Sergeant Ernest H. Thornhill

Sergeant Ernest H. Thornhill

Louisville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, November 30, 1918

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Ernest H. Thornhill

Sergeant Ernest Thornhill died as a result of contracting the Spanish Influenza while assisting victims getting to the hospital.

He was taken to the City Hospital where he died as a result of complications four days after developing symptoms.

Sergeant Thornhill's wife and infant daughter died the next day due to complications of Spanish Influenza and childbirth.

Sergeant Thornhill served with the Louisville Police Department for eight months. He was survived by his two sons, both under the age of three.

Effects of Spanish Flu on Law Enforcement

From 1918 to early 1919, the Spanish Flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed approximately 675,000 Americans. Many officers contracted this virus due to the requirements of their job.

The names of every officer who died in the line of duty from the Spanish Flu will likely never be known, but ODMP researchers continue to uncover new cases as part of our mission to never forget the fallen.

Please click here to view ODMP's Spanish Flu memorial listing all known fallen officers from the pandemic.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 8 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Tuesday, November 26, 1918

communicable disease, Spanish Influenza

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“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service (Retired)

December 11, 2023

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