III. Victims of the Flu: a Memorial Grove

Among the residents of our cemeteries are whole families felled by pandemic “Spanish” Influenza … Army recruits from Saskatchewan and Quebec who arrived at Willows Camp bound for Siberia, only to end their days at the Stadacona Park Isolation Hospital … Nurses and nuns and volunteer caregivers who made the supreme sacrifice while tending influenza patients.

Lizzie Mary Lena Grant, mother and Red Cross worker, an early victim of the Spanish Flu; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery.

The Spanish Flu did its deadliest work in the shadow of the Great War. When the war ended, the collective hope, already sick of death, embraced the peace. Yet the “plague” raged on for another eighteen months. For these reasons and doubtless others, the victims of Spanish Flu have not been memorialized in Victoria, nor have their stories been told.

To identify persons who died of Spanish Flu, the required source is a death registration document, Circumstances of Casualty (Canada) or Vital Statistics Act: Schedule B—Deaths (British Columbia). The cause of death is usually given as “influenza” or some combination of “influenza” and “pneumonia” or another respiratory pathology. “Pneumonia following influenza” is common. The cause of death section of the provincial document has two lines: (a) Remote or Earlier Pathological or Morbid Condition and (b) Immediate or Final Determining Cause. Death by Spanish Flu may look like this:

“Pneumonia” by itself is not a reliable indicator, since the bacilli often paired with other epidemic diseases, notably measles. Conversely, the virus might have been followed by some lethal pathogen that was not pneumoniac.

All identified persons are cross-referenced with newspaper obituaries, cemetery records, family history records, census returns, city directories, and anything else that comes up in internet searches. In a few cases, the deciding factor is an obituary, article or personal communication.

Where life stories can be reconstructed, the names are underlined and link to memorial pages.

This is a work in progress.

Published March 26, 2018. Last updated August 23, 2020.

Victorians abroad

Dorothy Pearson Twist, 33, Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) worker, died September 26, 1918 at Frensham Heights Military Hospital, near Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Albert Roy Maclachlan, 26, Sapper, 2nd Depot Battalion, B. C. Regiment, died September 29, 1918 in Quebec.

William Allan Blyth, 28, Private, Aero Repair, Royal Air Force; twenty-five years resident in Victoria, died October 16, 1918 in Toronto. Buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block P, Row 100, west side of Plot W. His parents Elsie and Alexander share the same ground.

Emily Spencer, 42, wife of William, mother of two; died October 18, 1918, in Toronto; buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block S, Row 4, east side of Plot 45.

Harry Chateauneauff Johnston, 24, Private, 1st Depot Battalion, B.C. Regiment C.E.F., lived in Victoria for eight years; married, with one child; died October 19, 1918 in Vancouver, BC; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block Q, Row 76, west side of Plot W.

William James Patterson, 28, Private, 102nd Battalion, native of Victoria, died on October 25, 1918 at No. 33 Casualty Clearing Station, France; buried at the Bucquoy Cemetery near Arras.

Arthur Earl Chandler, 35, lifelong resident of Victoria; married, with one child; died on October 31, 1918, in Vancouver; buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block L, Row 8, east side of Plot 4.

Ellen Ruth Murphy, RN, 21, died November 9, 1918 in Agassiz, B.C., nursing influenza patients.

William Boyd McInnis, 18, theatre employee; born in Winnipeg; sometime resident of Victoria with parents and six siblings. When the Empress Theatre in Kamloops “was closed on account of the influenza epidemic, he volunteered his services in the hospital to help with the caring of influenza patients. While doing this he contracted the disease and died from it.” William died on November 18, 1918, in Kamloops and is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block Q, Row 20, west side of plot X.

Clement James William Freeman, Private, 16th Battalion, C.E.F. and Canadian Army Medical Corps, died January 11, 1919 in Vancouver.

Henry Alfred Hagger, Private, Canadian Forestry Corps, C.E.F., died February 13, 1919 in Vancouver.

