Born: 1871, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk.

Died: 15th April 1900; age: 30; Died of Enteric Fever at Pretoria, 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 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. 

Walter was taken Prisoner of War on the 6th January 1900, at Suffolk Hill, Coleberg.

Residence: 281, Great College Street, St. Pancras, London.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 2739.

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


Clasp Awarded: Cape Colony.


1881   West Street, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk.


Walter was 10 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

George Watling, 33, an Agricultural Labourer, born Badwell Ash, Suffolk.

Susanna Tabitha Watling (nee Payne), 35, born Walsham le Willows.

Alfred Watling, 14, an Agricultural Labourer, born Walsham le Willows.

George Watling, 12, an Agricultural Labourer, born Walsham le Willows.

Eliza Watling, 8, born Walsham le Willows.

Henry Watling, 6, born Walsham le Willows.

Arthur Watling, 1, born Walsham le Willows.


1891   Military Camp, St. Botolph’s, Colchester, Essex.


Walter was 20 years old, a Soldier ranked a Private for the Suffolk Regiment.


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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