Born: 1879, 3, Paradise Street, Rotherhithe, Surrey.

Baptised: 1st June 1879, at Christ Church, Bermondsey, Southwark. Parents: Jane & George James Taylor, a Corn Porter. William’s twin brother, George Palmer Taylor was also baptised. Family home: 3, Paradise Street, Rotherhithe, Surrey.

Died: 2nd June 1900; age: 21; Died of Enteric Fever, at Naauwpoort, Ditsobotla, North West, 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. 

William was taken a PoW on the 6th January 1900, at Colesberg.

Enlistment Date: 19th February 1898.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 5050.

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


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony & Orange Free State.




1881   3, Paradise Street, Rotherhithe, Surrey.


William was a year old and living with his parents, siblings & twin brother.

George James Taylor, 32, a General Labourer, born Rotherhithe.

Jane Eliza Taylor (nee Ray), 32, born Paddington, London.

Henry George Taylor, 8, born Bermondsey, London.

Edith Maud Taylor, 6, born 5, Southwark Park Terrace, Jamaica Level, Bermondsey.

Daisy Helena Taylor, 4, born Rotherhithe.

George Palmer Taylor, 1, born 3, Paradise Street Rotherhithe.


1891   49, Paradise Street, Rotherhithe, Surrey.


William was 11 years old and living with his siblings & twin brother at their paternal grandparents’ home.

William Taylor, 74, a Lighterman – Barge, born Bermondsey.

Sarah Taylor, 65, born Rochester, Kent.

Henry, 18, a Clerk.

Edith, 16, a Machinist.

Daisy, 14 – died 1895, Rotherhithe.

George, 11.

1 lodger.


Soldiers’ Effects to Henry G. Taylor & George P. Taylor – brothers, and Edith Taylor – sister.


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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