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October

Spanish Flu, Capital Hit

In this month, two thousand two hundred and twenty-five people died of Spanish flu in London.

1st October

Call for Germany To Surrender

The German military strategist Erich Ludendorff declared that Germany should surrender.

Fall of Damascus, Lawrence of Arabia

On this day, a combined British and Arab force captured Damascus from the Turks, completing the liberation of Arabia. An instrumental commander of the Allied campaign was T.E. Lawrence. He began work in Egypt as an intelligence officer in 1914 and two years later became a liaison officer in the Arabian army. The Arabs launched an effective guerrella campaign against the Turks and in 1917 Arab forces captured Auaba in the Sinai Peninsula.

A local Man Lost in the Great War

Michael Duffy served as a sergeant in the Canadians.

2nd October

Oil Tanker Sunk Off Tory

The Arca was a 4,000 ton armed tanker which was sailing from Philadelphia to Bristol when it was attacked off Tory Island. The tanker went on fire with the loss of all fifty-two crew. The ship had been damaged in January 1918 in Southampton. U-118 which sank the tanker had taken part in two patrols and sank two merchant ships, 10,439 tons.

The submarine surrendered in France in 1918 and while being taken to Scapa Flow ran aground in a storm at Hastings. For two weeks the public were allowed paid access and £300 was raised which went towards entertainment for soldiers returning from the war. However, this was accompanied by a tragedy. Two coastguards who were acting as guides became suddenly ill and died soon afterwards. They had suffered from inhaling chlorine which had been released from damaged batteries.

A local Man lost in The Great War

John T. Hyndman served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

3rd October

New German Chancellor

Facing difficulties, the Kaiser appointed Prince Maximilian of Baden as the new German Chancellor. Prince Maximillian served briefly in the German army at the beginning of the war but resigned because of ill health. He educated himself to work with the German Red Cross and in the assistance for prisoners-of war through the Y.M.C.A. In 1917 he publicly spoke out against Germany resuming unrestricted warfare.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Samuel Clarke served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

4th October

German and Austria-Hungary Peace Proposal Sent to President Wilson

Facing defeat, the Germans and Austro-Hungarians sought an end to conflict. Contact was made by both countries with President Wilson of the United States.

Two Local Men Lost in the Great War

Edward H. Nicholson served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

William C. Bradley served as a private in the same regiment.

He wrote his will on 1st May 1917 and he was killed in action in France. His will was dealt with by the War Office just under twelve months after his death. In his will he wrote, ‘In the event of my death I will give the whole of my property and effects to my mother, Mrs. Maggie Bradley, 212 Lecky Road, Londonderry, Ireland.

Mrs Bradley lost a son in the Great War and the wider Bradley family lost a family member.

Orbituary in Local Paper

James Clarke served as a private in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and was killed on 4th October 1917. In 1918 on the first anniversary of his death his family placed the following lines in a local paper.

‘Upright and just in all his ways,
Honest and faithful till end of his days;
Forgotten to the world by some he may be,
But dear to our memory he ever will be.
A husband brave, a brother kind,
Missed by those he left behind.’

5th October

Germany Contacts President Wilson Seeking an End to Conflict

The German government under Prince Max of Baden made further contact with President Wilson asking him to mediate an armistice. One of the president’s pre-conditions was the immediate cessation of all German submarine activity.

German Population Given Information

The German people were informed that their nation faced defeat in the war.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

James Roulston served as a sergeant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

6th October

A local Man Lost in The Great War

James Dunn served as a private in the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

Queenstown Based American Ships Escort Royal Navy Ship

HMS Auitania was escorted from the Western Approaches to Southampton by the American ships Shaw, Downes, Conyngham, Duncan and Kimberley.

8th October

Allied Advance at St. Quentin

Allied forces advanced along a twenty mile front from St. Quentin to Cambrai and German forces were driven back three miles. The cities of Cambrai and Le Lateau were taken and over ten thousand German soldiers were captured.

9th October

Germany Forces Finland to Accept Kaiser’s Brother-in-law as Head of State

Under pressure from Germany, the authorities in Finland elected a new king. He was Friedrich Karl, brother-in –law of the Kaiser. Known as the Prince of Hess, he had married Princess Margaret of Prussia who was a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria.

