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  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of John William Spencer
Person Details
Retford, Nottinghamshire
John Spencer and Martha Bradley had only one son. John was from Worksop and married in 1896 in Retford and was employed as a railway engine driver. They lived at 6 Duke Street where John William was born in 1897. By 1911 the family had moved and were living at 5 Station Road, Retford where John William was going to school age 14. He married Miss Reavill on 1st January 1917 just prior to going to France on January 12th 1917.
was apprentice to the butchering business at the Retford Co-operative Stores. He afterwards worked for Mr Percy Frost at Rotherham, and when he joined up he was with Mr C Skidmoore of Moorhead, Sheffield
14 Feb 1917
19
558134 - CWGC Website
6376
Private
1/5th Bn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
He enlisted at Sheffield on the 26th September 1916 and underwent his training at Clipstone Camp. Before going to France on January 12th 1917 . He was killed in action in France on 14th February 1917 and is buried at Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere, Pas De Calais, France grave reference I K 8
Pte John William Spencer Retford Times 16 March 1917 Mr and Mrs John Spencer of the Carr, Retford, have received information of the death of their only son, Private John William Spencer, of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. They were prepared for the sad news by a letter from a friend but the official information from the War Office that he was killed in action in France on Feb 14th did not reach them until Thursday last. This was followed by a letter from Lord Derby, Secretary of State for War, stating that the King had commanded him to assure them of the true sympathy of the King and Queen, in their sorrow. This gallant young hero, who has laid down his life for King and country was only 19 years and ten months old. He joined the colours on the 26th September 1916 and underwent his training at Clipstone Camp. Before going to France on January 12th 1917, he spent a short time on leave at home, and was married on the first day of the new year to Miss Revill, daughter of Lance Corpl Revill of Wright Wilson Street, Retford.. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Spencer and with the young widow in their sad bereavement. Pte Spencer was educated at the National School and was apprentice to the butchering business at the Retford Co-operative Stores. He afterwards worked for Mr Percy Frost at Rotherham, and when he joined up he was with Mr C Skidmoore of Moorhead, Sheffield. Both his employers speak of him in the highest terms of praise. Mr Skidmoore writes:- “He was always bright and cheerful and a favourite with all especially with members of my family,” A strange coincidence is that Private Spencer had an uncle George Spencer of Worksop in the same regiment, serving with him in France but was not aware of the fact. Mr and Mrs Spencer’s family are well represented in the Army and have a record for patriotism that any family ought justly to be proud of. Mr Spencer is an engine driver on the GCR and a cousin of his, Pte John Spencer, formerly of Clarborough, came from Canada and joined the Forces and was killed a year ago last April at Hill 60. Frank Hollis, a Worksop lad, who fell at Thiepval, was a cousin of the subject of this notice and has two brothers still serving, while Mrs Spencer has one brother, Pte Tom Bradley and eleven nephews serving with the colours.
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of John William Spencer
    John William Spencer - This photo was first published in the Retford Times following the death of John William Spencer
  • Photo shows the death plaque (dead man's penny ) of John William Spencer, now at Bassetlaw Museum, Retford . Courtesy of the Bassetlaw Museum.
    John William Spencer - Photo shows the death plaque (dead man's penny ) of John William Spencer, now at Bassetlaw Museum, Retford . Courtesy of the Bassetlaw Museum.
  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere , Pas de Calais, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    John William Spencer - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere , Pas de Calais, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle