LEOPOLD SOAMES

 

 

Born: 1882, Mildenhall, Suffolk.

Died: 29th December 1900; age: 18; Died of Enteric Fever at Bloemfontein, 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: West Row, Mildenhall, Suffolk.

Occupation: Labourer.

Enlistment Date: 19th November 1898.

 

Rank: Private; Service Number: 5243.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Free State.

 

Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony, Orange Free State & Transvaal.

 

CENSUS

 

1891   3, Stanton Square, Lewisham, Kent.

 

Leopold was 9 years old and living with his widowed mother & cousin.

Elizabeth Soames (nee Baker (1st marriage Palmer)), 33, a Laundress, born Mildenhall.

John Hood, born Suffolk.

 

Leopold’s father was Charles Soames, born 1816, Tostock, Suffolk – died 1886, Mildenhall, Suffolk. A Wheelwright, and Licensed Victualler – Half Moon Inn, Mildenhall, Suffolk.

 

Soldiers’ Effects to Elizabeth Hood – mother, Harry Edward Soames, Herbert Arthur Soames – step brothers, & Sabina Ann Halls (nee Soames) – step sister.

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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