Born: 1871, Woolpit, Suffolk.

Baptised: St. Mary the Virgin Church, Woolpit, Suffolk.

Died: 3rd February 1901; age: 28; Died of Enteric Fever at Middelburg, Mpumalanga, 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: Brick Company Cottages, Ipswich Road, Wooplit, Suffolk.

Occupation: Brick Labourer.

Enlistment Date: 3rd January 1893.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 3415.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion.


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




1871   Woolpit, Suffolk.


Charles was 3 weeks old and living with his parents & brother.

James William Rice, 23, an Agricultural Labourer, born Woolpit.

Eliza Rice (nee Laughlin), 24, born Woolpit.

William Rice, 1, born Woolpit.


1881   Street, Woolpit, Suffolk.


Charles was 10 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

James, 33, a General Labourer.

Eliza, 33.

William, 12.

Emmeline Kate Rice, 8, born Woolpit.

Frederick John Rice, 6, born Woolpit.

Benjamin Rice, 3, born Woolpit.

Rose Ellen Rice, 2, born Woolpit.


1891   Kiln Lane, Woolpit, Suffolk.


Charles was 20 years old, a Brick Labourer. He was living with his parents & siblings.

James, 42, a Brick Labourer.

Eliza, 43.

William, 21, a Brick Labourer.

Emmeline, 17, a Domestic General Servant.

Frederick, 16, a Brick Labourer.

Benjamin, 14.

Rose, 12.

Lily Rice, 10, born Woolpit.

Edith Mary Violet Rice, 8, born Woolpit.

Jabez Rice, 5, born Woolpit.

Sidney Rice, 3, born Woolpit.


Soldiers’ Effects to James William Rice – father.


17th December 1889 – Bury and Norwich Post – THEFT OF A TAME RABBIT –  On the 16th December 1889, at Ixworth Petty Sessions, 17 year old Charles Rice, was before Mr. R.E. Lofft – in the chair), and Messrs. W.N. King, F.M.H. Turner, E.R. Hawkins, and G.E. Payne, charged with having on the 5th December, stolen a live rabbit, the property of Henry Wright, of Elmswell. In reply to the usual questions, Charles said he pleaded guilty to picking the rabbit up in the road, but he did not steal it. This was his first offence, and the defendant was fined 10s.: in default a week’s imprisonment.


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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