appearance.’

Dedication to the ill and Dying in Castlebar, Westport and Tipperary

A report in the Mayo News paid tribute to the pastoral care of priests in the area. Mr. Collins of the Board of Guardians in Castlebar said,’ Since the epidemic has broke out, the Castlebar priests have been making as many as a dozen visits a day to the workhouse, infirmary and hospital. They are often called at the dead hours of the night to attend to the poor creatures and prepare them for eternity. In Westport the clergy ‘provided spiritual and where necessary material help and consolation to all those stricken down. In Tipperary, clergymen worked alongside doctors and nurses ‘with untiring energy and zeal.’

Political Event called off in County Cavan

A meeting in East Cavan of the United Irish League Convention was postponed ‘owing to the number of deaths in the district and the prevailing malady in the constituency.’

Enniscorthy Family, Four Children perish in A Few Days

A man called Michael Dempsey returned home from the funerals of two daughters to discover that a son had just died, all as a result of influenza. Three days later he lost another son to the epidemic.

Doctors Report on the Health Crisis

A Dr. Smith informed the Claremorris Union that he had ‘attended eight hundred cases in his district.’ From the village of Dripsey close to Cork City a Dr. Ryan sent an urgent message to the Board of Guardians.’ There is widespread sickness and it is too demanding for one doctor.’ In Dunganstown in County Wexford Dr. Garland noted that there was difficulty in obtaining medicines and also added,’ One of the greatest scandals is the difficulty in obtaining milk in places.’

Health Difficulties in Wexford

The People reported a statement from the clerk of New Ross Board of Guardians. ‘The number on the sick list is the largest I have ever known there. ‘The newspaper estimated that there were about one and a half thousand cases in the county.

The Effect of Influenza and the Volunteers

Thomas Treacy recalled that about this time the impact of influenza was noted in volunteer activity. ‘When the Big ‘Flu was raging in the country, there was practically no volunteer work done while the epidemic lasted. Volunteers who died were given military funerals.’

Death of Leading Volunteer in County Wicklow

The passing of James Sinnott due to influenza was reported in the Wicklow News. He had served as the drill instructor in the Wicklow Corps. He had been involved when the Volunteers were established here. The paper also reported that ‘other Volunteers suffered long-term physical damage.’

17th November

Influenza Victims in Galway

It was reported that in the village of Barna, now in the suburbs of Galway, that there were sixteen funerals in the space of ten days.

Letters to and From Republican Prisoners on Conditions

A lady called Dora French wrote to Peter Hourihane who was imprisoned in Birmingham. ‘Do not get the ‘flu, we can think and talk of nothing else here now, and the Gaels have suffered badly’.

From Holloway Prison Countess Markievicz wrote, ‘In jail we are safer from ‘flu than outside. There is nothing in our condition now to make us ill, large windows to cells and hot pipes. Authorities have provided us with unite decent winter clothes.’

From Usk Prison in Wales, Tadg Barry wrote,’ There are nine of us altogether down with the pestilence. We will consider ourselves lucky to go home now at all.’

18th November

The Epidemic in County Cork

The Cork Examiner noted that in the town of Macroom ‘young men in the vigour of early manhood were stricken down, shrouding many a homestead in darkness and desolation.’ It continued,’ the past fortnight has been one of all-prevading gloom in the parish of Macroom. In numerous cases the families afflicted have had to mourn the loss not only of one of their members, but of two or more. In the early portion of last week, the people of the town and district are generally terror-stricken with appalling results of the malady. At night the main thoroughfares of the town were completely deserted, the people shunned the streets and remained indoors and every fresh crop of fatal cases added to the nervousness and dread of the people. Wakes and funerals have been sparsely attended, and while the people generally have behaved humanely, in some cases there has been and uncharitable reluctance to offer assistance when it might have saved life.’

Social Breakdown across Ireland

In fear of the spread of influenza, wakes were banned in places as far apart as Mitchelstown, Newry and Enniscorthy.

19th November

Surrendered German Fleet Sails into North Sea

After negotiations, the German fleet which was comprised of nine battleships, five battlecruisers, seven cruisers and fifty destroyers sailed into the North Sea for a rendezvous of surrender with the Royal Navy.

Victory Event in the Guildhall

The Londonderry Sentinel carried an advertisement for a social occasion in the Guildhall. It said,’ Don’t forget the great victory whist drive and dance in the Guildhall.

