Photo by Jake Boudrot -- The old cemetery of Notre Dame de l’Assomption Church in Arichat was where some victims of the 1918 Spanish Flu were buried.

Thanks to a Facebook post by Dr. Steven DeRoche, the identities of local Spanish Flu victims have been made known. In the following columns, I hope to bring the identities of these victims to a wider audience.

Marie Louise (Minnie) Samson was the daughter of Isaie Samson and Émilie Jeanne Boudreau. She was 33 years of age when she succumbed to the Spanish Influenza on October 31, 1918 leaving her husband, William Joshua, with the care of nine children including twin girls less than two years old. William did not remarry and with the help of his sister, Jane, raised his family.

Once again the influenza struck those who were in the prime of their lives. Albert Léon Samson, a fisherman, had barely turned 18 years old when he died on November 1, 1918. Known as Leon Bertie, he was the son of Hilaire Samson and Marie Elizabeth (Mariah) Boudreau.

Also two of his sisters were victims of the Spanish Flu. One was Marie Cécile Élizabeth Samson, who died at Petit de Grat on November 5, 1918. She was 23 years old and her sister also died of this flu.

Joseph Clarence Boudreau, a 17-year-old labourer, lost his battle against the Spanish Flu on November 3, 1918. He was the son of Jeffrey Boudreau and Anne Boucher.

Provincial documents have recorded that Zabeth Martell, a scholar and daughter of Leander Martell of Cabbage Cove (Samson’s Cove), died on November 3, 1918 of the Spanish Flu. St. Joseph’s Parish records, however, show a Marie Martell, 18 years old, but there is no Elizabeth/Zabeth. Léandre Martell and his wife, Marie Barbe Landry, had two daughters, Sophie Jeanne (Jane) Martell 15 years of age, and Marie Élizabeth who survived and married Joseph Edgar Samson in 1931.

Private James Boudreau was the son of William Docité Boudreau and Eliza Jane Boudreau of Little Anse. His Military Enlistment Record indicates he was born on June 20, 1898 at St. Anne’s, Victoria County. It is more likely that he was born at Little Anse on November 17, 1898 and baptized as Albert. He died of the Spanish Flu on November 5, 1918 at the Cogswell Street Hospital in Halifax.

His sister, 17-year-old Eva (Mary Jane) Boudreau died of the Spanish Flu on November 6, 1918.

Henri David and Sabine Rose Boudreau had a son whose first name is unknown. He was probably born on October 23, 1918 and likely premature because his sister was only 10 months older. His mother died of the Spanish Flu three days after he was born.

One day later, November 14, 1918, another child succumbed to the Spanish Influenza. Charles Jacques Boudreau, son of Jacques (James) Boudreau and Clara Boudreau of Anse des Maqueraux (Cap Auguet) was a mere 10 months old when he died. His sister, Marie Anita, also died of this virus, on December 7, 1918. She was two years old.

Jean Thomas Hureau is listed twice in the Nova Scotia Vital Statistics, at Arichat and at Sydney. He was 19 years of age, the son of Thomas Hureau and Marthe Jeanne Goyetche. He died on December 25-26, 1918, another victim of the Spanish Flu.