Archibald Roy Spencer

August 4, 2015

SPENCER, Archibald Roy- – – – SPC 1912-1916

DoB:- – 13 August 1899, Colac, VIC

Father:- – Phillip Spencer, proprietor of the -‘Ballan Times’ newspaper

Mother:- – Bridgit, nee Shanahan

Archibald Spencer was a boarder at St Patrick’s. In 1916 he sat the Senior Public exams in the following subjects: Arithmetic (Distinction), Algebra (D), Geometry, English, French (D), Geography and History.

Service No:- 21595

Rank:- – Sapper

Unit:- – 60th Battalion, 3rd Field Engineers

Archibald Spencer enlisted on 27 November 1917, aged 18 years and three months. He was a single man, working as a junior draftsman. He was five feet, eight inches tall, with a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark hair.

Private Spencer was assigned to the Engineers Battalion at Seymour in December 1917. His rank was amended to Sapper in January 1918. He embarked from Melbourne aboard the Nestor on 13 March 1918, disembarking at Liverpool on 20 April. After further training at Parkhouse, he proceeded overseas to Rouelles, France on 13 August 1918.

There was not much more detail in Sapper Spencer’s war record. He returned to Australia on 23 July 1919 aboard the Suevic.

After the war, returned soldiers could approach the bank for a grant to purchase a house, under the War Service Homes Act of 1918-20. It seems that Archibald put an application in for this grant in November 1923.

Archibald had married Matilda Smith in 1919, not long after returning to Australia, so one can imagine that they were keen to settle in their own home and start a family. They lived at 6 Brunswick Road, East Brunswick, and had one son born in 1921. Archibald worked as a railway employee.

On 28 May 1963, at the age of 63, Archibald Roy Spencer died of a heart attack. His death certificate indicates that he suffered from heart problems for many years. He was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium.