Adam Gordon Spence

Informations sur naissance

Date de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Écosse, Royaume-Uni

Informations générales


Informations service militaire

Force armée:
Canadian Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation date:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 42nd Bn. (Royal Highlanders)  (Dernière unité connue)

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
No. 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Brandhoek, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Died of wounds (D.O.W.)


Nine Elms British Cemetery
Parcelle: 7
Rangée: D
Tombe: 11

Points d'intérêt 2

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement

Mon histoire

Private Spence Adam Gordon served with the 42nd Battalion Canadian Infantry (Royal Highlanders) of the 7th Canadian Brigade part of the 3rd Canadian Division. On Wednesday the 24th of October the 3rd Canadian Division relieved the New Zealand Division at the front. The 42nd Battalion lay in support in the 2nd line and stayed out of the fighting. In the early hours of the 1st of November the Battalion moved up to the frontline. At 1.30 a.m. the 42nd took their positions in the irregular line, which consisted of no more than shellholes, who were more or less connected with each other. The positions of the 7th Brigade stretched from the West of Friesland up to Gravenstafel Road. On Saturday the 3th of November at 2 a.m. the 42nd Battalion undertook an independent operation to take a German pillbox and the Germans advanced line, including Graf House. Major Norsworthy of the 42nd reported the attack as follows:
“We were of opinion that the enemy held this line with outposts only and it was decided to attempt a stealth attack supported if necessary by the three Stokes guns which were in our Battalion area.”
At zero hour the Battalion moved forwards with 7 parties. They were almost immediately met by machine gun fire. Parties 2 and 3 who were pinned down by the machine gun fire and shot all their rifle grenades at the machine gun positions. They only managed to silence one of the three machine guns. In this moment a few Canadians were hit and one was killed. The Stokes fired on the German machine guns without success. Owing to short fuses their shells exploded to high above the Germans. The shells were of more danger to the Canadians then to the enemy. At 3.15 the parties 2 and 3 pulled back under the cover of Stokes fire. Their attack was stopped by German fire and had long lost the element of surprise. The casualties on the Canadian side kept on stacking up.
A little while later a third Canadian party, party No. 1 who had to clear the enemy trenches on the North side of Gravenstafel-Mosselmarkt roasd, withdrew from the battle. They had only advanced 60 yards before they were pinned down by German machinegun fire on their left. The 6th party was also held up by machinegun fire and were pinned down at about 80 yards from the cross roads. At this moment they counted 4 casualties. After they had lost their officer they were ordered to withdraw arty No. 5 was also unable to advance and got stuck 50 yards in front of the German lines. The only party who reached their objective was party No. 7. They managed to capture Graf House.
The party was able to fend of two German counterattacks. The Germans however under the cover of darkness were able to creep up within bombing distance. They rained down hand grenades on the Canadians. German grenades and bullets had diminished the garrison in Graf House. One hour after they took the House only 5 men were left. With the death of their commanding officer, Lieutenant Cohen and in short of ammunition, Lance corporal Taylor and the 4 others decided to retreat.
On the night of November 3rd and 4th the Battalion was relieved by the 16th Battalion of the 1st Canadian Division. The relief was completed at 1.15 a.m. Casualties during their tour at the front were: 2 officers, 6 N.C.O’s and 32 other ranks were killed. 1 officer, 3 N.C.O’s and 6 other ranks died of their wounds. 5 officers, 16 N.C.O’s and 99 other ranks were wounded and 4 other ranks went missing.
Private Spence Adam Gordon was one of the 6 other ranks who died of their wounds they sustained in the fighting on the 2nd and the 3rd of November 1917.

Sources 2

42nd Canadian Infantry Battalion RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4938, Microfilm reel number: T-10743, File number: 433, File part: 1=1915/10/01-1917/04/30;2=1917/05/01-1918/05/31
Sources utilisées
McCarthy C., The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 2018, pg. 136-137).
Sources utilisées