9th June 1898 - 27th May 1918 (age 19)
9th Bn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
John Spence was a shepherd who originated from Yarm. He lived his married life with Mary, at Thorpefields and Cocked Hat, and finally Back Lane Sowerby. They had 12 children born between 1888 and 1907, of which two daughters and seven sons survived to adulthood including Ernest and Albert who were to die in the Great War. Another son Arthur, had died in 1910 at the age of 27.
Albert was baptised under the Wesleyan Methodist faith on 1st July 1898 at Sowerby School Room. He was admitted as a pupil to Sowerby Infant School on 20th April 1903 and moved up to the Junior School on 2nd May 1905. At the time of the 1911 census, he was aged 12 and living with his parents at Cocked Hat.
Albert enlisted into the army at Richmond, and on 27th May 1918, his battalion was positioned five miles SE of Berry Au Bac which is East of Soissons in France. They were caught up in the same German attack as Percival Clarke. Albert was lost only six weeks after his brother Ernest Spence and also has no known grave. Albert is remembered on the Soissons Memorial which commemorates almost 4,000 officers and men who died during the Battles of the Aisne and the Marne in 1918 and who have no known grave.
Albert's name appears on the Soissons Memorial
The information on this page was compiled by Steve Billings.
Information about Albert Spence on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Information about Albert Spence on the War Graves Photographic Project website
Part of the St Oswald's Church website