Accident in Western Approaches

While involved in convoy duty from her base in Queenstown, USS Shaw’s rudder jammed just as she was completing the right leg of a zigzag, leaving it heading straight at HMS Aquitania. A large piece of the destroyers’ bow was crushed, the bridge was mangled and the ship caught fire. Lieutenant Parrott despite his injuries insisted on helping his wounded colleagues and he was to die later as a result of his wounds. Eleven of the crew of the American ship were also killed.

Orbituary in Local Paper

John Cooke served as a lance sergeant in the Eastern Ontario Regiment. On the first anniversary of his death in 1918 his family from Gortin near Newbuildings placed the following lines in a local paper.

‘We shall see him again in the light of the morning,
When the night has passed by, with its tears and its mourning,
When the light of God’s love as the sun ever shines
In the land where the weary rest.’

10th October

R.M.S Leinster Sunk in Dublin Bay, Over Five Hundred Perish

From the beginning of January 1850, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company was given the contract to carry mail across the Irish Sea. Ships of the line were the Ulster, Connaught, Leinster and Munster.

With a blockage of Germany by the Royal Navy the German response was to attack shipping entering and leaving British waters. The German campaign began with relative civility with captured crews being allowed to take to lifeboats before their ship was sunk. In response the British government armed merchantmen and orders were issued for merchant ships to ram surfaced German submarines. Some merchant ships called ‘Q’ ships posed as ordinary merchant ships and attacked surfaced German submarines.

In response to attacks, British merchant ships sailed in convoys which were escorted by warships. The success of the convoy system resulted in turn to the Germans concentrating their attacks in areas like the Irish Sea where ships in convoys began to assemble and disperse.

Before 9.00 a.m. on 10th October the RMS Leinster sailed from Kingstown near Dublin. In addition to the crew on board there were postal sorters and many civilian passengers. The majority on board were airmen, nurses, sailors and soldiers who came from countries such as Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and the United States.

In Dublin Bay the Leinster was struck by two torpedoes fired by U 123. Soldiers on deck saw the first torpedo approaching and thought it was a porpoise. Many died immediately while others perished in the cold autumn waters while they waited rescue. The sinking provoked widespread outrage across the world.

John McCormick the Irish tenor lost a relative in the sinking. He said,’ His most cold-blooded murder has brought home to me that this is a holy war to save the world from slavery.’

Leinster Disaster, Loss of A Son of The Hymn Writer Cecil Frances Alexander

Robert Jocelyn Alexander was born in 1852, the third child of the Right Reverend William Alexander, former Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and future Primate of All Ireland. His mother was Cecil Frances Alexander famous as the writer of such hymns as All Things Bright and Beautiful and Once in Royal David’s City.

Known to his family as Joc, Robert Alexander was educated at Winchester College and later at Brasenose College in Oxford where he won a number of prestigious prizes between 1874 and 1878. His poetry prize had also been awarded to Oscar Wilde. In 1880 he was appointed to HM Inspectorate of Schools. His body was recovered and he is buried in the City Cemetery. On his flat headstone is the inscription from Revelations,’ He shewed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God. On either side of the river was there the tree of life and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.’

Loss of Local Trade Unionist on Leinster

James McCarron was born in 1851 and he was a tailor by trade. He became a leading figure in local Amalgamated Society of Tailors and Tailoresses. He was to become the most prominent member of this union in Ireland and served as the president in 1899, 1907 and in 1910. He was elected onto Londonderry Corporation where he served as group leader of the recently formed Irish Labour Party.

James McCarron was travelling on the Leinster to attend a union meeting in London. There was great grief in the city at his loss and in his death he united citizens from across the religious and political divide. The Lord Mayor of Dublin intervened in the middle of a strike by the city’s undertakers to obtain a coffin and it was accompanied by many trade unionists to the railway station in Dublin.

At the Foyle Road terminus of the Great Northern Railway the cortege was met by hundreds of people including the Mayor Sir Robert Newton Anderson. Among the family members in attendance was James McCarron’s son Joseph who was serving as a private in the Royal Irish Fusiliers. In the spring of 1920 a large limestone Celtic cross was erected in James McCarron’s memory in the city cemetery.

Other Local Losses

Among the hundreds who perished were some from this locality.

Private George Lutton was from near the Argory in County Tyrone.

Thirty-seven years old John Dysart served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was from Coleraine.

Lieutenant-Commander George Campbell was a son of Rev. Edward Campbell of Ballycastle.

