This exhibition has finished.
Cost: Free of Charge
Prepare for the unknown – on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of ‘Spanish Flu’, this display explores how a future epidemic might hit London.
The new display uses the museum’s collections to show the effect of historic epidemics on London and how we might learn from the past should we be visited by ‘Disease X’.
Among the key exhibits is the outfit worn by Queen Victoria in the very earliest period of mourning for her grandson. Never previously displayed in public, the outfit features a thick band of black crepe, designed to display the depth of the Queen’s sadness.
The display also features previously untold stories of Londoners struck down by disease. Among these is that of William Leefe Robinson of the Royal Flying Corps. Awarded the Victoria Cross for shooting down a Zeppelin airship on its way to bomb London, Robinson was an acknowledged hero, who later survived being shot down, captured and imprisoned in France. After making three attempts to escape, he eventually made it home to Middlesex in December 1918, just in time to celebrate Christmas with his family, only to be killed by influenza on New Year’s Eve.
It also includes the skeleton of a 9 month old infant who died from smallpox. While epidemics rarely leave any trace in the human skeleton, smallpox did affect the bones of growing children and this can be seen in the elbow joints of this baby, who was buried in the early 1800s at the Crossbones Cemetery in Southwark.
Contact and Booking Details
More information at this website.
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The Museum of London,