Born: 1884, Witnesham, Suffolk.

Died: 9th July 1902; age 18; Died of Enteric Fever at Port of Elizabeth, 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 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: America Hill, Witnesham, Suffolk.

Employed: as a Labourer.

Enlistment Date: 3rd September 1901.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 1532.

Regiment: Royal Army Military Corps.


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony, Orange Free State + South Africa 1902 medal.






1891   Bye Road, Witnesham, Suffolk.


Ernest was 6 years old and living with his mother & widowed, maternal grandfather.

Simon Reynolds, 58, an Agricultural Labourer, born Swilland, Suffolk.

Janet Selah Reynolds, 26, born Witnesham.


1901   America Hill, Witnesham, Suffolk.


Ernest was 16 years old, an Agricultural Labourer. He was living with his mother, mother’s husband & maternal grandfather.

Robert Copping, 37, an Agricultural Labourer, born Witnesham.

Janet, 36.

Simon Reynolds, 68, an Agricultural Labourer.


Soldiers’ Effects’ to Janet Copping – mother.

The Boer War.

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