Thomas Thompson served in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and was from Melrose Terrace in the Waterside.

Gunner Patrick Early served in the Royal Garrison Artillery and was from Camus, County Tyrone.

John Docherty was a corporal in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and came from Clonmany in County Donegal.

James Elliot was a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and came from Kerrykeel in County Donegal.

Felix Gartland served in the Royal Irish Regiment and was from Crossmaglen in County Armagh.

Hugh Sheerin was a private in the Irish Guards and came from Londonderry.

James Hughes served as an Able Seaman on HMS Walrus and was from the Moy in County Tyrone.

Samuel Shiels served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers and was buried in the graveyard of 1st Ballybay Presbyterian Cemetery in County Monaghan.

Alexander Burleigh from Florencecourt in County Fermanagh and he was travelling to visit his severely wounded brother.

Eileen Hester Campbell was the third daughter of Lt. Colonel Knox Browne of Aughentaine Castle in County Tyrone. Also lost was her daughter who was four and a half years old.

Influenza and the German Link, Newspaper Claims

The Times speculated on the origins of the ‘flu saying that ‘a high medical authority states that the disease is directly traceable to the German use of poison gas, the after effects of which have induced growth of a new type of streptococcus. ‘At this time in the United States newspapers were referring to influenza in terms such as ‘an enemy,’ a mysterious malady,’ a monstrous peril’ and ‘a scourge.’

Five Local Men Lose Their Lives in the Great War

Hugh Sheerin served as a private in the Irish Guards.

Thomas B. Thompson served as a private in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

David J. Walker served as a private in the Cameron Highlanders.

Robert J. Bassett served as a lieutenant in the Royal Medical Corps.

Antony Doherty served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

11th October

Bodies Washed up on the Isle of Man

Inquests began to be held on bodies being washed up on the island from the ‘Leinster.’

Funerals of United States Victims of the ‘Otranto’ Tragedy

The funerals took place of seventeen of the victims of the Otranto to Belfast City Cemetery. Seven of the victims had died from influenza. The cortege left from Victoria Barracks and travelled along Royal Avenue. The streets of Belfast were crowded with many to pay their last respects and the army provided a guard of honour. Officiating at the funeral were Rev. Maguire and Father O’Kelly. Of the known religion of the victims eight were Roman Catholic, three were Methodist and one was a Baptist. Among the many wreaths was one from the American Red Cross and one from The Belfast Care Committee. One wreath read,’ A token of esteem and sympathy from your comrades in the British army.’

United States Nurses Arrive at Queenstown

After a potentially hazardous journey across the Atlantic, the party of thirty-eight American nurses arrived at the American Hospital in White Point in County Cork. They had landed initially in Liverpool after having departed from the United States on 22nd September.

Polish Organisations Seek a New Beginning for Their Peoples

Various Polish organisations came together and published a number of documents in which they declared their intention to create an independent Polish state.

Recipient of Victoria Cross

Wallace Lloyd Algie was born in Ontario and in April 1916 he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. His citation in the London Gazette reads, ‘For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice on 11th October 1918, north-east of Cambrai, when with attacking troops which came under heavy enfilade machine gun fire from a neighbouring village. Rushing forward with nine volunteers, he shot the crew of an enemy machine gun, and turning it on the enemy, enabled his party to reach the village. He then rushed another machine gun, killed the crew, captured an officer and ten enemy, and thereby cleared the end of the village. Lt. Algie, having established his party, went back for reinforcement, but was killed when leading them forward. His valour and personal initiative in the face of intense fire saved many lives and enabled the position to be held.

Local Man Lost in Great War

Robert Marr served as a private in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

12th October

Report on Influenza in Tipperary

The grave situation was reported on in the County Tipperary town of Thurles. The Tipperary Star declared that ‘scarcely a family is thought to have escaped.’

13th October

A Local Man Lost in the Great War, Orbituary in Local Newspaper

Edward Cartin served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Shortly after his death members of his family from Ferguson Street had the following lines inserted in a local paper.

‘O, Immaculate Heart of Mary,
On them your prayers extol,
O, Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Have mercy on their souls.’

14th October

Austria-Hungary Seeks Armistice

Emperor Karl approached the United States seeking an armistice based on President Wilson’s ‘Fourteen Points.’

