Thursday, October 28, 2021

West Ham History - "1918 Influenza epidemic - over 1,000 deaths"


This morning there was a post on the (excellent) Facebook site "Newham History" on a pamphlet published in 1986 to mark the 100th anniversary of the old West Ham Borough (now part of Newham).

It mentioned that the 1918 flu epidemic killed "over a 1000 people" in West Ham. So far I believe that there has been 666 deaths from the covid pandemic in Newham. 

The population of Newham in 1918 was a little higher than nowadays. Today it is around 350,000 but in 1921 the population of West Ham alone peaked 318,500 and in 1911 was 133, 847 in East Ham (West Ham and East Ham were joined in 1965 to form Newham).

UPDATE: these figures for 1918 flu deaths may be too low 

The November 9, 1918, edition of the Stratford Gazette reported 240 deaths that week alone in the old county of West Ham, risen from 100 for the previous seven days. In the former borough of East Ham, 134 people died, up from 67 the week before.

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