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Remembered Today:

Captain Gilbert Spence HLI 2nd Battalion

John Burnett

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Spence, Gilbert C D

Captain, Highland Light Infantry 2nd Battalion. Age 22. Date of death 01/10/1918. Buried in Flesquieres Hill British Cemetery, France

Grateful for information on

1) When Gilbert became Captain

2) Events surounding his death

3) He was awarded the MC. Information on why.


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London Gazette 11-5-1915

War Office,

11th May, 1915.

The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets, from the Royal Military College, to be Second Lieutenants. Dated 12th May 1915:—

The Highland'Light Infantry. .

Gilbert Chisholm Dreyer Spence.


London Gazette 25-8-1916

High. L.I.

2nd Lt. G. C. D. Spence to be Lt. 23rd July 1916


London Gazette 16-11-1917

High. L.I.

The undermentioned Lts. to be Capts. :

G. C. D. Spence. 12th Aug. 1917.


London Gazette 2-12-1918

Awarded the Military Cross

Capt. Gilbert Chisholm Dreyer Spence, 2nd Bn., H.L.I.

For conspicuous gallantry and able leadership while commanding the support company in an attack. Seeing the .two leading companies held up by machine-gun fire, he made use of the ground in such a skilful manner that he was able to lead his company through them and establish himself on high ground that was of vital importance to the rest of the brigade.



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Excerpt from "The 2nd Battalion HLI in the Great War" by Major A.D. Telfer-Smollett.

The Battle of the St. Quentin Canal

........Orders received late in the afternoon of 1st October, ordered the 52nd Division on the left, to attack at 5.45pm and the 2nd Division to attack at 6.30pm. The Battalion was to attack in co-operation with the 24th Royal Fusiliers. It was decided that C company, half of A company and half of B company should gain the objectives, which were twofold, while the remaining half of B company should be in support and D company in reserve. Much of the enemy's barrage against the 52nd Division attack came down on the Battalion's front, and considerably hampered the assembly of companies. Captain G.C.D. Spence, while giving final orders to his half company, was killed, 2nd Lieutenant Hamilton was wounded and the four section commanders either killed or wounded. It was therefore necessary to employ the remaining half of A company instead of the half B company in taking the second objective.

I hope this helps,

Tim L.

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