Born: 1871, Belaugh, Norfolk.

Died: 12th April 1900; age: 29; 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 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: Ipswich.

Enlistment Date: 1889; age: 18.


Rank: Gunner; Service Number: 75455.

Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery, ‘G’ Battery, South Africa Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Paardeberg, Dreifontein & Relief of Kimberley – medals issued 23rd December 1902.




1881   Belaugh Green, Norfolk.


Robert was 9 years old and living with his parents & brothers.

John Riches, 47, an Agricultural Labourer, born Hempstead, Norfolk.

Sarah Ann Riches (nee George), 46, born Mulbarton, Norfolk.

John Riches, 16, an Agricultural Labourer, born Ashmanhaugh, Norfolk.

William Riches, 15, an Agricultural Labourer, born Belaugh.

Henry Riches, 12, an Agricultural, born Belaugh.

Charles Riches, 11, born Belaugh.

George Riches, 8, born Belaugh.

Richard Riches, 5, born Belaugh.


1891  Barracks, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


Robert was 19 years old, a Soldier ranked Gunner for the Royal Artillery, 2nd Division.

On the 27th August 1892, St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich, 21 year old, Robert, a Gunner for the Royal Artillery, 25th Battery, married 17 year old, Susannah Surry,  of 36, St. Matthew’s Church Lane, Ipswich, born January 1875, at 23, Mount Street, Ipswich – daughter of David Surry, a boot and shoe rivetter and Susannah Caroline Surry (nee Thompson).

They had 3 children:

Susannah Riches, born November 1892, Ipswich – baptised 15th February 1893, Ipswich.

Annie Christina Riches, born December 1894, Frimley, Hampshire – baptised 22nd January 1895, Frimley, Hampshire.

Robert George David Riches, born April 1898, Fordham, Cambridgeshire – baptised 21st May 1898, Soham, Cambridgeshire.


The Boer War.

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