Theodore Johannes Julius (Ted) KLAFFER


KLAFFER, Theodore Johannes Julius

Service Number: 10
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Not yet discovered
Last Unit: 1st South Australian Mounted Contingent
Born: Lyndoch, South Australia, 23 February 1875
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Gunner - Permanent Artillery
Died: Pneumonia, Wynberg Hospital, South Africa, 11 October 1900, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide 3 Boer War Memorial*, LyndochM1*
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Boer War Service

Date unknown: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), SN 10, 1st South Australian Mounted Contingent, The Boer Offensive

Newspaper articles from Trove

Advertiser Adelaide 6th Nov 1900

The friends of the late Corporal Theodore Julius Klaffer will learn with regret that he died three weeks ago at a hospital in Cape Town. The deceased soldier was a member of the first South Australian Contingent and went through all the hardships incidental to Lord Roberts's trying march up to Pretoria. Corporal Klaffer was the life of the camp, for as he possessed a good voice his vocal services were freely availed of by his comrades during the campaign. Prior to joining the contingent he was a member of the Permanent Artillery and was stationed at Largs Fort for several years. He was born at Lyndoch Valley on February 23, 1875, so that he was not 26 years old. One of his qualifications for being picked to go to the war was that he was a first-class shot. He leaves a widow and one child. Colonel Gordon was greatly shocked when he heard on Monday of Corporal Klaffer's death and he could not realise that the news was true. To ascertain beyond all possible doubt he recommended the Government to send an urgent cable message to Cape Town asking for full particulars or a contradiction. It seems too much to hope that the corporal is still alive, for Private Malone assured Mrs. Klaffer on Monday that he saw her husband after his death, and that Private Duncan was with him when be passed away. But for the crowded state of the vessels the deceased would probably have been in South Australia alive and well. He had recovered from the first attack of fever, and as he was extremely anxious to return home Colonel Gordon promised him that he would make the necessary arrangements for his passage.
There was no room in the steamer chosen, and the corporal reluctantly stayed behind. Colonel Gordon said he should come home on the next steamer, in which, by the way, the colonel was also returning, and at the last minute enquiries as to his whereabouts were instituted so that he should not be disappointed a second time. Why he remained behind the Commandant does not know, but surmises that the doctors thought he was not strong enough to travel just then. The deepest sympathy will be felt for the widow and child, and the other relatives of the deceased. They have the consolation of knowing that he was a good soldier, and risked and lost his life for his Queen and country.

SA Register newspaper - 6th Nov 1900

Private R.A. Malone, who returned invalided from South Africa by the steamer Afric on Sunday night, reported the death of Corporal Theodore Klaffer, of the First South Australian contingent, which occurred at the Wynburg No. 1 general hospital on October 11, as a result of pneumonia and complication. Private E. T. Duncan, who returned by the Yarrawonga on Sunday, also reported the death to the military authorities at the staff office. This was the first intimation that the relatives of the deceased had of the sad event, and it came as a great shock, especially to the widow, who is residing on North terrace. Private Malone states that Corporal Klaffer was one of the most popular members of the contingent under Captain Howland, and he was in the fighting line throughout the campaign until after the Imperial forces entered Pretoria. About three months ago Corporal Klaffer was seized with an attack of pneumonia, and was invalided to Bloemfontein and thence to Wynburg. where he died on October 11. The funeral, which took place at the cemetery attached to the Wesleyan Chapel at Wynburg, was largely attended, all of the invalids who were possibly able to pay their last respects to their deceased comrade being present. Some members of the volunteer battalions of the West York-shire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) acted as pallbearers.

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Theodor Johann Julius KLAFFER  (Ted) was born on 23rd February, 1875 in Lyndoch, South Australia

His parents were Johann Gustav Christian KLAFFER and Johanne Paulline ELIX

Theodor married Elizabeth ALLEY on 28th October, 1899 in Holy Innocents Church in Belair, SA - the couple had one son Theodor Alfred Eslin KLAFFER born 24th March, 1900

He was a Gunner in the Permanent Artillery in South Australia when he enlisted as a Corporal with the 1st South Australian Mounted Rifles

The company embarked at Port Adelaide on the transport ship Medic on 2nd November, 1899 and disembarked at Cape Town on 25th November.  They were encamped at Maitland until 1st December

Theodor died in Wynberg General Hospital in South Africa on 12th October 1900 from complications of pneumonia

He is buried in Maitland Cemetery, Cape Town, South Africa

He is also memoralized in the Australian War Memorial, Cape Town (Maitland) Cemetery memorial and St Peters Cathedral in Adelaide

Theodores family were from Silesia (Prussia)


He also had a brother Christian Carl KLAFFER who later served in WW1 and was wounded at Gallipoli. 

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA: 1895 - 1954) Saturday 17 November 1900


London. November 14.

Corporal T.J. Kluffer (T. J. Klaffer?) of the First South Australian Contingent, is reported to have died at Wynburg Military Hospital, which is situated seven miles south-east of Cape Town, on the railway to Kimberley.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA: 1889 - 1931) Friday 11 October 1901


KLAFFER.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Ted (Corporal First South Australian Contingent), who died at the Wynburg Hospital, South Africa, on October 11, 1900.

If we had known when last we parted, 

That during life our hands would clasp no more,

How different would have been our parting

From that which only saw a brief adieu. 

—Inserted by his sisters Mary Tigel, Carrie Langkow, and Alwine Horsnell. 

KLAFFER.—In memory of my dearly beloved husband, Corporal T. J. Klaffer, who departed this   life October 11, 1900, Wynburg Hospital, South  Africa.

Two years since we parted,

One year since you died;

Dear Ted, how I've missed you 

Since you left my side.

—Inserted by his loving wife and son.