Image from the Herts Advertiser – June 1900
Born: 20th June 1881, Luton, Bedfordshire.
Baptised: 1881, at Christ Church, Luton, Bedfordshire. Parents: Charles William & Elizabeth Ellingham.
Died: 15th June 1900; age: 18; Died of Enteric Fever at Bloemfontein, Free State, 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.
Residence: Lattimore Road, St. Albans, Hertfordshire.
Charles entered the Army in June 1897 and served a year at Malta, where he received his stripe. He went out to South Africa with his regiment, the Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, in the ‘Scot’ on the 11th November 1899.
Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 4660.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Field Force.
Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony, Orange Free State & Transvaal.
Maternal cousin to WALTER THOMAS SEAMONS.
1891 5, Regent Street, Luton, Bedfordshire.
Charles was 9 years old and living with his parents & brothers.
Charles William Ellingham, 28, a Straw Hat Blocker, born Luton.
Elizabeth Ellingham (nee Welch), 31, a Straw Hat Maker – at home, born Cowley, Middlesex.
Stanley Walter Ellingham, 8, born Luton.
Cyril Glover Ellingham, 6, born Luton.
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. A storm of bullets met the Suffolks. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.