Born: 1872, Liverpool, Lancashire.

Died: 5th July 1900; age: 28; Died of Enteric Fever, at Pretoria, 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. 


Taken PoW – released 6th June 1900, at Waterval Boven.


Residence: 303, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich – the home of Eleanor’s widowed mother, Eliza Lawrence.

Occupation: Labourer.


Rank: Driver; Service Number: 78110.

Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery, ‘U’ Battery.


Clasps Awarded: Paardeberg, Dreifontein, Relief of Kimberley & Transvaal.




1881   16, Circus Street, Liverpool, Lancashire.


Charles was 8 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

James Mansfield Gelling, 40, a Dock Labourer, born Liverpool.

Susannah Gelling (nee Turner), 39, born Whitehaven, Cumberland.

William Gelling, 16, a Shop Boy, born Liverpool.

James Gelling, 14, a Shop Boy, born Liverpool.

Elizabeth Gelling, 4, born Liverpool.


Charles’s mother, Susannah Gelling died 1889, Liverpool, Lancashire.


In 1895, Marylebone, London, Charles married Eleanor Jane Lawrence, born 1870, Ipswich, a kitchenmaid, and 1 of 7 servants for Brodie Manuel De Zulueta (Count De Torre Diaz), a Spanish Merchant, of 21, Devonshire Place, Marylebone, Middlesex. Daughter of Henry Goldfinch Lawrence, a general labourer & Eliza Lawrence (nee Hudson 1st marriage Thompson), a dressmaker, of 114, Spring Road, Ipswich.  

They had 2 daughters:

Eleanor Lucy Gelling, born Christmas Day, 1895, 114, Spring Road, Ipswich.

Elizabeth Margaret Gelling, born August 1899, Camden Road, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Eleanor Gelling – widow.


In 1901, Charles’s widow Eleanor Gelling was away from her daughters, working as a cook. She was 1 of 6 servants for Doctor Herbert Henry Brown, of 3, Museum Street, Ipswich.


In 1901, daughter’s 5 year old Eleanor and 1 year old Elizabeth were living with their 67 year old widowed maternal grandmother Eliza Lawrence, at her home – 303, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, with their great aunt, aunt & uncle and 3 year old cousin.


Eleanor Jane Gelling died 1905, Ipswich.


In 1911, daughter’s 15 year old Eleanor and 11 year old Elizabeth were living with their 77 year old widowed maternal grandmother Eliza Lawrence. They were all living at the family home of their aunt and uncle and 9 year old cousin.


Grandmother Eliza Lawrence died 1914, Ipswich.


On the 25th November 1916, Eleanor & Elizabeth’s maternal cousin OLIVER HENRY LAWRENCE was killed by a mine on board H.M. Trawler ‘Burnley,’ off Orford Ness, Suffolk. Oliver was 16 years old.


The Boer War.

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