Demetrius Konstantine Chungranes, 66, a fish merchant, died February 22, 1919 in Point Grey, BC. Buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block P, Row 126, east side of Plot I.

Residents

Frank Steinfield, 27, manager, Pantages Theatre; died October 6, 1918 in Victoria; likely Victoria’s Patient Zero, see “Attack and Counterattack;” buried in Seattle.

Horatio Alfred Treen, 76, Captain, Victoria Rifles (Montreal), veteran of the Fenian campaign, died October 10, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block L, Row 17, east side of Plot B.

Elizabeth Fulton, 16, a student; born in Belfast, Ireland; resident in the city for twelve years; died October 17, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block O, Row 57/58, west side of Plot N. Her parents Frank and Lucinda occupy the same ground.

Arthur Butcher, 31, a letter carrier; born in England; six years in Victoria and Canada; died October 19, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block Q, Row 53, east side of Plot W.

Netta Florence Anderson, 20, born in Victoria to Capt. John Anderson and Emma Matthews, both of Newfoundland; lived in the family home on Duchess Street all her life; an elevator operator; died October 20, 1918 in Victoria.

Janet Wardie Hards, 22, wife of Frederick Hards, died October 22, 1918, in Victoria

Norah Hennessy Pellow, 54, widow of Thomas Pellow, mother of seven, died October 22, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block B, Row 98, east side of Plot 36.

Chin Gee Fung, 36, the editor of The New Republic, a pro-Sun Yat-Sen newspaper; died October 24, 1918, in Victoria.

Toney Perfetti, 20, a laborer; born in Italy; resident six years; died on October 27, 1918 in Colquitz District

Alice Maud Hetty Holmes, 27, wife of William; born London, England; resident one year; died October 28, 1918 in Victoria, with a three-day-old child.

Ernest Daniel Sinclair, 29, a plumber; resident 25 years; died October 28, 1918, in Victoria

Charles Howard Sutherland, 28; born in Nova Scotia; husband of Alma; resident six years; died October 28, 1918 in Esquimalt.

James Bailey Corbett, 46, married with five children; born in Manitoba; resident eight years; died October 29, 1918 in Victoria.

Edward McDonald “Ted” Pellow, 20, son/stepson of Norah Pellow, who died a week before; a firefighter at the No. 4 Fire Hall on Catherine Street; died on October 29, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block W, Row 5, east side of Plot 40.

Chew C. Chung, 26, sawmill worker; born in China; 15 years in the district; died on November 3, 1918 in Victoria; buried in the Chinese Cemetery.

Jessie McNutt, 74, wife of George McNutt, with three sons and two daughters; born in Nova Scotia, resident of the district 27 years, of Victoria 10 years; died on November 3, 1918, in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block P, Row 92, east side of Plot U.

Hettie Rebecca Barber, 26; wife of Fred Barber; born in England, resident in Victoria five years; died on November 6, 1918, in Victoria.

Nicholas Zeifires, 25, a waiter at the Empress Hotel; married; born in Greece; eight years in Canada and Victoria; died November 6, 1918 in Victoria; buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block Q, Row 76, east side of Plot X.

Elizabeth Thompson, 19, a nurse, born in Nebraska; about four years resident in Canada and Victoria; died November 7, 1918 in Victoria.

Joseph Bradley, 44, a longshoreman, narried to Annie; born Leistershire, England; lived in Victoria and Canada for twenty years; died on November 10, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block F, Row 21/22, west side of Plot 21. Annie is buried beside.

Charles Christie, 33, a carpenter, married; born in Scotland; resident in Canada eleven years, in Victoria two months. Died on November 10, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block Q, Row 16, west side of Plot U.

Phillip Walsh, 27, a milkman; died November 13 in Royal Oak, Saanich, at the home he lived in all his life; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block U, Row 80, east side of Plot 49; his parents Mary and Patrick share the same ground.

Singhi Bo, 36, a laborer; born in Ludhiana, Punjab State, India; resident in Canada for ten years; living in Sidney; died on November 14, 1918, in Victoria.

