ROBERT JAMES TOOKE

 

 

Born: 1879, Stratton St. Michael, Norfolk.

Died: 9th March 1901; age: 21; Died of Enteric Fever at Elandsfontein, Gauteng, 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 develop a week or two after a person has become infected bringing on a high temperature, headaches, coughs, lethargy, aches and pains, loss 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 contain 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 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 voluntary immunisation. The inoculation was still voluntary in August 1914, when Great Britain entered the First World War. 

Residence: Church Street, Catton, Norfolk.

 

Rank: Private; Service Number: 4679.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Field Force.

 

CENSUS

 

1881   Stratton St. Michael, Norfolk.

 

Robert was a year old and living with his parents & siblings.

Charles Tooke, 30, an Agricultural Labourer, born Fritton, Norfolk.

Jane Tooke (nee Saveroy), 29, bornAslacton, Norfolk.

Sarah Jane Tooke, 6, born Stratton St. Michael.

Charles Herbert Tooke, 3, born Stratton St. Michael.

 

1891   The Moore, Melton Magna, Norfolk.

 

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

Charles, 40, an Agricultural Labourer.

Jane, 40.

Charles, 13, an Agricultural Labourer.

Ernest Henry Tooke, 8, born Melton Magna.

Ellen Mary Tooke, 6, born Melton Magna.

William Arthur Tooke, 4, Melton Magna.

Jessie Maud Tooke, 1, born Melton Magna.

 

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

 

Soldiers’ Effects to Charles Tooke – father.

 

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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