Chronology

[under construction]

1914

August: Outbreak of war in Europe; Victorians sign up with the Canadian Expeditionary Force; the Willows Fairgrounds in Oak Bay converted to an army training camp.

1917

April: Chinese Labour Force workers recruited by the British and totalling 85,000 begin the long chain of transport to the European war zone via Canada, with a first stop at William Head Quarantine Station, near Victoria.

1918

March: First known outbreaks of the Spanish Flu, hospitalizing thousands in a Kansas US Army mobilization camp; whence with the troops to Europe, where it quickly spreads to neighbouring countries.

May: Hundreds of deaths in Spain are reported by that country’s uncensored press, and the name “Spanish Influenza” sticks.

August: A deadly mutation of the influenza virus spreads to North America, causing widespread death in American cities and military barracks

September 26: Victoria’s medical health officer, Dr Arthur G. Price, publishes a warning about the imminent approach of Spanish influenza in The Daily Colonist.

October 2: the Spanish Flu reaches Victoria with the Siberian Expeditionary Force; the first death on October 6 is, however, a civilian; within two days, a city-wide ban on public meetings is imposed; it remains in force until November 20.

November 11: Armistice Day — end of the Great War.

1919

January: a second spike in cases and deaths;

1920

February: a third spike, with the highest number of cases of the eighteen months of the pandemic (although thankfully fewer deaths).

1922

The Etiology and Epidemiology of Influenza by Hans Zinsser

1927

Jordan, Epidemic Influenza

1976

Alfred W. Crosby’s Epidemic and Peace: 1918, published by Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn; reissued in 1989 as America’s Forgotten Pandemic: the Influenza of 1918 by Oxford University Press; 2nd edition 2003.

1998

September: Spanish Flu 1918-1998: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 after 80 Years, conference at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.