Born: 1874, Earl Soham, Suffolk.

Died: 16th February 1902; age: 27; Died of Enteric Fever at Harrismith, 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: Earl Soham, Suffolk.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 4720.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, 15th Mounted Infantry.


Clasps & Medals Awarded: Cape Colony, Orange Free State & Transvaal + South Africa 1901 medal & South Africa 1902 medal.


Brother to CHARLES LAST.




1881   Cottage, Earl Stonham, Suffolk.


James was 7 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Samuel Last, 46, an Agricultural  Labourer, born Earl Stonham.

Caroline Last nee Vinyard, 35, born Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.

Daniel William Pyke, 14, Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Charles Last, 10, born Stonham Aspal.

Sarah Last, 8, born Earl Stonham.

Francis John Last, 3, born Earl Stonham.

Edward Samuel Last, 1 month, born Earl Soham.


1891   The Street, Haughley, Suffolk.


James was 16 years old, an Agricultural Labourer. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Samuel Last, 57, an Agricultural Labourer.

Caroline Last, 45.

Francis, 13, an Agricultural Labourer.

Edward, 11.

Robert George Last, 8, born Earl Soham.


Soldiers’ Effects to Samuel Last – father.


James & Charles’s brother, Edward Samuel Last was KiA, on the 23rd August 1917. Edward was ranked a Private, service number 27296, for the Somerset Light Infantry, 6th Battalion. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Edward was 37 years old, married with 3 children.


Photograph courtesy of Lou Rust.



One of the notable Battles with a large loss of Suffolk life was the “Battle of Suffolk hill” at Colesberg, Northern Cape 5th- 6th January 1900. The hill was originally called Red or Grassy Hill. The Suffolk regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights, four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. The Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.

The Boer War.

Suffolk Regiment 

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