Born: 1882, Badingham, Suffolk.

Died: 23rd March 1901; age 19; Died of Dysentery, at Springfontein, Free State, South Africa. Served 1 year & 109 days.

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: Cransford, Suffolk.

Occupation: a Grocer’s Assistant at Ampthill, Bedfordshire.


Enlistment Location: Bedford; date: 7th December 1899; age: 18 years & 7 months; Religion: CofE. Height: 5ft & 7 1/2 months, fresh complexion, light blue eyes & light brown hair.


Joined at Bedford – Private – 7th Dragoon Guards.



Home: 7th December 1899 – 20th January 1901

South Africa: 21st January 1901 – 23rd march 1901.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 4740.

Regiment: 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards, South Africa Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony & Orange Free State + South Africa 1901.




1891   Framlingham Road, Badingham, Suffolk.


Johnson was 9 years old and living with his maternal grandparents.

James Johnson Cook, 72, a Farmer – own account, born Bruisyard, Suffolk.

Rose Cook, 69, born Peasenhall, Suffolk.


Father: Edgar Barber, a Carpenter, born 1857, Yaxley, Suffolk.

Mother: Emily Barber (nee Cook), born 1852, Bruisyard, Suffolk – died August 1888, Cransford, Suffolk.


Edgar & Emily’s 3 young sons, Johnson, Thomas Edgar James Barber, born 1883 & Edgar William Barber, born 1886 were cared for by grandparents and extended family members.

The Boer War.

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