If you've read my blog before you've probably already encountered Edith Smith. She was my grandmother's older sister and it's her collection of postcards that are on my Postcards for Miss Smith page.
Edith was born on March 2nd 1878 and she lived for most of her life at home with her parents. However on June 21st 1915, aged 37 years, she married George Ernest Smith at the parish church in Royston, near Barnsley, Yorkshire.
Although Edith and George shared a surname, they weren't related to each other. In 1911, George worked as a coal hewer and lived in Sheffield. Edith had some family connections with Sheffield so maybe she met George on one of her visits to her sister. Edith's sister's husband was George's witness when the church register was signed after the ceremony.
After their marriage, Mr and Mrs Smith set up home at Guiseley Cottage in Station Road and a couple of years later moved to Church Hill in Royston (or Roystone as it was known in those days).
On 29th March 1919, less than four years after her marriage, Edith developed Influenza and Acute Bronchitis and died with her husband at her side.
The influenza pandemic of January 1918 - December 1920 was the first pandemic involving the H1N1 virus. It is thought to have infected 500 million people across the world and a fifth of the victims may have died.
To maintain morale the reporting of the pandemic was censored in Germany, France, U.K. and U.S.A. However as Spain was a neutral country during the First World War there were no reporting restrictions on what was happening there. The impression was created that the pandemic was worse in Spain: hence it became known as Spanish Flu.
Edith was buried on April 2nd and on her special funerary bookmark was printed:
Gentle in manner, patient in pain
One dear one left us, Heaven to gain
With a nature so gentle and actions so kind
Hard in this world is her equal to find.
(Photograph of Royston Church: © Copyright Dave Bevis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence )
Thanks for reading my blog today.
You might also like Writing a Family History ~ First World War Stories a blog to commemorate our ancestors lives during WW1.
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK