Born: 1870, New Alresford, Hampshire.

Baptised: 27th November 1870, at New Alresford, Hampshire. Parents: Mary Ann Palmer and William Palmer, a gardener.

Died: 20th April 1900; age: 29; Died of Peritonitis and Enteric Fever at No. 3 Stationary Hospital, De Aar, Northern Cape, South Africa. Duration of the illness – 28 days, Medical Officer in charge – Arthur Burton was present at the time of death.

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: 25, Western Road, Winchester, Hampshire.


Rank: Sergeant; Service Number: 2450.

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


Medal and Clasp Awarded: Queen’s South Africa 1901 medal and Cape Colony.


Grave Reference:


DaAar Old Cemetery,

Northern Cape,

South Africa




1871   Garden House Castle, Itchen Stoke, Hampshire.


William was 7 months old and living with his parents & sister.

William Palmer, 27, a Gardener, born New Alresford.

Mary Ann Palmer (nee Bramley), 24, born Bishop’s Sutton, Hampshire.

Sarah Jane Palmer, 2, born Bishop’s Sutton.


1881   2. Bright’s Cottage, Brown Candover, Hampshire.


William was 10 years old and living with his parents & sisters.

William, 37, a Gardener.

Mary Ann, 34.

Sarah, 12.

Emma May Palmer, 6, born Brown Candover, Hampshire.


Portsmouth Evening News – 2nd January 1892ALLEGED ABDUCTION BY A SOLDIERColour-Sergeant Henry Pearce, of the Hampshire Depot, was charged by summons with taking Emma Palmer, aged 17, out of the possession of her father, William Palmer, of 25, Winchester Road, Winchester, against his will, on Christmas Day. The case was not gone into, the summons, on the application of the defendant’s solicitor, being adjourned until Tuesday.


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