[Isobel Haresnape recalls nursing in Auckland during the 1918 influenza epidemic].

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Tono kōrero mai

Nurse Isobel Haresnape gives an account of the influenza epidemic in Auckland in 1918.

Nurse Haresnape was nursing returned men in Waikato in 1918 when she was sent to Auckland where an epidemic of influenza was threatening. The day after she arrived, Armistice was declared prematurely on November 9th. She describes how everyone rushed into the Queen Street and the epidemic took off.
The [Seddon Memoria]l Technical College was turned into a temporary hospital. Dead and dying were brought in or left on the doorstep while people still celebrated in the streets. Special funeral trains were run daily to ferry all the dead to cemeteries. She believes Māori suffered even higher death rates.
A universal holiday was declared with the official news of the Armistice and this mistake meant stores and equipment for the hospitals were unavailable.
She describes the fear that gripped the city and graphically recalls the cases she remembers from her first night in the temporary hospital. Patients suffering from delirium haunted her for years later. Some workers were untrained and found it very difficult to cope. She found two children crying outside a house, with one parent dead, another seriously ill and four other children ill inside. She then became ill herself with the disease.

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Year 1968

Reference number 253763

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Oral histories
Interviews (Sound recordings)
Sound recordings

Credits Haresnape, Isobel, Speaker/Kaikōrero
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (estab. 1962, closed 1975), Broadcaster

Duration 00:09:57

Date 1968