Thursday, 4 October 2018
Friday 4th October 1918
More attacks have been made on the Beaurevoir Line today but little progress has been made. french promises of support failed to materialise. After all the success this has created a mood of frustration, as may be imagined.
As the year turns through Autumn we have noticed a good deal of illness amongst the troops. A good many men seem to have a kind of infuenza, lacking strength, feeling hot and cold by degrees and, as the disease takes hold their breath becomes increasingly short and their breathing increasingly laboured. It has to be said that there have been fatalities. It would be cruel indeed if final victory were to be denied by illness but I have heard tell, whether truly or not, that some enemy prisoners seem to have it to(1).
(1) The Spanish Flu epidemic, as it was known, lasted for two years, from January 1918 to December 1920. By the start of October it was beginning to affect the armies in striking numbers. Its effect was particularly devastating on the young, fit and active as the disease turned their immune systems against them. It is estimated that between 50 and 100 million (2 to 3 per cent of the World's population) would died from the flu and that nowhere was unaffected.
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