Harold Spenceley, MM

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file

Harold Spenceley is seated and standing is his friend Andie Sisson
The photo was most likely taken while on light duties in England after being wounded


Aug 8, 1895

Born at Scarborough Ontario to Harvey James Henry and Elizabeth (nee Hart) Spenceley


Mar 22, 1916

Attested into the 109th Battalion at Haliburton Ontario 

      Number 724152

      Next of kin given as Elizabeth Spenceley (mother) of Cedar Grove Ontario

      His current address was given as West Guilford Ontario

      Previous occupation was given as School Teacher

      No previous military experience given

      Religion given as Presbyterian

      Assigned to “D” Company 

On enlistment he stated that he was the sole supporter of his widowed mother, Elizabeth Spenceley, who had moved to Uxbridge Ontario by July of 1916


Jul 23, 1916

Embarked the RMS Olympic at Halifax Nova Scotia



Jul 31, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the Bordon Camp


Aug 16, 1916

The Battalion moved to the Bramshott Camp


Oct 5, 1916

He was transferred to the 21st Battalion as part of a draft of 100 Other Ranks


Oct 6, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Oct 22, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion at Bully Grenay where the Battalion was part of the Divisional Reserve and assigned to “C” Company


Apr 2, 1917

Appointed to rank of Acting Sergeant with pay to replace Sgt Crerar 59216 who had been posted to the Canadian Corps Staging Camp as Divisional Orderly Sgt


Apr 9, 1917

Appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal to replace L/Cpl Stillman 59921 who had been promoted


Aug 15, 1917

During the fighting at Hill 70 he received a shrapnel wound to his left leg that was caused by an Allied shell which fell short of it’s target 

Admitted to the No 4 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) and transferred the same day to the No 23 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) where surgery was performed on his wounds. 

For his actions on this date he was recommended for the Military Medal


Aug 17, 1917

Transferred to the No 6 British Red Cross Hospital at Etaples


Aug 23, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Pieter de Coninck


Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital and reverted to his permanent rank of L/Cpl.  The reduction in rank was later cancelled 

Admitted to the Guildford War Hospital, Guildford, south west of London


Nov 2, 1917

Awarded the Military Medal per the London Gazette #30364


Nov 14, 1917

Transferred to the No 4 Canadian General Hospital at Basingstoke


Feb 5, 1918

Discharged from hospital and placed On Command to the 3rd CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot) at Seaford


May 7, 1918

Attached to the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford but remained at the 3rd CCD


Jun 6, 1918

Discharged from the Convalescent Depot and proceeded to the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Jun 17, 1918

Ceased to be On Command and TOS the Depot Company of the EORD at Seaford


Jun 22, 1918

On Command to the APM (Assistant Provost Martial) at Seaford for duty


Aug 1, 1918

TOS the Head Quarters Sub Staff at Seaford while employed by the Provost Martial’s Office


Sep 24, 1918

TOS the EORD at Seaford


Sep 27, 1918

Attached to the No 14 Canadian General Hospital at Eastbourne for duty


Dec 28, 1918

On Command to the MRD (Manitoba Regimental Depot) at Witley


Jan 6, 1919

Ceased to be On Command to the MRD and attached to the EORD Depot Company


Jan 21, 1919

On Command to the Canadian Concentration Camp at Rhyl pending return to Canada


Feb 20, 1919

Embarked the SS Lapland at Liverpool England



Mar 1, 1919

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia and proceeded to Kingston Ontario


Mar 27, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Kingston Ontario 

      War Service Badge Class “A” issued number 91148

      War Service Badge Class “C” issued number 55466

      Rank on discharge Lance Corporal

      Proposed residence on discharge Uxbridge Ontario


Mar 26, 1922

The British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Uxbridge Ontario


Jun 1, 1924

Graduated from Queen’s University School of Medicine 

He is shown on the Canadian Active Militia List with the Rank of Capt in the Queen’s University COTC (Canadian Officer Training Corps in 1925 and 1927


From the Tobermory Ontario Medical History


Jun 24, 1933

Married to Edith Oriel Vail at Owen Sound Ontario


Apr 11, 1934

A son was born to Harold and Edith Spenceley that died 4 hours after being born.  Dr. Spenceley was the attending physician and signed the death certificate.  The son’s name was Ernest Govan Spenceley.  I mention this here because the Lieut who led Harold Spenceley into battle at Hill 70 was named Walter Tait Govan, and he was killed in that action.  It would seem that Dr. Spenceley wanted to honour his fallen Platoon Commander by naming a son after him.  Ernest Govan Spenceley is buried in the Dunk’s Bay Cemetery, Bruce County Ontario


Dec 4, 1937

Dr. Harold Spenceley died at the St Thomas Memorial Hospital following complications from surgery.  An obituary from the Toronto Globe and Mail, December 6, 1937:


He was buried in the Dunk’s Bay Cemetery, Bruce County Ontario


From the St Thomas Newspaper

The photo below was taken May 30, 1937, just 7 months prior to his sudden death


This was taken while employed as a Teacher at Boskung Ontario


Having some fun while on leave in Scotland


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