Born: 1874, Needham Market, Suffolk.

Died: 19th February 1900: age: 25; Died of Enteric Fever, at Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, 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. 

Residence: High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 9961.

Regiment: King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 1st Battalion, Natal Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Talana.




1881   High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk.


Frederick was 6 years old and living with his parents & sisters.

Frederick Augustus Spencer, 38, a Watch Maker – own account – at home, born Springfield, Essex.

Fanny Wilson Spencer (nee Lott), 30, born Needham Market.

Eveland Marion Spencer, 10, born Needham Market.

Florence Spencer, 8, born Needham Market, Suffolk.


1891   High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk.


Frederick was 16 years old, a Watch Maker’s Assistant – father’s business. He was living with his parents & sister.

Frederick, 48, a Watch Maker – own account – at home.

Fanny, 40.

Frederica Augusta Spencer, 9, born Needham Market.

The Boer War.

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