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Six MONTHS BEFORE the Armistice ended the Great War a new and more deadly scourge was unleashed upon the world Popularly known as ‘Spanish’ flu it killed twenty million people within twelve months Australia remained free of infection for much of that time, but by the end of 1919 all ‘Australian States shared a death toll of 12,000. No one knew precisely what the disease was, or how to cure or prevent it. Was the Australian version simply a more virulent strain of the influenza which recurred every year, as claimed by the Director of Quarantine? The Federal structure of Australian government was ignored, as States closed their borders: was Victoria responsible for allowing infection to spread to the rest of Australia as many New South Welshmen alleged? Or was the Pandemic a continuation of God’s punishments, the fulfilment of Apocalyptic prophecy?” Continue reading