Londonderry Corporation Meeting and Influenza

At a meeting of the corporation discussion took place on the possible use of Gwynn’s Institute in Brooke Park for ‘flu victims. One councillor suggested that as the ‘flu epidemic was abating that some of the rooms in the building could be used for ‘uncomplicated cases.’ He added a note of caution that some in the city could view the use of Gwynn’s Institute could make it appear that Brooke Park could become a centre for the disease.

20th November

First German U-boat Surrenders

Surrendered German submarines began to assemble at Harwich. Thirty-nine surrendered here.

Buncrana, Assistance for the Needy

It was reported in the Derry Journal that ‘when fuel and milk for the poor were almost improcurable, it was through the agency of the medical authorities and the spiritual director that milk was collected daily from outlying districts from those who could help.’

Londonderry Corporation, Call for Action

At a meeting of the corporation, a doctor proposed that the necessary steps should be taken to prepare rooms in Gwyn’s Institution for the reception and treatment of influenza cases.’

Influenza Crisis in Wexford Town

In a report in The People it stated that in the town of Wexford influenza counted for almost one in four deaths. It added,’ The corporation is not organising a fund for the poor and not trying to make a plentiful supply of milk available for them.’ The article went on to criticise the corporation’s inactivity especially ‘when so many people are laid low by the cruel epidemic of influenza.’

Cork Examiner Reports on Priest’s Statement

In Mitchelstown Rev. Ahern reprimanded his congregation for lack of consideration of those suffering in the epidemic.’ Some of the things I have heard have shown anything but Christian feeling, and even made me feel ashamed of being an Irishman.’

HMS Olympic Escorted Back to Home Waters

The Olympic was escorted to Southampton by the Queenstown- based USS Rowan, USS Wilkes, USS Beale.

21st November

German Fleet Sails into British Waters to Surrender

Almost two hundred ships of the Royal Navy, accompanied by five ships from the United States and three French warships met the surrendered German fleet. The event was witnessed by a reporter from the Times as the German ships approached. ‘Between the lines came the Germans, led by the Cardiff, and looking like all the world like a school of Leviathans led by a minnow. Over them flew a British naval airship. First came the cruisers, led by the Seydlitz.

The correspondent continued,’ The annals of naval warfare hold no parallel to the memorable event which has been my privilege to witness today. It was the passing of a whole fleet, and it marked the final and ignoble abandonment of a vain, glorious challenge to the naval supremacy of Britain.’

Message off the Isle of May to German Fleet

A message was sent by Sir David Beatty, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet to the German Navy.’ The German flag will be hauled down at sunset today and will not be hoisted again without permission.’

Women to Be Elected to Parliament

An act was passed in the Commons which gave women over the age of twenty-one to stand for Parliament.

Influenza, a Link with Returning Soldiers?

In the Irish Independent, Dr. Kathleen Lynn expressed her views on the link between returning soldiers and the influenza epidemic. She believed that returning soldiers should be closely monitored for signs that they might be carrying influenza. ‘In my opinion men returning from the Front should be quarantined until they are certified all right before being allowed to mix with the population. At the very least, their clothes should be sterilised, because very often infection is carried in clothes.’

Kilkenny People, Trade Disruption

In this newspaper it was reported that Clonmel was ‘the most seriously hit of provincial centres, with business practically paralysed.’

Newspaper Obituaries on Influenza Victims

The King’s County Chronicle and many papers across Ireland had obituaries to those who had succumbed to influenza. Words used included, time lost,’ promise unfulfilled,’ premature’, ‘untimely,’ at an early age,’ barely in the prime of life,’ unexpected tidings,’ painful surprise.’

Royal Naval Charity Event at Buncrana

The Londonderry Sentinel carried an advertisement for a ‘fancy fair ‘in the town. It was to be in aid of the ‘Naval and Merchantile Marine Charity’ and the event was to be held in the Trafalgar Sailors’ Rest on 28th and 29th. On the first day I attendance would be the United States Air Force Service String Band with kind permission of Captain McKettrick of the United States Navy. On the second day in attendance would be the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

Rank and File

The local newspaper published information on war casualties in this column.

Lance Corporal P.Doherty who had served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers had died in hospital in France from wounds received in action. His wife resides in Bridge Street.

