Born: 1879, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.

Died: 7th July 1900; age: 20; 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. 

Occupation: Farm Labourer.

Enlistment Date: 24th October 1895.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 4281.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Field Force.


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




1881   Barracks – Out Risbygate, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.


Charles was a year old and living with his parents.

John Wilson, 39, a Sergeant – Chelsea Pensioner, born St. Luke’s, Chelsea, London.

Mary Ann Wilson (nee Smith), 25, born Risby, Suffolk.


1891   15, South Street, Risby, Suffolk.


Charles was 12 years old, a Farm Labourer. He was living with his widowed, maternal grandmother.

Elizabeth Smith (nee Freeman), 66, born Palgrave, Suffolk.


Charles’s father, John Wilson died 1881, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. His mother, Mary Ann Wilson died 1883, Risby, Suffolk.


Soldiers’ Effects to Elizabeth Smith – maternal grandmother.


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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