Born: 1882, Bilsdale Midcable, North Yorkshire.

Died: 29th June 1902; age: 20; Died of Enteric Fever at Wynberg, Western Cape, 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: Upper Grove Farm, Rendham, Suffolk.

Occupation: a Groom.

Enlistment Date: 5th February 1900.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 5251.

Regiment: Queen’s Own 7th Hussars.


Clasp Awarded: Cape Colony + King’s South Africa 1902 medal.


Grave Reference:

Methodist Cemetery,


Cape Town,

South Africa.




1891   Hallgarth, Bilsdale Midcable, North Yorkshire.


John was 9 years old and living with his widowed father & paternal aunt.

Matthew Thomas Kitching, 31, a Farmer – own account – employer, born Bilsdale Midcable.

Elizabeth Hannah Kitching, 29, Living on own Means, born Bilsdale Midcable.

1 housekeeper.

1 general domestic servant

2 farmer’s servants.


1901   South Cavalry Barracks, Aldershot Military in Stanhope and Wellington Lines, Hampshire.


John was 19 years old, a Soldier ranked a Private for the 7th Hussars (Queen’s Own).


John’s mother was Amelia Kitching (nee Lamplugh), born 1855, Lowthorpe, Yorkshire – died July 1885, Chop Gate, Hambleton, North Yorkshire.


Soldiers’ Effects to Matthew Thomas Kitching – father, of Wallows Farm, Naughton.


John is commemorated on his mother, Amelia Kitching and sister Elizabeth Wilson Kitching’s (June 1884 – May 1885) headstone at St. Hilda’s Churchyard, Bilsdale.

The Boer War.

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