100 Chesterton Road
History of 100 Chesterton Road
Andrew J Laird, MD DPH
80 years of public health reports for Cambridge Borough/City Council
A J Laird was Cambridge Borough Medical Officer of Health in 1918 at the commencement of the Spanish Influenza epidemic.
A chronological account of the epidemic as recorded in the Cambridge newspapers can be found here:
The Cambridge Press during the month of November 1918 reported 125 deaths from the Cambridge City area. Some of these were written about at length; more often the reports were in the form of brief paragraphs that would give the name, date of death, address, close family and sometimes, but not always, the cause of death. Sometimes those who had died on military service were listed separately; sometimes together with civilian deaths.
Of the 125 reported deaths the following observations can be made:
24 attributed to influenza and/or pneumonia
31 cause of death not given but likely to be influenza related because of short duration of illness and/or age of victim i.e. <40 years old
30 killed or died from wounds in military action
10 from other reported specified illness or long illness
30 are of unreported cause with no information to suggest flu
44 % of deaths are likely to be influenza related
24 % of deaths relate to military action
Cambridge Mortality November 1918 data as reported in press
The equivalent data for December 1918 paints a very different picture.
There were 32 reported deaths of which:
2 were influenza or pneumonia
7 with no cause of death but possibly influenza
7 from military action
4 from reported cause unconnected with flu
12 from unreported cause less likely because of age to be flu related
Cambridge Mortality December 1918 data as reported in press