SPENCE, William
(Service number 6/1984)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 20 December 1884 Place of Birth Killinchy

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Dunsandel
Occupation Farm hand
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Jean TAYLOR (mother), Post-office, Timaru; later 47 Regent Street, Timaru; 30 Regent Street, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 4th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 17 April 1915
Transport Willochra or Knight Templar or Waitomo
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Gallipoli
Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 7 August 1915 Age 30 years
Place of Death Gallipoli, Turkey
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial, Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William Spence was born on 20 December 1884 at Killinchy, the son of Jane (Jean) Spence, and was educated at Killinchy School. Jane, who was born in 1867 at Angus, Scotland, came to new Zealand in 1870 with her parents, James and Isabella, and a younger brother James. Four more children were born in New Zealand. Jane Spence had another son, James Joseph Spence, who was born in 1893 at Killinchy and died in 1897, and was buried in Ellesmere Cemetery alongside Spence relatives. In 1915 William was a farm hand for James Spence at Killinchy. Many Canterbury men were killed on 7/8 August 1915, seven of them with Timaru connections, one being William Spence, son of Mrs J. Taylor (formerly Spence), of Timaru, South Canterbury. Whether William's connection to the district was only through his mother is yet to be determined, but she married George Taylor in 1897, and they had two children (Isabella Grace and John Alexander). Jean Spence had been a dairy maid at Killinchy in 1893 and 1896. After her marriage in 1897, she and George, a shepherd, lived successively at Lake Pukaki, Elloughton Grange, Timaru, Lake Tekapo, Cannington, and at Regent Street, Timaru. Jean Taylor died on 24 November 1940, predeceased by George; they are buried in Timaru Cemetery.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [04 February 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [04 February 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [05 February 2020]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [05 February 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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