Born: 1863, St. Peter’s, Ipswich.

Died: Sunday, 2nd December 1900; age: 36; Died of Influenza & Heart Failure, at Kimberley Hospital, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Residence: 40, Emlen Street, Ipswich.

Occupation: a Shoe Maker at Messrs. Johnson, Clark & Parker Ltd., Princes Street, Ipswich.


Herbert had a very high reputation as a member of the Harwich Brigade Bearer Company, located at Ipswich.

Enlistment date: 13th February 1900.


Service: Herbert’s duty was at No. 11 General Hospital, Kimberley.

Herbert was first sent to Aldershot.


Rank: Sergeant; Service Number: 13562.

Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps, South Africa Field Force.


Grave Reference:

Kampfersdam Military Cemetery,


South Africa.




1871   55, Station Road, Ipswich.


Herbert was 8 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

John Dykes, 41, a Shoe Maker, born Buxhall, Suffolk.

(Betsy) Elizabeth Dykes (nee Mills), 40, born Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Ellen Dykes, 13, born Ipswich.

Julia Mary Dykes, 11, born Ipswich.

Thomas Samuel Dykes, 6, born Ipswich.

Minnie Dykes, 3, born Ipswich.

Edward Charles Dykes, 10 months, born Ipswich.


1881   Nelson Road, Ipswich.


Herbert was 19 years old, a Shoe Maker. He was boarding at the home of his maternal uncle, 37 year old, Benjamin Mills, a Platelayer – Railway, and aunt & cousins.


1891   28, St. Margaret’s Green, Ipswich.


Herbert was 28 years old, a Shoe Maker. He was married and Head of the Household.

Mary, 30.

Joseph, 8.

Herbert, 3.


Herbert’s mother, Elizabeth Dykes died 1880, Ipswich.


Herbert married Mary Anne Potter, born 1861, Rushmere St. Andrew, Suffolk – daughter of John Potter and Sarah Anna Gosling Potter (nee Codd), a pork butcher, of The Pork Butcher Shop, 2, Briar Cottage, Spring Road, Ipswich. 

They had 3 children:

Joseph John Bertie Dykes, born 1882, Ipswich – died 1903, Ipswich.

Herbert Victor Dykes, born 1888, Ipswich.

May Mina Jane Dykes, born January 1892, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Mary A. Dykes – widow.


The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 15th December 1900 – DEATH OF AN IPSWICH VOLUNTEERIpswich mourns the loss of another of its Volunteers who have been on active service in South Africa. The casualty list issued by the War Office on Saturday announced the death from influenza and heart failure of Sergt. H. Dykes, of the Volunteer R.A.M.C., who was employed with No. 11 General Hospital, South Africa. His widow, who lives with her three young children in Emlen Street, St. Matthew’s had received a letter from him by the morning’s post, and her joy was turned to sorrow when, by the very next post, she received an intimation of his death from the War Office. Ipswich has altogether sent to the war 23 Volunteers of the 1st V.B.S.R., 14 belonging to the fighting companies and nine to the Brigade Bearer Companies. The death of Sergt. Dykes brings up the number of deaths to three, the others being Sergt. Garrard and Prvt. May. Three Volunteers have also been invalided home, leaving 17 at the front. Sergt. Dykes was formerly employed by Messrs. Johnson, Clarke, and Parker, Limited, of Princes Street. Some difficulty arose in respect to his acceptance for active service, owing to his age exceeding the limit laid down by the authorities. In the end, however, the especial capabilities possessed by the deceased for ambulance and hospital work out weighed the objections entertained in reference to his age, and he was sent out to South Africa in a troopship which made the voyage via Gibraltar and St. Helena. He undertook special and responsible duties en route under the medical officer in charge of the vessel. The other members of the Ipswich detachment were conveyed in another vessel.


East Anglian Daily Times – Saturday, 5th January 1901 – HOW AN IPSWICH VOLUNTEER DIEDPrvt. Frank Gooding, an Ipswich man, serving as a Volunteer in the R.A.M.C., writes to his parents, under date 9th December, from No. 11, General Hospital, Kimberley. He makes feeling allusion to the death of Sergt. Dykes, an Ipswich comrade, remarking:-

“Poor Sergt. Dykes’ death was a great blowto us, I can assure you. When I came in from Churchlast Sunday, and they told me he was dead, neither I or anyone else could scarcely believe it. There was not much sleep for us that night. Poor man! It upset him when he went to Hoopstad: he was never the same man after he returned, and he worried about getting home. Sergt. Dykes went into hospital on the 22nd November, and died on Sunday, 2nd December. On the latter day, Harry Davies was talking to him, and Dykes said “I’m going down by the next convoy for home. I’m not going to have any more of this country: I cannot stand the heat.” Poor Dykes was talking about what he was going to do when we all arrived home, and was directing an envelope to his wife, when he fell back, with the exclamation “Oh! Harry, run for the doctor: I’ve got such a pain.” Harry fetched the doctor, and they gave Dykes some brandy, and put hot fomentations on his chest: but it was all over. He shock hands with Harry Davis, and said, ‘Good-bye Harry, I’m going to die.’ His last words were ‘May God bless my dear wife and children.’ That’s how our well loved Sergeant died: he had not got an enemy, and we were proud of him. He would say very often, ‘Look that is one of my boys, the finest lot any Sergeant ever brought out here. That’s Ipswich.’ We buried Dykes on the the 4th December, it was the saddest day we have had during our stay in South Africa. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack, and on it were placed his helmet, side arms, belt, and two everlasting wreaths, one of which was sent by the officers. The remains were interred with all military honours at Kampfersdam, a soldiers’ cemetery, about five miles from our camp. It rained heavily when we started, and it thundered and lightened all the way there. A big dog, which always used to go about with Dykes, came with us to the cemetery, and seemed as though it would go mad when the coffin was lowered into the grave. We intent to erect a cross, and have a photo taken of the grave.”

The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 12th January 1901 – 1st V.B.S.R. THE LATE SERGT. DYKESThe N.C. Officers of the 1st V.B. Suffolk Regiment have decided to abandon their annual dance for this season owing to the lamented losses from the Suffolk Regiment serving in South Africa; they have, however, decided to hold a BENEFIT CONCERT AND ENTERTAINMENT at the Public Hall, on WEDNESDAY NEXT, January 16th, for the benefit of the Widow and Family of the late Sergt. Dykes, of the Ambulance Company of Harwich Volunteer Brigade, who died at Kimberley, while on active service, on the 2nd December, 1900.  Hearty support is asked for so worthy an object.

Tickets, 6d., 1s., and 2s. 6d. each, may be obtained of Q.M.S. Watson, Westgate Street, or any of the non-commissioned officers of the Corps.


The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 12th January 1901 – THE LATE SERGT. DYKESWe would call the particular attention of our readers to the concert that is to be held next Wednesday evening, in the Public Hall, for the benefit of the widow and family of the late Sergt. Dykes. The deceased non-com. Belonged to the Ambulance Company of the Harwich Volunteer Infantry Brigade, and was the only married Volunteer who was despatched from Ipswich to the front. He was a most enthusiastic Volunteer, and his sacrifice for his country will, we are sure, be recognised by a “bumper” house. Both the Ipswich Volunteer sergeants who went to the front have lost their lives, and the regret we feel is intensified by the fact that it was pure patriotism and no spirit of adventure or medal hunting that induced them to volunteer for the front.


The Boer War.

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