Mrs. Dougherty of Florence Street had received notification that her son Private Robert Dougherty, Royal Engineers, had been admitted to military hospital in Manchester. He had been wounded in both hands.

Mrs. Frances Rankin of Pine Street had received a letter from an army chaplain notifying the death in action of her husband Corporal W.J. Rankin, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

The Palace Picture House, Advertisement on Influenza

The following advertisement appeared in the Londonderry Sentinel. ‘The management of the Picture House have taken every precaution to obliviate any danger there might be in consequence of the now happily decreasing illness in the city. The Palace, in addition to being admirably ventilated is disinfected daily with a powerful disinfectant and it is a noteworthy fact that not a single member of the staff has had a day’s illness.’

Concern over Walls Daubed with Paint

At a time of political tension in the city, it was noted in the Londonderry Sentinel that political slogans had been painted on a wall in the city. The article declared,’ At the stone steps leading to Messrs. Jones and Lowther’s Laundry, on the gable wall of the Alexander Memorial Cottages and on a wall at Stanley’s Walk, walls have been daubed with paint setting forth Sinn Fein motives. The silly method of injuring property will be condemned by respectable citizens. The police are understood to have traced the source from which the paint was obtained.’

Local Great War Fatality

John Gordon served as a private in the Machine Gun Corps.

22nd November

Victims of Leinster Tragedy Laid To rest

Two victims of the sinking of the Leinster were washed up on the Scottish coast. Lieutenant George Crawford from Foxrock in County Dublin who had served in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers was buried in Kircudbrightshire. Private Philip O’Brien from fethard in County Tipperary was laid to rest in Portpatrick.

Medics in Belfast Unclear About Influenza

A report in the Belfast Telegraph reported on the views of doctors in the city.’ It is a remarkable fact which is puzzling the medical profession, that although most of the patients die as a result of pneumonia, the symptoms of the disease generally do not develop until after death.’

23rd November

Influenza Outbreak in a County Sligo Town

The Connacht Tribute reported that there were twenty-four cases of influenza in the town of Ballymote.

Report from a County Galway Town

Mr. J. O’Loughlin Loughrea’s town commissioner spoke of ‘the awful scourge which has brought grief and misery to so many houses in the country.’

Flu Victim’s Funerals Being Shunned

The Derry People and Donegal News and other Irish newspapers carried reports that some of the funerals of ‘flu victims were being shunned. However, there were still some very large funerals, with Irish society acknowledging and responding to death and grief, underlying the Irish respect for the dead.’

Dublin City’s Influenza’s ‘Hotspots.’

In Dublin the authorities believed that fevers and infections originated in particular locations. Two streets were named and they were described as ‘worthy of note ‘and ‘we frequently have cases of fever from these places.’ Many houses in the city centre were unflatteringly described as being ‘known fever nests’ and ‘fever houses.’

Kingstown Hospital Faces Heavy Demand for Services

St. Michael’s Hospital was put under enormous stress as it treated many influenza victims. One result of this was that the hospital was put heavily in debt. The Royal City of Dublin Hospital would not turn away influenza victims and was soon £12,000 in debt.

A Time of Sadness

The Tipperary Star reported that with the spread of influenza it was’ a time of sadness and emptiness. Towns had a mournful appearance, houses were closed up due to the death of an occupant or in sympathy with relatives.’

Postal Deliveries Suspended in Sligo

The Sligo Champion said that because of influenza among staff that ‘the temporary suspension of deliveries was unavoidable. ‘

Earl of Kenmare Calls for Suspension of Petty Sessions

Valentine Charles Browne, 5th Earl of Kenmare, Lord Lieutenant for County Kerry wrote to Dublin Castle advocating the suspension of petty sessions in his locality. His letter was published in the Connacht Tribune. ‘People are coming into the courts fresh from houses infected with the ‘flu. There is a danger of this spreading the disease. I will be glad to know if you would let me know if it is possible to arrange to suspend the petty sessions throughout this county until the end of the year.’

County Kildare, Volunteer Activity report by R.I.C.

A police report said that there had been a number of funerals for members of the Irish Volunteers. It continued,’ There has been no activity noticed among the Irish Volunteers at all, with most of its members ill with ’flu.’

Gaelic League and Influenza

An article in the Roscommon Herald reported that ‘the Gaelic League has suffered severely because of influenza.’

