Born: 1871, Worthing, West Sussex.

Baptised: 5th November 1871, at St. George’s Church, Worthing, West Sussex.

Died: 3rd August 1900; age 29; Died of Enteric Fever at Germiston, Gauteng, 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.

August 1900 – “It is with deep concern that the C.O. finds himself obliged to announce to the Battalion the death from Enteric Fever, at Germiston, of Prvt. A.H. May. In him the Battalion loses one of its most useful and promising members.”

Residence: 109, Lacey Street, Ipswich.

Occupation: Solicitor’s Clerk.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 6942.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, 2nd Volunteer Company, South Africa Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony, Orange Free State & Transvaal.




1871   58, High Street, Broadwater , West Sussex.


Alfred was 2 months old and living with his parents & siblings.

George May, 37, a Painter & Glazier, born Worthing, West Sussex.

Fanny May (nee Brown), 32, born Worthing.

Fanny May, 14, born Worthing.

Thomas William May, 11, born Worthing.

Jane May, 9, born Worthing.

Alice Kate May, 2, born Worthing.

1 lodger.


1881   76, High Street, Broadwater, West Sussex.


Alfred was 10 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

George, 45, a House Painter.

Fanny, 42.

Thomas, 21, a House Painter.

Jane, 19, a General Domestic Servant.

Alice, 12.

2 lodgers.


1891   76, High Street, Broadwater, West Sussex.


Alfred was 20 years old, a Solicitor’s Clerk – Law. He was living with his parents, sister & spinster, maternal aunt.

George, 55, a House Painter.

Fanny, 51, a Lodge House Keeper – own account.

Jane, 29, a Lodge House Keeper Assistant.

Frances Brown, 71, Living on own Means, born Storrington, West Sussex.

2 lodgers.


Alfred’s father, George May died 1899, Broadwater, West Sussex.


Probate to Fanny May – mother.


Alfred is also remembered on the Boer War Memorial at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich and at Worthing, West Sussex.


One of the notable Battles with a large loss of Suffolk life was the “Battle of Suffolk hill” at Colesberg, Northern Cape 5th- 6th January 1900. The hill was originally called Red or Grassy Hill. The Suffolk regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights, four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. The Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.

The Boer War.

Suffolk Regiment 

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