Spencer, Albert

Albert Spencer was the son of Elizabeth Spencer, 131 Mold Rd, Buckley and the late Thomas B. Spencer. Albert was born at Aston or Newhall near Nantwich Cheshire in 1895. Thomas Spencer was listed as an earthenware manufacturer in the 1901 census. He was born at Burtonwood, Lancashire and his wife at Burslem, suggesting that the family moved for employment in the pottery or earthenware industry. Albert had a sister Ruth 4 years older, who married Thomas Hopwood 1919 Hawarden Civil Marriage. Thomas Spencer died 1910 in the Hawarden District.

The family was living at Newhall in 1901. In 1911, Elizabeth by then a widow was recorded with Ruth and Albert at Main St. Buckley.

Albert attested on the 22 January 1916 when he was 20 years 9 months old. In 1911 Albert had been listed as a brickworks labourer but prior to joining up he was an ironworker employed at John Summers. He served 2 years and 220 days before he was killed near the Somme.

Albert was wounded in the arm in March 1918 during the German offensive, and he was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry and bravery in attending to a wounded comrade under heavy fire; and for being the last man to work his machine gun. He was the eleventh Buckley man* to gain this honour. Albert returned to France after recovering and was killed on 30 August 1918, the day after his Military Medal was announced in the London Gazette.

Albert’s death and medal were announced in the County Herald, September 27, 1918

DEATH OF A BRAVE SOLDIER The sad news has been received of the death in action on August 30th, of Pte. Albert Spencer, son of Mrs. Spencer, of Mold Road. He was wounded in the arm last March during the great retreat, and for conspicuous gallantry and bravery in attending to a wounded comrade under heavy fire; and for being the last man to work his machine gun, he was awarded the Military Medal. He was the eleventh Buckley man to gain this honour. He only recently returned to France after recovering. He was a highly respected young man. A member of the Square Wesleyan Church, he was until be joined the Army the Sun [transcription lost]

Albert is remembered on the family grave at Bistre:

In Loving Memory of Thomas  the beloved husband of Elizabeth Spencer who died October 17th 1910 age 52 years.

Also  ALBERT the beloved son of the above who was killed in Action in France August 30th 1918 age 23 years.

“Sleep on dear son in a foreign grave,  your life for your country you  nobly gave. No one stood near to say goodbye but safe in God’s keeping you now lie”.

Also the above Elizabeth Spencer  who died September 19th 1941 age 77 years  ” At Rest”.

*Military Medal. Buckley soldiers known to have won the Military Medal are: Frank Pickering, Fred Birks, Enoch Williams, S. Rogers, J.W. Jenkins, Albert Spencer, Ernest Jones, Fred Dyment, F. Chirgwen

Additional information from Albert’s Service Record is provided on Buckley at War

Albert Spencer lived at 131 Mold Road, Buckley, and was conscripted into the army in 1916. He was attested on 22nd January 1916 and was later called up on 16th June 1916 to train with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers 20th Reserve Battalion at Kinmel Park.

Albert was born at Wrenbury near Nantwich in Cheshire in 1896 and was nearly 21 when he joined the army. On 31st August 1916 he was posted to the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers for training at Litherland, Liverpool. He was sent to France as part of a draft of reinforcements on 7th January 1917 and arrived at No. 5 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen from where he was posted to “D” Company, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He arrived with the 9th in the field on 27th January 1917. The 9th Battalion served with the 58th Infantry Brigade in the 19th Division. In 1917 they fought at The Battle of Messines; The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge; The Battle of Polygon Wood; The Battle of Broodseinde; The Battle of Poelcapelle and the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele. In 1918 they fought at The Battle of St Quentin during the enemy’s advance on the Somme on March 21st 1918. Albert was wounded in the right arm on March 24th 1918 and was treated at Camiers before being returned to the UK on March 29th 1918 aboard the hospital ship Princess Victoria. He was treated at Graylingwell War Hospital at Chichester. On 21st June 1918 Albert returned to France and passed through “C” Infantry Base Depot from where he was posted to the 17th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers who served with 115th Infantry Brigade in the 38th Division. He was killed in action on 30th August 1918, the day after his award of the Military Medal had been announced in the London Gazette. Albert was buried at the Red Dragon Cemetery between Ovillers and la Boiselle. Graves from that cemetery were later moved to Ovillers Military Cemetery. When he died the 38th Division had been fighting in the Battle of Bapaume which was seen as the turning point of the war.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Buckley Memorial

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