Fatalities in County Carlow Town

It had been reported that to date in November there had been thirty deaths in the town of Hacketstown, most of them being attributed to influenza. Half of the fatalities were children under the age of seven. Constable O’Halloran who was based in the town and his wife lost four of their five children in a week.

The Lancet, Medical Report on Influenza

The Lancet is a weekly general medical journal founded in 1823 and it is one of the oldest and best-known medical journals. Doctors who reported results from post mortems of influenza victims noted damage to the lungs and also bleeding of the liver.

‘flu Victims Ostracised in Wexford

It was reported that in Wexford’ in many country cabins whole families have been prostrated and the neighbours shun them, being fearful lest they become infected. Wexford Town faced a similar situation where ‘everyone appears to be afraid of catching the contagion.’

Reports of Negative Response from County Galway Town Commissioners

In was reported in the Connacht Tribune that the only response from the commissioners in Loughrea was ‘to pass a motion of sympathy with the families of victims of the awful scourge which has brought grief and misery to so many houses in the country.’

Advertisement for Support for Returning Prisoners of War

In the Londonderry Sentinel an advertisement was placed which called for information on returning prisoners of war. ‘Now that the glad day of reunion and homecoming is drawing near for the men who have endured the horrors and privations of the German prisoner of war camps, I would ask their friends to kindly let me know when they arrive home, as I am anxious to meet them.

Lily E. Anderson, Victoria Park

Graves to the Fallen

The Secretary of the War Office in a communication just issued, informs relatives of fallen officers and men that owing to the very large number of inquiries regarding the possibility of visiting war graves and cemeteries in France and abroad, that he very much regrets that it is not possible to reply to them individually. He wishes to make it known that at present and probably for some months to come it will be impossible owing to military reasons to make arrangements by which their visits could be permitted. It is desirable that any application on this subject or in regard to the location of individual graves should be made in writing.’

Another Military Cross for a Londonderry Man

It was reported in the Londonderry Sentinel that Captain R.G.Craig the eldest son of Mrs Craig of Asylum Road has been awarded the Military Cross for services in Palestine. Writing home, Captain Craig described spending six weeks in trenches in the Jordan Valley and then ‘going out over the top for the capture of a strong Turkish redoubt, El Baghalat.’ Two days later his regiment captured in the Darnia Bridge, in what was described ‘as a brilliant bayonet charge.’

24th November

A Doctor’s Comments on Influenza in Dublin

Dr. Kathleen Lynn was born in 1874 in County Mayo, the daughter of a Church of Ireland rector. In 1910 she became the first female doctor in Dublin’s Royal Victoria Hospital. She was involved in the suffragette movement and during the Easter Rising was the chief medical officer in the Irish Citizens Army, for which she was imprisoned in Kilmainham. Among the many women she treated for influenza was Mrs Cathal Brugha and in her diary Kathleen Lynn recorded that she had also treated many pregnant women who had contracted influenza.

Loss of Republican Activists Due to Influenza

John Cowell who had been a medical student at the time of the Easter Rising, wrote about losses in the Republican movement. ‘Members of Fianna na hEireann,Cumann namBan and the Gaelic League are falling victim to the virus. At this time, the Republican movement is losing many fine young men. Lacking resistance, they are not taking the opportunity to go to bed on time and many are dead within twenty-four hours.’

25th November

The Last Surrender of German Forces

General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck surrendered to the British in present day Tanzania.

26th November

War Cabinet on Seeking Retribution from Germany

At a meeting of this cabinet it was agreed to set up a committee to consider reparations. A popular slogan at the time in many newspapers declared,’ Make Germany Pay.’ The task of overseeing the work of this committee was given to William Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia.

Irish Regiment in France; Fear of Influenza

The 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards were on the long march home across France. It was reported that they ‘had to forsake rest stops’ and that ‘they dare not stop at Sorinne-La-Longue as it was described as ‘a place infected with influenza.’

28th November

Official Abdication of the Kaiser

In his abdication Wilheim II said,’ I hereby renounce for all time claims to the throne of Prussia and to the German Imperial throne connected there with. At the same time, I release all officials of the German Empire and of Prussia, as well as all officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the navy and of the Prussian army, as well as the troops of the federal states of Germany, from the oath of fidelity which they tendered to me as their Emperor, King and Commander-in-Chief. I expect of them that until the re-establishment of order in the German Empire they shall render assistance to those in actual power in Germany, in protecting the German people from the threatening dangers of anarchy, famine and foreign rule.’