Memorial service in London for Lady Alexandra Hamilton

She was a daughter of the 2nd Duke of Hamilton and the forty-two year old was lost on the Leinster. Her body was never found, and a memorial service was held in St. Mark’s Church in London. At her baptism in 1876 her sponsor had been HRH Princess Alexander of Wales. One of those who attended the memorial service in London was Edward Carson. Also lost on the Leinster was one of the Hamilton family’s cook.

Local Men Lost in Great War

Robert Pinkerton served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

James Docherty served as a private in the Royal Irish Regiment.

George Taylor served as a private in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

Royal Navy Prepare for Attack

The R.N. were aware that they faced an attack by the German fleet.

15th October

Death of County Cork Man, Survivor on Titanic

Cork-born Daniel Buckley had been a third-class passenger on the ill-fated Titanic. Sleeping in the bow of the ship, he heard the sound of the crash when the ship hit the iceberg. He managed to get into a lifeboat where a woman threw a shawl over him and he was thus mistaken for a woman.

On his safe arrival in New York he was initially employed in a hotel but like many other Irish-Americans he enlisted in the American army, serving in the 69th Infantry Division. Daniel Buckley’s regiment took part in the Meuse Argonne Offensive and he was shot dead by a sniper while assisting in retrieving wounded soldiers.

Dublin’s Medical Officer Calls for Closure of City’s Schools

Freeman’s Journal carried a report on the reaction among pupils at St. Gabriel’s at the announcement that because of the spread of influenza schools should close. A member of staff was described as being ‘appalled ‘to hear pupils cheer at the news that Sir Charles Cameron had called for schools in the capital to be closed’.

Funeral for ‘Leinster’ victim in County Kerry

The remains of Nora Galvin arrived at the railway station in Tralee. She was one of the hundreds who lost their lives in the sinking of the Leinster. The body of her sister Lena Galvin was never found.

Funeral for Leinster victim, Isle of Man

The body of Private Richard Jones of the Royal Welch Regiment was washed up at Port St. Mary on the Isle of Man. He was interred in a local cemetery.

Six Local Men Lost in Great War

James Mitchell served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Samuel Mitchell served as private in the same regiment.

Earnest Williams served as a lieutenant in the Royal Irish Rifles

George Long served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

William McDowell served as a private in the same regiment.

John McKelvey served as a private in the same regiment.

16th October

Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary Announces Boundary Changes

The emperor put forward proposals for change, granting increased freedom to ethnic groups and also the proposal to create a federal state composed of four regions.

Deadly Epidemic in County Wicklow

In the Wicklow People it stated,’ Deadly Epidemic. The people of this district will long remember the events of the past fortnight. Schools closed, mails undelivered, doctors ill, death a frequent visitor, more than half the entire population of the town prostrate… such was the condition of things for ten days… The very few, who up to the present have so far recovered as to be able to make their appearance in public, bear ample traces of the ravages made by the scourge.’

Funerals of Three Nurses, Victims off ‘Leinster’

In Tralee County Kerry, the funerals took place of Chrissie Murphy, Lizzie Heaney and Nora Galvin. Chrissie had been identified earlier by her brother from a burn scar on her neck. Another family member recalled,’ One of my brothers had to travel to Dublin to identify my sister’s body. He was charged one shilling to get into the morgue.’

Funeral for Leinster’ Victim Limerick

A train arrived at Limerick Station with the remains of Catherine Gould, a victim of the Leinster sinking. The forty year old ‘s remains were met by her father and sister. She was the only member of the family who had been on the Leinster whose body was recovered. After a service in St. Mary’s Church she was buried in Mount St. Lawrence Cemetery.

Reduction in Attendance at Annual Retreat

The Cork Examiner announced that the annual retreat for the Men’s Holy Family Confraternity had shown ‘a great thinning of the ranks in all sections attributed to the scourge.’

17th October

British and Americans Attack German Lines, Belgians Retake Channel Port

The Allies launched this attack in the Battle of Selle and Lille and Douai were liberated. Belgian forces retook Ostend and reached Zeebruge the following day. The result was that the whole of the Channel coast in West Flanders had now been liberated.

Local Men Lost in Great War

William P. Carton served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

James N. Corscaden served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the same regiment.

On the fourth anniversary of his death his family from Templeard in Culmore placed the following lines in a local paper.

‘A sudden. At God’s command he fell;
He had no chance to bid us farewell;
Affliction came, without warning given,
And bid him haste to meet his God in Heaven.
He died for the sake of others.’

