Born: 1876, Great Blakenham, Suffolk.

Died: 1st April 1900; age: 24; Died of Enteric Fever, at Pretoria, 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 develop a week or two after a person has become infected bringing on a high temperature, headaches, coughs, lethargy, aches and pains, loss 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 contain 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 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 voluntary immunisation. The inoculation was still voluntary in August 1914, when Great Britain entered the First World War. 

Taken PoW 6th January 1900, at Colesberg.

Residence: Great Blakenham, Suffolk.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 3404.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion.


Clasps Awarded: Orange Free State & Transvaal.






1881   Baylham, Suffolk.


Benjamin was 5 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

John Holland, 33, a Game Keeper, born Great Blakenham.

Sarah Ann Holland (nee Abbott), 32, born Mickfield, Suffolk.

Charles William Holland, 12, born Great Blakenham.

Frederick John Holland, 11, born Great Blakenham.

Alice Kate Holland, 8, born Great Blakenham.

Ernest George Holland, 7, born Great Blakenham.

Annie Jane Holland, 2, born Great Blakenham.

Emily Jane Holland, 10 months, born Great Blakenham.


1891   College Farm, Great Blakenham, Suffolk.


Benjamin was 15, a Farm Labourer. He was living with his widowed father & siblings.

John, 43, a Game Keeper.

William, 22, a Farm Labourer.

Kate, 18, the family Housekeeper.

George, 17, a Farm Labourer.

Annie, 12.

Emily, 10.

Walter Holland, 8, born Great Blakenham.

Lizzie Holland, 5, born Great Blakenham.

Ernest Holland, 2, born Great Blakenham.


Benjamin’s mother, Sarah Ann Holland died 1890, Great Blakenham, Suffolk.


Benjamin and Ernest are commemorated on their mother, Sarah’s headstone at St. Mary’s Churchyard, Great Blakenham.

Image of the headstone courtesy of Kelvin Dakin.


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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