William Thomas, 36, a whaler; born in Wales; resident of Canada and this area for eight years; resided latterly at the Coach and Horse Hotel, Esquimalt; died on November 14, 1918, in Victoria; buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block N, Row 34, west side of Plot H.

Annie Mee, 29, wife of Robert Lawrence Mee and mother of two; born in England; lived in Victoria and Canada for twenty-five years; died on November 16, 1918, in Victoria; buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block T, Row 42, west side of Plot 41.

Hubert Arnold Bishop, 44, a barber; husband of Della Bishop; native of Barbados, British West Indies; living in Victoria and Canada for seven years; died on November 21, 1918 in Victoria and is buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, Block Q, Row 18, west side of Plot V.

Agnes Ann Lorimer, 33, a housekeeper, died November 23, 1918 in Victoria

William Lorimer, 73, father of Agnes, died on November 24, 1918 in Victoria

Rose Emeline Smith, 39, wife of Harry Walter Smith, mother of three, died December 25, 1918 in Victoria

Ernest Edward Farrington, 31, employee of  B.C. Electric Railway Co., died February 21, 1919 in Victoria

Joseph Callow, 34, an elevator operator, died February 24, 1919 in Victoria

Jane Darbyshire, 38, teacher at Tolmie School; wife of John Darbyshire and mother of Kenneth; died March 1, 1919 in Saanich.

Military*

Norman Dixon, 26, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Springfield, Ontario; a farm worker, living in Edmonton, Alberta before recruitment; two brothers also in the 260th; died October 14, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Edmonton.

Amos Parks, 23, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Bancroft, Ontario; a farm worker living in Swift Current, Saskatchewan before recruitment; died October 16, 1918, in Victoria; buried in Swift Current.

Joseph Hewitt, 24, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in London, United Kingdom; a farm worker living in Whitewood, Saskatchewan before recruitment; died October 17, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Whitewood.

William Joseph Keeler, 23, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Seaforth, Ontario; a farm worker living in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan before recruitment; died October 17, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block U, Row 45, west side of Plot 49.

Alfred Ernest Cordery, 22, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Lambourne, Berkshire, United Kingdom; a farm worker living in Vanguard, Saskatchewan before recruitment; died October 18, 1918 in Victoria. Buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block W, Row 3, east side of Plot 43.

Fred Crysler, 20, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Watertown, New York; a farm worker living  in Meota, Saskatchewan before recruitment; died October 19, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block W,  Row 5, west side of Plot 44.

Archibald Calvert, 26, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in St. John’s, Newfoundland; a bank accountant living in St. John’s before recruitment; died October 20, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block L, Row 19, west side of Plot C.

Edward Henry Charles Cook, 47, Pioneer Sergeant, 1st Depot Battalion, B.C. Regiment C.E.F.; born in Great Chesterford, Essex, United Kingdom; married to Maude Eleanor, with four children; a carpenter and builder living in Burnaby Lake, British Columbia before enlisting in February 1915; died October 20, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block W, Row 4, west side of Plot 44.

James Hayes, 29, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland;  a railway mail clerk living in Vancouver, British Columbia before recruitment; died October 20, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block W, Row 8, west side of Plot 43.

William Henry McLaughlin, 17, Trumpeter, 5th Regiment Canadian Garrison Artillery, died October 23, 1918 in Esquimalt.

John Blair Montgomery, 29, Private, 11th Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment C.E.F; born in Vancouver, B.C.; a substation operator living in Vancouver before recruitment; died October 23, 1918 in Esquimalt; buried in Vancouver.

William Henry Fisher, 28, Private, 260th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia), died October 25, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Thomas Unsworth Cooke, 27, Private, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, C.E.F., died October 26, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block W, Row 8, west side of Plot 44.

Albert Sidney Hewitt, 21, Private, 259th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Ontario; died October 30, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Kitchener, Ontario.

Malcolm H. Leonard, 28, Leading Stoker, H.M.C.S. Rainbow, Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve; born in the Orkney Islands, Scotland; resident 15 months; died October 31, 1918 in Esquimalt.