18th October

Cargo Ship Sunk Off Strangford

The German-built cargo ship Hunsdon was making its way from Le Havre to Belfast with ballast and had called into Kingstown. Despite being escorted by two ships, the Hunsdon was attacked and sunk off Strangford Lough. Earlier in the war the ship had been used to take hay and oats to France. In the attack off Strangford Lough one crew member was killed.

U94 had taken part in two patrols and sank two merchant ships, 3261tons. Following its surrender in 1918, the U-boat was taken over by the French navy and finally scrapped in 1935.

Republican Prisoners in Crumlin Road Prison

In a letter sent from Crumlin Road Prison, B. Rudden wrote,’There are men in here doing twelve months for answering their name in Irish.’

Instructions to Undercover Royal Irish Constabulary Members

Instructions were circulated to members of the force as to what action they were to take if carrying out surveillance work and what action to take if their barracks came under attack. If the officer was attending a G.A.A. match or Sinn Fein function, they were to pay at the door and discreetly take notes. In the event of telephone lines being cut, officers were to ensure that carrier pigeons were kept in the barracks to convey messages.

19th October

Influenza in West Cork, Advice from A Priest aand The Death Bell in Tipperary

Reported in the Cork Examiner, the chairman of Skibereen Rural Council stated,’it is the very strong, healthy and vigorous thatseem to be cut down.’ In the Wicklow People, a priest in Bray informed his congregation ‘to take special precautions and to follow the advice of the doctors.’In Thurles County Tipperary it was reported that ‘not for many years has the dead bell been heard so constantly.’

Funeral of Leinster Victim in Armagh City

It was reported in the Armagh Gazette that ‘on Sunday afternoon the remains of Corporal Edward McGlynn, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who was attached to R.A.M.C., who was a victim of the Leinster disaster, were conveyed from Dublin to Armagh by motor hearse.’

20th October

Peace Process, German Government Agrees to Cessation of U-Boat Activity

The German government agreed to President Wilson’s proposal. However, this was opposed by Admiral Scheer. With the war almost lost, the German admiral envisaged one last major German fleet advance. His plan was to inflict as much damage to the Royal Navy thus hoping to achieve a better bargaining position for Germany.

United States Secretary of State Rejects Austrian-Hungarian Reforms

Robert Lansing said that the reforms proposed by Austria-Hungary of 16th October had not gone far enough. He added that the Allies were now committed to the causes of the Czechs, Slovaks and South Slavs.

Kevin O’Higgins On the Earlier Conscription Crisis

He was reported to be jubilant about how Ireland had reacted to the conscription crisis, saying, ‘At this hour the world is ringing out with the cry for self-determination.’

Remains of Teenager Lost on Leinster

The body of Antony Jones arrived in the city of Cork. He had been a student at The Irish School of Telegraphy in the city and had been travelling with two other teenage students to England. Antony Jones had been identified by his sister Nurse Catherine Baker. The bodies of his comrades were not recovered. Antony Jones was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in the city.

Two Local Men Lost in Great War

William Barr served as a sapper in the Royal Engineers

William Stewart served as C.S.M. in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

21st October

Last Merchant Ship to Be Lost in Home Waters

On 5th April 1918 the St. Barchan narrowly missed being sunk by a u-boat. The ship was not to be so lucky this time being attacked by U-94. Four of the eight to lose their lives were from Ireland. By s O’Donnell was twenty-nine years old and was a son of Edward and Annie O’Donnell of Gortgowan, Moville, County Donegal. Able Seaman William William Rice was fifty years old and his wife was Annie Rice from Ringsend in Dublin. Able Seaman Thomas McLaughlin was twenty-four years old and was a son of Daniel and Rose McLaughlin of Shroove in County Donegal. U-94 had been responsible for the sinking of the Hunsdon a few days earlier.

German U-Boats Recalled

As part of the negotiations for peace, the German government ordered the recall of German u- boats. The following message was sent by Reinhard Scheer, Admiral of The German High Seas Fleet. ‘To all U-boats, commence return from patrol at once. Because of on-going negotiations any hostile actions against merchant ships prohibited. Returning U-boats are allowed to attack warships only in daylight. End of message, Admiral.

