About this site

Photo: ITV Wales

THIS WEBSITE tells the story of the outbreaks of Smallpox in Britain in 1962, with particular emphasis on the impact of the disease in Wales, where 19 people died and 900,000 were vaccinated.

The outbreak began in January 1962. To mark the 50th anniversary content was added to this site beginning in January and ending in May 2012, 50 years after the ‘all clear’ was given.

The site is the work of James Stewart, who made a documentary about the outbreak for ITV in 2002.  While he was teaching at the University of Glamorgan, a small group of students joined the project to record the memories of people affected by the outbreak in 1962.

CLICK on the tabs in the menu to follow the story in different locations.

If you have memories (or pictures) from the 1962 outbreaks, please get in touch by adding a comment. Your contributions will be added to the site.

Click HERE to see people’s comments and add your own.

(See also: ‘What do you remember?‘)

Contact the project by e-mail: info@smallpox1962.org.uk



Recent Posts

Last smallpox outbreak in Britain – 40 years ago

IN August 1978, Birmingham was the scene of the last case of smallpox in Britain.  Janet Parker, a medical photographer at the University of Birmingham, was accidentally infected with smallpox and later died at East Birmingham Hospital. Her illness was initially diagnosed as a drug rash, but soon afterwards pustules appeared on her body. Mrs Parker’s mother also developed smallpox, but survived. The ensuing investigation never established exactly how the smallpox virus had escaped from the university’s laboratory.

BBC report on the last death from Smallpox in the UK.

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