This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Troopship Boonah and the Spanish flu

HMAT Boonah, courtesy of  Wikipedia article on the Boonah Crisis.
In 1919 a scandal erupted over the treatment of troops on the HMAT Boonah who had contracted the Spanish flu.  Sick soldiers were evacuated to Woodman Point Quarantine Station, Fremantle, but there was not even food for them, let alone medicine or adequate nursing and medical staff.  The Boonah contained men from several states. After leaving Fremantle a further group of soldiers were off-loaded at Adelaide to be taken to the Torrens Quarantine Station.  At Melbourne the rest of the troops disembarked, and in an eerie resemblance to the Ruby Princess, the troops travelling on to Sydney and Brisbane took the train, and no doubt spread the flu far and wide.    Marilyn Kenny tells the story of this  plague-ship in her article on The Empire Called.

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