Born: 1884, Bradfield, Essex.

Baptised: 20th October 1885, at Ipswich. Parents: George Abraham & Caroline Dale.

Died: 16th November 1902; age: 18; Died of Enteric Fever, at Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Served 314 days.

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: Porter Shop Lane, East Bergholt, Suffolk.

Occupation: a Farm Labourer – for Mr. Alfred Daniel Mann, Woodgate Farm, East Bergholt.

In January 1902, Mr. Alfred Mann, completed a form to help Wilfred’s enlistment. Alfred wrote that Wilfred had worked for him about 4 years – attending to stock seeing after horses etc. He had known him for several years before. He was sober, honest, respectable, and of good character. Wilfred had left his employment 2 months ago, but had spoken to him last week.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich; Date: 7th January 1902; age 18 years & 1 month; Religion: CofE. Height: 5ft 5 ins, fair complexion, grey eyes & light brown hair.

Joined: 15th January 1902, at Shorncliffe.



Home: 7th January 1902 – 6th October 1902.

South Africa: October 1902 – 16th November 1902.


Rank: Private: Service Number: 5823.

Regiment: 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards.




1891   Sandpit Cottages, Holton St. Mary, Suffolk.


Wilfred was 6 years old and living with his widowed mother & siblings.

Caroline Dale (nee Stiff), 32, living on the Parish Allowance, born Raydon, Suffolk.

Charles William Dale, 8, born East Bergholt, Suffolk.

Ellen May Dale, 4 months, born Holton St. Mary – died 1891, Holton St. Mary.


1901   Porter Shop Lane, East Bergholt, Suffolk.


Wilfred was 16 years old, a Farm Labourer. He was living with his mother, step father, brother & step siblings.

Henry William Prentice, 54, a Labourer – Great Eastern Railway, born Needham Market, Suffolk.

Caroline Prentice, 44, a Laundress.

Charles, 18, a Farm Labourer.

Emily Eliza Prentice, 10, born Needham Market.

Robert Arthur William Prentice, 6 born Boreham, Essex.


Wilfred’s father was George Abraham Dale, born July 1850, East Bergholt – died 1891, East Bergholt.


Soldiers’ Effects to Caroline Prentice – mother & Charles Dale – brother.

The Boer War.

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