Kaiser Wilheim signed documents making his abduction official.

Russian Invasion of Estonia

A relatively small Russian army of under ten thousand troops invaded Estonia.

Political Views in Crumlin Road

J. NcGee who was a prisoner in Crumlin Road reflected on the electoral success of Sin Fein. ‘The electoral victories vindicate the prisoners’ demands for political recognition. If they try to keep us any longer we will make it hot for them.’

Family Wiped Out in King’ s County, A Doctor Replies to Criticism

A report in the King’s County Chronicle reported that in the town of Durrow ‘an entire family succumbed, consisting of father, son and daughter.’ The paper also published a letter in response to a claim of negligence from a patient’s family. ‘It is difficult for persons unacquainted with the conditions of the recent ‘flu epidemic to realise the enormity of the work thrown on medical men. My ordinary work was during that time, increased twenty-fold. I worked my best and longest and if anybody had not received the full attention they were entitled to in normal times I cannot help it.’

Unusual Items Requisitioned in County Galway

In Portumna the Local Government Board when carrying out an audit of expenses asked why bottles of liquor appeared on the list of expenses. The officer in charge was informed that nobody would go into the house where someone had died of influenza without ‘stimulants being provided.’

Fear of Influenza, Unusual Place for Inquest

In North Louth there was so much fear of ‘flu spreading in crowded places that an inquest was held in the open air, on an early winter’s day.

29th November

Derry Journal, Reports from County Fermanagh, County Donegal

Reported in the Derry Journal, a spokesman for the Royal Irish Constabulary in County Fermanagh said that ‘Enniskillen and rural areas are hit pretty hard by the ‘flu epidemic and there are numerous deaths. In parts of County Donegal there were ‘near famine conditions’ and ‘Arranmore was in a bad way.’

Derry journal and other Irish Papers report of Shortage of Doctors

The ‘Journal’ reported that ‘nine out of ten districts had only one doctor at a time and this was the case across Ireland. ‘Papers from locations such as Mayo, Tipperary and Kerry reported on similar situation in their areas.

30th November

The Medical Press on Influenza

In an article in this medical newspaper it described influenza as ‘the story of a new disease.’

Influenza in Longford

A report in the Roscommon Herald said that the town of Longford had miserable cases but that the mortality rate was lower because of relief work.

Achill Island Attempts to Alleviate the Situation

Father Martin Colleran was born in 1856 and in addition to his clerical duties expressed concern for his local community. In the 1890s and in 1907 he contacted the government in Dublin to draw attention to the danger of famine in County Mayo because problems with the potato harvest.

Facing an epidemic in Achill, it was reported in the Mayo News that Father Colleran established a special sanitary committee in an attempt to combat the spread of influenza.

Belfast Business Affected by Influenza Outbreak

In the Down Recorder, a column spoke of stories of men in Belfast ‘going to their place of business and being taken ill on the way and being compelled to return home.’ It also said that ‘some large businesses had fully half of their employee laid up.’

Entertainment Locations Affected in Sligo

The Sligo Champion reported on entertainment venues in the town of Sligo. ‘All the entertainments appear to be suffering as a result of the epidemic which has been working havoc amongst the community.’

Revival of Gaelic under Threat

A report in the Mayo News claimed that locals were commenting that the ‘Gaelic League was suffering damage to its revival.’

Castlebar Welcomes Fewer Influenza Cases in Locality

At the local petty sessions an official attributed ‘the diminution of the epidemic in the area to ‘Providence’ and the able medical men of Castlebar.’

Advertisements of thanks

Advertisements were placed in the Mayo News which expressed thanks from a number of individuals ‘to thank the Lord for ensuring that families remained safe and recovered from the ‘flu.’

Fear of Communism

The New York Times declared,’ The most pressing post-war question is how far Europe is infected with Bolshevism.’

Churchill’s Fear of Communism

In a speech in Dundee, Winston Churchill told his audience, ‘Civilisation is being extinguished in Russia by Bolshevists who hop and caper like troops of ferocious baboons, amid the ruins of cities and the corpses of the victims.’

Across Europe there were problems. The new rulers in Russia sought revolution across the world, Germany and Austria had revolutionaries on the streets. There were revolutionaries on the streets with food shortages and there was the possibility of famine. In Berlin it was estimated that about third of new-born infants died within days.