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During 1918 and 1919 the local paper gives many accounts of a serious influenza epedemic, the following is just one of those sad stories.

- The Ven. Archdeacon Tollis, of East Maitland, received the sad intelligence on Monday evening last, that his second daughter, Mrs. H. Upton, had died of pneumonic influenza in Fiji. Previous cables stated that she was dangerously ill. Previous to her marriage Mrs. Upton was a good worker on behalf of St. Peter's Church, East Maitland, and news of her death was received with much regret by those connected with the Church and by many others. her husband is employed as Care Inspector at CSR Co.s mill at Nausori. The deceased lady was a younger sister of Mrs. C.N. Mell of Singleton, and with her husband paid a visit to this town in September 1917. She was married to Mr. Upton at St. Peter's, East Maitland, by the Rev. C.N. Mell, a little over two years ago.

Singleton Argus 19/12/1918
THE LATE MRS. UPTON - MAITLAND LADY'S SACRIFICE - Referring to the death, in Fiji, of Mrs. Hugh Upton, second daughter of Archdeacon Tollis, of East Maitland, reported in our last issue, the Maitland Mercury says - A letter received by her parents, dated Fiji, December 4th, came to hand on Wednesday in which, after writing of the pneumonic influenza in Suva, she stated - 'We have it in Nausori now. There is one very bad case down on the flat - seven down with it and one since (a man) has died. The Doctor asked for nurses but as they were all ill and could not leave their beds, four of us offered our services. Mr. S. Johnstone and I go from 7 o'clock to 12.30, then two others come on, also a man and a boy for night duty. I am off duty for a couple of days having a rest. We have others to take our places. Well, to stamp it out in Nausori all mill work has closed down and the men are going around in three's and four's to districts allotted them. They are to visit every house every day. We all wear masks and get into a lysol bath as soon as we return home, then put our clothes in afterwards. Hugh (her husband) is in the thick of it. All the men are frightfully keen and working very hard. They say it should be stamped out in a couple of weeks if people will only be careful and go to bed. It is a tremendous work but that is better than the wretched thong getting a hold!. From the above it would seem that the late Mrs. Upton sacrificed her life in her endeavours to save those afflicted with the dreadful disease, which has caused the loss of so many lives wherever it has appeared. Her death is very sad indeed but it is softened somewhat by the knowledge that her young life was cheerfully given up in a glorious spirit of self sacrifice. The Venerable Archdeacon Tollis and members of his family will have the wholehearted sympathy of the community in their very sad bereavement.
Singleton Argus 21/12/1918