A new exhibition has told of the devastating impact a deadly flu had in the north-east.
This year marks 100 years since the third and most fatal wave of Spanish flu hit the country.
The influenza pandemic is recognised as the worst in recorded history, with 50 million deaths reported due to the disease worldwide.
In the north-east, it began in the north, with Banffshire the worst affected – resulting in 321 deaths.
Across Scotland, the number who died is thought to be around 17,575.
Young, healthy adults were particularly affected by a strain so virulent they could fall ill on the way to work and be dead by bedtime.
Information created for the exhibition, which launched yesterday, includes an excerpt from the Banff Country Medical Officer of Health, who traced the first case of the outbreak in Banffshire to Gardenstown, where a sailor returning from war brought the illness.
There were three waves of influenza, the last one ending in March, 1919.
On September 19, 1918, the head teacher of Bracoden School, in Gamrie, said: “Already there have been three deaths. Yesterday 52 pupils were absent and today no less than 70 scholars were absent… It would seem as if the school would have to be closed if the epidemic becomes more virulent.”
A partnership between the Aberdeen City and Shire Archives, Aberdeenshire Council and library service and Florence Nightingale Museum in London has allowed the exhibition to visit the north-east.
S3 Scottish Studies students at Banff Academy spent time researching the epidemic in the local area, and created their own newspapers to reflect what may have been reported at the time.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
They are currently on display at the academy alongside the exhibition, and include advice such as to eat an onion bought at nearby Macduff Farmers’ Market to keep symptoms at bay, and articles in Doric to reflect how locals would have spoken.
Schools were shut and theatres and cinemas closed to under-14s in an effort to control its spread.
But doctors were overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the flu – not least because so many of their number were on the First World War front line.
James Kennedy, a former nurse who has researched the Spanish flu in Scotland, gave a talk at the launch.
He said: “It is the single biggest demographic event ever. It put into perspective the different scale of things such as cholera.”
Councillor Gillian Owen, chairwoman of Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services committee, said: “It’s great to see our schools involved in collaborative projects with experts in so many different fields.
“Seeing local history brought to life, particularly with the help our libraries and archives services, will give the young people involved a unique appreciation for the advancements in medicine we all too often take for granted.”
The exhibition is on display at Banff Academy until Thursday, then it will move to be on public display at Banff Library from March 9 to 22.
Afterwards, it will move to Woodhill House to be displayed there until March 29, before moving to Aberdeen Central Library next month.