After the first world war, the influenza epidemic was sweeping through the countries of the world. Between one third and one half of New Zealands population had come down with the flu. Some towns of NZ had a death rate of 80% of that towns population. As many as 8000 had died in New Zealand alone.
world War one started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. In retaliation, Austro-Hungary against the Serbia Kingdom, set off a series of chain reactions. The end result of the war was approx 40 million deaths, 20 million of those being military and civilian deaths.