John Conlon, 26, Private, 259th Battalion C.E.F. (Siberia); born in Ireland; resident for two weeks; died November 1, 1918 in Victoria

Benjamin Mitchell, 38, Private, 11th Canadian Garrison Regiment, C.E.F.; native of Scotland; resident in Victoria for three months; died November 20, 1918 in Esquimalt and is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block L, Row 19, east side of Plot C.

George Stanley Sargison, Gunner, 5th British Columbia Garrison Artillery, C.E.F., died November 23, 1918 in Victoria

Frederick Lewis Hollett, Sergeant, 16th Battalion, C.E.F., died January 4, 1919 in Victoria

Albert George Moss, Private, 88th Battalion, C.E.F. and Canadian Army Service Corps, died January 30, 1919 in Victoria

Hin Yung Chang, 47th Company, Chinese Labour Corps, died November 18, 1919 in Metchosin, BC

John Campbell, Corporal, 18th Battalion, C.E.F., died March 14, 1920 in Esquimalt

Caregivers

Lizzie Mary Lena Grant, 28, Red Cross worker, died October 20, 1918 in Victoria

Beulah Westwood, 30, school teacher, volunteer nurse, died November 8, 1918 in Victoria.

Sister Mary Josephine, RN, 28, Chief Operating Nurse, St. Joseph’s Hospital; born Marie Maesson in Belgium; resident in Victoria ten years; died November 9, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block U, Row 60, east side of Plot 52.

Recently resident

Kieran Joseph O’Neill, MD, 29, born in Ontario, husband of Mary Elizabeth Lyons; father of five; lived and practised in Victoria 1910-13; died October 23, 1918 in Coupeville, Washington; buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Snohomish County, Washington.

William Henry Armstrong, 34, CPR conductor; born in Manitoba; resident in Victoria eleven years; married, living in Alberni; died on October 31, 1918; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery Block Q, Row 83, west side of Plot W.

James Homer Lemmax, 30, pharmacist; born in Kansas; resident of Victoria 1890-1917; died on October 31, 1918, in San Francisco.

Robert Johnston, 25, teamster; born in Belfast, Ireland; ten years’ residence in Canada and the Victoria area; volunteered for service in March 1915; joined the 48th Battalion Canadian Infantry and transported to England; suffered failing health and returned; discharged September 1917; died on November 12, 1918 on James Island, where he had been living for two months. Burial at Ross Bay Cemetery with full military honours; Block L, Row 16, east side of Plot A.

Visiting

Wong Ho, 32, born in China; in Canada fifteen days, all at the Immigration Detention Hospital in Victoria; died October 13, 1918; buried in the Chinese Cemetery, Oak Bay.

Koto Fukuyama, 24, married, with two children; born in Japan; resident of Vancouver; three days in Victoria; died October 27, 1918 at the Osawa Hotel; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery Block N, row 29, east side of plot I.

John Little, 37; born in Ontario; resident of Everett, Washington; in Victoria two weeks; died October 28, 1918 at the Columbia Rooms; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block L, Row 23, east side of Plot E.

Dorothy Francis Hamilton Edwards, 26; wife of Guy Henry Thomas Edwards, mother of John Guy Hamilton Edwards; born in London, England; resident of Wallachin, BC; died on November 6, 1918 in Victoria; buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, Block T, Row 79, east side of Plot 45.

Samuel McKelvey, 32, a farmer in Iddlesleigh, Alberta; born in Walthamstow, Essex County, England; died on November 11, 1918 after one week in Victoria; buried in Calgary.

Agnes Mary Fletcher, 29, married with one child; native of England; in Victoria and Canada for two weeks; resident at the Fairfield Hotel; died on November 17, 1918, in Victoria and is buried in Toronto.

* A few military deaths were followed by post-mortem examination; autopsy records of soldiers and sailors who succumbed have been digitized and made accessible in Library and Archives Canada’s Personnel of the First World War files; the records, usually hand-written notes in medical idiom, appear to give the most focussed evidence imaginable of the effects of the virus. Those men gave their all.

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