Born: 1872, Darsham, Suffolk.

Died: 6th December 1901; age: 30; Died of Enteric Fever at Kroonstad, Orange Free State, South Africa.

ENTERIC FEVER   Enteric Fever (eneterica serotype bacteria) was a rampant bacterial infection during the South Africa Boer War – 1899 – 1902.

This systemic disease, now known as Typhoid Fever, from the bacterium Salmonella typhi, is characterised by fever and abdominal pain. The disease is spread via the lymphatic system and can affect other parts of the body, or even the whole body. The symptoms usually developed a week or two after a person had became infected bringing on a high temperature, headaches, coughs, lethargy, aches and pains, lose of appetite, sickness and diarrhoea. After 2 – 3 weeks intestinal bleeding.

Enteric Fever was originally thought to be spread via dust storms and flies.

Human carriers with acute illness can contaminate the surrounding water supply through their faeces, which contains a high concentration of the bacteria. The polluted water supply can, in turn, taint the food supply. Enteric (Typhoid) Fever is then contracted by drinking, or eating the contaminated food or water. This bacteria can survive for weeks in water or dried sewage.

In 1897, an effective vaccine was developed by Almroth Wright and William Leisman, at the Army Medical School, Netley. At the time of the Boer War, the new inoculation had many side effects, and soldiers refused the voluntary immunisation. The inoculation was still voluntary in August 1914, when Great Britain entered the First World War. 

Residence: Brussels Green, Darsham, Suffolk.

Enlistment Date: 20th January 1891.


Rank: Corporal/Shoeing Smith; Service Number: 2833.

Regiment: Grenadier Guards, 1st Battalion – attached to the Army Veterinary Department, South Africa Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony & Orange Free State + South Africa 1901 medal.

Image of Albert’s grave, courtesy of “Soldiers of the Queen



1881   Brussels Green, Darsham, Suffolk.


Albert was 9 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

John Staff, 52, a Warrener & Mole Catcher – Gamekeeper, born Darsham.

Caroline Staff (nee Smith), 47, born Wenhaston, Suffolk.

John Staff, 23, a Warrener – Gamekeeper, born Darsham.

Maria Staff, 20, a Dressmaker, born Darsham.

Frederick Staff, 18, a Warrener – Gamekeeper, born Darsham.

George Staff, 17, an Agricultural Labourer, born Darsham.

Thomas Staff, 13, Warrener – Gamekeeper, born Darsham.

Jonah Staff, 10, born Darsham.

Agnes Staff, 7, born Darsham.

Ellen Staff, 6, born Darsham.

Caroline Staff, 5, born Darsham.


1891   ‘The Barracks’ Guards Depot for Recruits, Caterham, Surrey.


Albert was 20 years old, a Soldier ranked Private.


1901   Chelsea Barracks, Bridge Road, St. George Hanover Square, London.


Albert was 29 years old, a Soldier for the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards.


Soldiers’ Effects to Caroline Staff – mother.

The Boer War.

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