22nd October

Report from County Cork, Letter from Piaris Beaslai, County Councillors

At a meeting of the council in Skibereen an official pointed out that ‘there is raging amongst us at the present moment a very terrible malady. Piaris Beaslai the author and political activist wrote to his parents,’ Those who have escaped the ‘flu altogether have good reason to thank God.’

A councillor in Wicklow declared,’ I am uncertain about the nature of the disease, the epidemic is called influenza or whatever it might be. The chairman of Skiberren council described it as ‘the terrible malady which for want of better name is called influenza.’

23rd October

German Navy Ordered to Sail, German Inference from Wilson’s Note

A large German fleet sailed towards Norway with the intention of attacking Allied convoys. Morale in the German navy had been low, partly due to inactivity. President Wilson’s note to the Germans appeared to implicate that if there as to be an armistice that the Kaiser would have to resign. In Germany Max von Baden was now fearful of a German military collapse and social revolution.

British Attack beyond Hindenburg Line

This began under the cover of darkness and the British advanced six miles in two days. The British 1st, 2nd and 4th Armies were now twenty miles behind the Hindenburg Line.

Spanish Flu Spreads to the Fleet

This spread to the Grand Fleet on H.M.S. Cardiff for example at this time about 6% of the crew were inactive because of flu.

Release of an Influential German Socialist

On the instructions from Chancellor Max von Baden, Karl Liebknecht was released from prison. He was escorted to the Russian embassy by a crowd of workers.

County Cork Village, the Local Postman Struck Down

A report in the Cork Examiner commented on events in the village of Carrigaline. ‘No letters were delivered owing to the local postman being confined to his room with the disease.’

Teachers across Ireland Concerned About Salaries

Teachers at this time were paid according to attendance by pupils. With falling attendances, teachers’ associations contacted the Chief Secretary in Dublin, fearful of their monthly payments.

Derry Journal Critical of the Handling of the Epidemic

Making reference to influenza, the paper commented,’ There is pressure on resources, people are dying from want of medical attendance. There are full and overcrowded hospitals and workhouses and there is inadequate understanding of the disease.’

24th October

German Navy Ordered to Attack Royal Navy

German High Command issued an order for the German fleet to attack the Royal Navy along the eastern coast of Britain. Part of this plan was to involve about twenty-five U-boats.

Germany Rejects Wilson’ Truce Plans

To create a truce, President Wilson had called for Germany to withdraw from all occupied territories, a cessation of submarine warfare and he implied that the emperor should abdicate. Despite that fact that the German army was weakened with many desertions, General Ludendorff rejected President Wilson’s proposals, declaring them as ‘unacceptable’.

Dublin’s General Post Office Hit by Sickness

Sickness was so rife in the General Post Office in Dublin that the management decided to cancel all annual leave.

Red Cross Fund Raising in Dublin

There was a report in Freeman’s Journal about a fundraising event in Central Dublin. The newspaper reported that ‘special interest was aroused by two of the lifeboats belonging to the ill-fated Leinster which were drawn by lorries. In the boats were stationed were some of the survivors of the vessel including Messrs Philip Conolly, engine room worker, his son Thomas, under steward, William Maher and Lawrence Cairns, firemen. They held out collection boxes to the spectators who at once responded to the appeal.’

Influenza in King’s County

A report on influenza in the King’s County Chronicle reported that ‘the uniqueness of the outbreak, the exigency of the time brought about by the ‘flu is considered unequalled for upwards half a century.’

Report in Freeman’s Journal on the Epidemic

A reader sent in a letter to the paper declaring that ‘someone had searched but was unable to find a parallel.’ The writer of the letter went on to say,’ I consider this to be a visitation of a kind utterly unlike, both by reason of its character and intensity, anything that has come before.’

Orbituary in Local Paper

William John Clifford served as a lance corporal in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was from New Street in the Collon, off Buncrana Road. In 1918 on the first anniversary of his death his family placed the following lines in a local paper.

‘O, Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Your prayers on him extol,
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Have mercy on his soul.’

25th October

South Down Town badly hit by Influenza

It was reported in the local newspaper that the town of Newry was badly affected by the outbreak of influenza. Up to three thousand cases had been reported.

Five Local men Loose Their Lives in The Great War

Edward Nutter served as a corporal in the Leinster Regiment.

John McCauley served as a private in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

George McGuire served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Michael McVeigh served as a private in the Royal Irish Rifles.

