1918: 100 years ago was the end of The First World War, The Great War, the war to end all wars.
The year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu (H1N1). A major flu pandemic which infected 500 million worldwide and killed an estimated 20 to 50 million people.
My own great grandfather, a dairy farmer, died from this flu. He was 60. It left my family in an economic and financial limbo that would take years to recover from.
Many families in the Cupar and area were dramatically affected.
Lloyd Keyser who served in WW1 died November 1918 of Pneumonia following the Influenza. He is buried in the cemetery in Cupar. His brother Earl also contacted the flu, but survived.
In October 1918 the first death was Mrs. Philip Weisbrod soon to follow Mr. Paul Hodel.
The Cupar Herald dated October 17 1918 gives more detail on efforts to contain the “disease”
By October 24 1918 3 more deaths are announced in the north district
The Cupar Herald dated October 31 1918 announces all businesses to be closed to prevent the spread of the flu and named a number of people who had died.
The Cupar Herald dated November 7 1918 noted that many people were being inoculated against the flu.
In the same issue Doctor Stuart advices people to remain home as the vaccine may give only some immunity against pneumonia and other complications.
The Cupar Herald dated November 21 1918 announces that an emergency hospital has been set up at the school.
The Cupar Herald December 5 1918 gives news of closing of the emergency hospital in Cupar.
However this was not the end of flu deaths. The James Mainland family of the McDonald Hills area (Enid) had lost a son in the war. In January of 1919 according to The Cupar Herald: Mrs. Mainland and 3 children: Mary, Rose and John succumbed to the disease.