16 May 1917 : 36808 Pte Tom Spencer, 18th Bn Durham Light Infantry.

According to his Short Service Attestation, Tom was born at Low Close Form, nr Keighley, Yorkshire in 1893.

He was part of a large family, having nine brothers and sisters most of whom lived at Low Close Farm.

In 1911 they were variously employed as farm labourers, cloth weavers, wood sawers, and worsted winders. Tom was employed as a spinning and draw over-looker by Messrs W Wilson and Son at Eastburn prior to his enlistment.

Tom enlisted on 1 December 1915 and posted to the Army Reserve. He was 23 years and 3 months old, height 5ft 3 ¾ inches tall.  He was called to service with the Durham Light Infantry in March 1916 and posted 4 July 1916. Tom was killed in action near Arras on 16 May 1917. Having no known grave, Tom's name is listed on the Arras Memorial. At the end of October 1917 his father received a small bindles of his son’s letters, cards, some photos and a pocket wallet. In May 1920 they received a scroll recognising his war service.

 

16 May 1917

Research by David O'Mara with additional research by Jonathan Vernon