William White served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

26th October

Germany’s Military General Resigns

Erich Wilheim Ritter von Ludendorff was the German Quarter Master or Chief of The German Army. His great Spring Offensive on the Western Front had been his quest for total victory but it had turned out to be a great strategic failure. Now widely despised in Germany and with threat of revolution, he resigned his position and fled to Sweden in disguise, wearing spectacles and donning a false beard.

Stonehenge Donated to the nation

In the Middle Ages the site around Stonehenge and an adjacent abbey were acquired by Henry VIII and the site subsequently was passd onto a number of aristocratic families. In 1824 Stonehenge was purchased by the Antrobus family of Cheshire who sold it at auction in 1915 after the death of a son in the First World War. Stonehenge was given to the nation by a local man Cecil Chubb.

Influenza across Ireland

In the Tipperary Star a report stated that there was good relief work going on in the town of Thurles.In Tipperary it was reported that ‘four little girls were orphaned and had to be brought up by a grandmother who had no means to support them.’

’Among the places badly hit with influenza were Inishowen, Newry and Kilkenny. A report in the Meath Chronicle referred to the fever hospital in Navan ‘being filled to its limit.’ In the Wicklow People it was reported that ‘in Tinahely not within the living memory of the oldest inhabitant has such a large number of people been ill at the same time.’

A Charles Cameron in Dublin spoke about the horrors of the epidemic. In Wicklow a member of a council committee declared that ‘things are in a terrible state in the town owing to the terrible outbreak of influenza.’ A doctor in Dundrum wrote,’ Epidemic spreading at alarming rate. No time write details. More help urgently required.’

At Achill in County Mayo it was recorded that a union official had to put a young boy into a coffin by himself as the late boy’s mother was incapable after the death of her brother. The official also recorded that neighbours would not come near the house of the deceased.

Newry Businessman Loses Three Children to Influenza

It was reported in a number of newspapers including the Belfast Newsletter, The Newry Reporter, The Irish Independent and County Down Spectator that Newry merchant James McArdle lost in the space of days his son James, aged five and a daughter Margaret, aged twenty.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Charles R. Johnston served as a private in the Royal Fusiliers.

28th October

Attack at Scapa Flow, German Submarine sunk

It was now obovious to all that Germany had lost the war. The German navy was cripped with low morale and there was disaffection among the sailors. With poor intelligence UB 116 was sent to Scapa Flow with orders to sink as many ships as possible of the Royal Navy. The submarine was picked up by hydrophones as it approached and a mine was detonated. The submarine was subsequently attacked with depth charges and in the daylight the waters were covered with oil and bubbles rising to the surface. Among the debris which came to the surface was a life jacket. Many years later in 1969 controlled explosions were carried out on the submarine to destroy ten live torpedoes which posed a danger to shipping.

Letter of Thanks in New York Times

Major-General Biddle, a former superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, wrote a letter of thanks to the secretary of Belfast Chamber of Trade. He expressed deep appreciation for the many kindly acts shown by Belfast citizens to American survivors of the Otranto. The letter continued,’ Reports reaching us of the splendid funeral honours accorded to our dead soldiers in Belfast indicate that your authorities and citizens have been more than kind. Thanks are also due to those Belfast ladies and others who sent floral tributes and in other ways showed such a generous and sympathetic spirit.’

Medical Officer in Dublin On Burial of Influenza Victims

At a Rotary dinner in Dublin, Dr. Cameron raised the questions about how quickly victims of influenza were being buried. At this time of panic, many urban myths were quickly spreading, for example some spoke about the fragility of the bodies of the deceased and another rumour was spread that it was dangerous to eat fish.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

Robert Ferguson served as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

29th October

German Sailors in Revolt

German sailors on board ships at Jade mutinied and refused to engage with the Royal Navy. When informed of the mutiny the Kaiser said,’ I no longer have a navy.’

Sporting Fixture Postponed

The All-Ireland football semi-final involving Tiperrary had to postponed because of influenza.

Influenza theories

As fear gripped the land over influenza, the Daily News headline read,’ Influenza Theories-Soldiers Say It is Trench Fever.’ Other claims at this time was that influenza was in fact a form of malaria.

Newspaper Articles on Influenza Prevention

Papers such as the Belfast Newsletter and the County Down Spectator carried feature articles which had recommendadtions on how to avoid influenza. They also carried articles with the views of Sir Charles Cameron the Medical Superintendent of Dublin and also that of Dr. Baille of Belfast.

