The AIF Project

John Alexander SPENCE

Regimental number3400
Place of birthFremantle, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Address39 Howard Street, Fremantle, Western Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinMother, Mrs L Spence, 39 Howard Street, Fremantle, Western Australia
Enlistment date2 August 1915
Place of enlistmentPerth, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 1 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 10 December 1918
Medals

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led his men to the attack with great courage, capturing two enemy field guns and killing the crews. He afterwards displayed great fearlessness in patrolling under machine gun fire, and worked with great energy during consolidation.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Military Medal

'For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Dernancourt on the 5th April 1918. At daybreak when leading a patrol, he came in touch with the enemy and returned with valuable information of an assembly for an attack. Later during the attack he showed great courage, engaging the enemy at close quarters. After the Coy had been forced to withdraw, he led a party into a forward position and did excellent work, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. By his personal example and good leadership he continually rallied his men to greater efforts.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No 191
Date: 12 December 1918

Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Medals: Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death20 November 1962
Place of burialFremantle Cemetery

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