Born: 1872, St. Nicholas, Ipswich.

Died: 18th March 1900; age 28; Died of Enteric Fever, at East London, Eastern Cape, 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: 36, St. George’s Street, Ipswich.

Employed: Ransome, Sims & Jefferies, Orwell Works, Ipswich.

Enlistment: date: 1890; age 18 years – Royal Artillery.


Rank: Driver; Service Number: 76560.

Regiment: 3rd Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery, South Africa Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony.




1881   13, St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich.


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

Robert Thomas Barber, 48, a Bookbinder – own account, born Ipswich.

Mary Ann Rose Barber (nee Mann), 45, Assisting in the Bookbinder Business, born Ipswich.

Emily Mary Ann Barber, 24, a Book Sewer, born Ipswich.

James Robert Barber, 23, Officer Worker, born Ipswich.

Alice Martha Barber, 18, a Book Sewer, born Ipswich.

Alexander Benjamin Barber, 16, a Shoe Warehouse Worker, born Ipswich.

Samuel Edward Barber, 14, a Shoe Warehouse Worker, born Ipswich.

Robert John Barber, 12, just left school, born Ipswich.

Lucy Susannah Barber, 8, born Ipswich.

John Philip Barber, 6, born Ipswich.

Marion Louisa Barber, 4 months, born Ipswich.


1891   Weedon Beck Barracks, Weedon, Northamptonshire.


Benjamin was 19 years old, a Soldier ranked Driver for the Royal Artillery.


In 1899, Ipswich, Benjamin married Gertrude Berry, born 1880, St. Clement’s, Ipswich – daughter of Abraham Ebenezer Berry, a quay labourer and Charlotte Maria Berry (nee Leggett), of Drake’s Court, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.

Benjamin Henry Barber, born 1899, Ipswich – died 1900, Ipswich.


On the 1901 census, Benjamin’s widow Gerty, was 21 years old, a laundress. She was living with her sister Sarah Barber (nee Berry), brother-in-law (and Benjamin’s brother) John Philip Barber, and niece Lucy Gertrude Barber, at their family home – 8, Vernon Street, Ipswich. 


Gertrude and Sarah’s brother Charles Edward Berry lost his life during the First World War. Charles was ranked a Private, service number 3/8880 for the Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion when on the 22nd April 1915 he was killed in action at West Vlaanderen, Belgium, he was 17 years of age. 


The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 31st March 1900 – DEATH OF ANOTHER RESERVISTWe again regret to report that another Reservist, whose wife and child were included in our Christmas fare distribution, has died in South Africa. His name is Driver Benjamin Henry Barber, of the 3rd Division Ammunition Column, F.A., and his death took place on March 18th, at East London, from enteric fever. He was employed at the Orwell Works, and singular to relate, his child was born on the very morning of his departure from Ipswich for South Africa.





The Boer War.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top