Registered at birth as ANSELMO COOPER GAYLER.

Born: 11th August 1866, the Workhouse Infirmary, Croydon, Surrey.

Died: 2nd May 1900; age: 31; Died of Enteric Fever at Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, 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. 

Enlistment Date: 1881; age: 14 – Royal Artillery, 6542.


Departure to the Front – On the evening of Thursday, 2nd November 1899, during wretched wet weather, the 73rd Battery, under Major Barlow, departed from their Military Artillery Barracks at Dorchester. The Mayor and a committee of the Corporation presented each man prior to starting with 1/4lb of tobacco, a pipe box of matches, and a packet of sandwiches as a “refresher” on their journey to Chatham.


Rank: Sergeant; Service Number: 28534.

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery, 73rd Battery, Natal Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Tugela Heights & Relief of Ladysmith.




1881   North Surrey District School, Anerley Road, Penge, Surrey.


Anzela was 14 years, a Scholar and Boarder at the Industrial School.


1891   Barracks, 2nd Division, Royal Artillery, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


Anzela was 24 years old, a Soldier ranked Bombardier for the Royal Artillery.


Father (recorded on marriage certificate): James Cooper, a Labourer.

Mother: Susan Gayler.


On the 21st October 1891, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich, Anzela married Martha Harriet Frost, born 1867, Ipswich – daughter of Henry Horace Frost, a cab proprietor and Hannah Saxby Frost (nee Curtis), of Ipswich. Martha died died 28th October 1899, at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Dorchester, Dorsetshire.

They had 3 children:

Walter Ernest Cooper, born 1893, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland – baptised: St. Andrew’s Church, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – died 1894, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland.

Gertrude Eveline Cooper, born March 1896, Exeter, Devon.

Ethel Beatrice Cooper, born January 1898, Exeter, Devon.


After the death of Martha, and just 6 months later Anzela, the two young girls went to live with their maternal aunt Kate Hannah Bradbrook (nee Frost) & William John Bradbrook, of 23, Myrtle Road, Ipswich. Kate and William later adopted the girls.


Probate to Kate Hannah Bradbrook – sister-in-law.


The Boer War.

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