Reports from Dublin, People Avoid Public Places

It was reported from the Irish capital that because of influenza that there were diminished attendances at public places such as theatres and picture houses.

30th October

Surrender of Turkish Army

This army surrendered to the British in Mesopotamia and an armistice was signed.

Roman Catholic Church Reaction to Influenza

With the disease sweeping the country, in response the church suspended fasting and abstinence. Also, in Freeman’s Journal there was a column in which advised everyone to wear a Sacred Heart badge, ‘as this had a proven record in disease prevention.’

Meath Hospital Full to Capacity

As reported in the Meath Chronicle, the local hospital was said to be ‘filled to its limit.’

Kerryman Writes about Influenza

Jeremiah Murphy recalled the effects of influenza in his locality. ‘The great influenza at the 30th November end of the war was disasterous. It weakened the lungs, making a person subject to pneumonia which was fatal in many cases to people who had any respiratory disease. Very few people escaped the ‘flu. Th saddest example was the death of a young man and his wife, leaving four orphaned children. One of my brothers complained of pains in his legs hich was regarded as a general symptom. After several days my father was able to get a much overworked doctor to see him. The doctor was forced to open his leg with a penknife in order to relieve the pressure.’

Priest at Castlebar Calls for Council Support for the Poor

Reported in the Mayo News, Father Fallin wrote to the urban council asking them ‘to take steps to alleviate the distress amongst the poorer classes as a result of the ‘flu epidemic.’

Fermoy Priest Says the Town is Free of Influenza

At morning mass the priest spoke about influenza. ‘There is no necessity for a scare as there is no serious case so far in the town.’ he declared.

St. Vincent de Paul Report on Influenza

The council of this organisation reported on the situation with regard to influenza.’ There are scares and alarms of many kinds which have disorganised all school associations, and Dublin business owners are complaining of trade paralysis. Dr. George Peacocke said that ‘the public have been unduly alarmed by the writings in the press, and something akin to panic has resulted. Darrell Figgis, secretary of Sinn Fein said,’ Dublin is full of apprehension.’

A Member of the I.R.A. in Cork and Influenza

Michael O Donoghue, an engineer in the IRA in Cork, recalled contracting influenza about this time.’ I was among the first victims in Cork. Despite touching death’s door for a week or two, copious quinine saved me and I was out and around again for the historic armistice night of 1918.’

Advertisements for Disinfectants

The Belfast Newsletter carried advertisements from local farms with regards to disinfectants.

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

William Dunlop served as a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery.

31st October

Further Executions of Romanovs and Their Staff

Since the execution of the tzar and his family in July 1918, a further fourteen members of the extended Romanov family and thirteen members of their household had been executed in Russia.

British Military Government Established In Palestine

In the war in the Middle East, ten months earlier the British had captured Jerusalem. On this date an armistice was concluded and all of Palestine came under British rule.

Relief work Begins in Limerick

The Limerick Chronicle reported that relief work had begun in the city to an attempt to support those who had contracted influenza. It was also reported from the city that a family of seven were stricken by influenza but because of fear no one would come to their aid.

Influenza in Crumlin Road Prison

About this time over one hundred political prisoners in the prison contracted influenza. One prisoner John Fleming wrote,’ We have some very bad ones, something like eleven removed to the City Hospital. I fear it shall be a hard task to save some of their lives. One fellow from Dublin was removed today. He was in the cell opposite me and it brought back old times to me when I saw the priest with him late last night. The moans were terrible.’

At about the same time Thomas Wallace in Crumlin Road Prison recalled his removal to the prison hospital.’ Shaw a Dublin lad and myself were carried from the prison to the workhouse on stretchers. I was 106 degrees temperature., but contrived to walk in.’

Small Boy to the Aid of a County Leitrim Family

It was reported that when a visitor called at a house at Mohill they found a small boy at the fire boiling ‘Bovril ‘ for other members of the family. The others were too weak to get out of bed.

Two Local Men Lose Their Lives in the Great War

Thomas C Campbell served as a sapper in the Royal Engineers.

Robert M Dunlop served as a private in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

American Presence in Queenstown

At the end of October 1918 there were over nine thousand American personel based in the Queenstwon area. On this day there were twenty-three destroyers in the harbour. Also present were the battleships Nevada, Oklahama and Utah.