Had it every now and then as a kid, however not as bad as it could become. I can still recall spitting pus bits on a regular basis up until my early teens. Still, my parents had opted against tonsillectomy. At some point it just stopped and never occurred anymore. Since then my throat has somehow become quite resistant to streps and other harmful shit.
Sorry Ste, I can't give you any tips on how to ease the pain. It's ages ago. Anyway get well soon mate.
UNITED > ENGLAND