Born: 1869, Halesworth, Suffolk.

Baptised: 26th December 1869, at Halesworth, Suffolk. Parents: Henry & Ellen Louisa Smith.

Died: 16th July 1900; age: 30; Died of Enteric Fever at Kroonstad, 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 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: Butcher’s Shop, Albion Street, Saxmundham, Suffolk.


Rank: Sapper; Service Number: 25781.

Regiment: Royal Engineers, 38th Company, Bridging Brigade, ‘C’ Pontoon Troop.


Clasps Awarded: Relief of Kimberley & Orange Free State.




1871   Church Farm, Brickyard, Halesworth, Suffolk.


Henry was a year old and living with his parents.

Henry Smith, 23, a Clerk – Brick Maker, born Halesworth.

Ellen Louisa Smith (nee Gipson), 20, born Halesworth.


1881   Quay Street, Halesworth, Suffolk.


Henry was 11 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Henry, 32, a Pork Butcher.

Ellen, 30.

William Frederick Smith, 9, born Halesworth.

Herbert John Smith, 7, born Halesworth.

Ellen Charlotte Smith, 2, born Halesworth – died 1884, Halesworth.


Henry’s brother, Howard Gipson Smith lost his life during the First World War. Howard was ranked a Private, service number 21907, for the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 3rd Battalion. He died on the 22nd February 1917, and was laid to rest at Parkhurst Military Cemetery, Isle of Wight. Howard was part of a Travelling Fair.

The Boer War.

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