Born: 1865, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire.

Baptised: 7th June 1865, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire.

Died: 26th December 1900; age: 35; 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. 

Residence: Mill End, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire.

Occupation: an Agricultural Labourer.

Enlistment date: 29th December 1883.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 763.

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


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony, Orange Free State & Transvaal.




1871   Pear Terrace, Cross Lane, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire.


William was 5 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

John Woollard, 41, a Boot & Show Maker, born Kirtling.

Ann Woollard (nee Howlett), 37, born Newmarket, Cambridgeshire.

James Woollard, 18, a Labourer, born Newmarket.

Thomas Woollard, 13, a Labourer, born Kirtling.

Julia Woollard, 8, born Kirtling.

Susan Westley Woollard, 3, born Kirtling.


1881   Pear Terrace, Cross Lane, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire.


William was 14 years old, an Agricultural Labourer. He was living with his parents, sisters & niece.

John, 50, formerly a Bootmaker.

Ann, 49.

Susan, 13.

Mary Saunders Woollard, 9, born Kirtling.

Sarah Ann C. Woollard, 7, born Kirtling.


1891   Sandpit, Akenheath, Suffolk.


William was 25 years old, a General Labourer. He and his father were visitors to his sister & brother-in-law and their family.

Aaron Palmer, 38, a General Labourer, born Lakenheath.

Agnes Palmer (nee Woollard), 37, born Newmarket.

Elizabeth Mary Palmer, 3, born Lakenheath.

Charles John Palmer, 6 months, born Lakenheath.

John Woollard, 61, a General Labourer.


In 1891, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire, William married Anne Simpkin, born 1870, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire – daughter of John Simpkin, an agricultural labourer and Mary Ann Simpkin (nee Pledger), of Kirtling.

They had 4 children:

William Percy Woollard, born July 1892, Kirtling.

Edith Alice Woollard, born 1894, Kirtling.

Harry Woollard, born 1896, Kirtling.

James Woollard, born 1898, Kirtling.


Soldiers’ Effects to Annie Woollard – widow.


William & Anne’s son, Harry Woollard lost his life during the First World War. Harry was KiA on the 23rd April 1917. He was ranked a Private, service number 13266, for The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 1st Battalion. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. His mother, Annie Symonds, of Red House, Kirtling, Cambridgeshire was his next of kin.


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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