Service Number M2/200621
Battalion 650 Company
Regiment Motor Transport RASC
Robert Henry Spencer was born in Linton in 1884, the son of James Henry and Keyia Spencer. Robert was one of a large family with brothers Willie, Harry, Tom, John and Hartley and sisters Sarah Jane, Mary and Maggie.
On the 1911 census day, 2nd April 1911, Robert was living at Low Close, Eastburn, Keighley with his parents. His father was a farm bailiff, Robert himself was a farm labourer but most of his siblings were working in a worsted factory. A week later, on the 8th April 1911, Robert married Annie Mathewson in Cross Hills and they went on to have two children, Winifred and Amy.
Robert enlisted on the 30th November 1915 and was mobilised on the 28th July 1916 in Halifax as Private M2/200621 in 650 Company Mechanical Transport of the Royal Army Service Corps, a unit he joined on the 23rd September 1916 after some basic training. 650 Company (Mechanical Transport) of the RASC was also known as the 32nd Local Auxiliary (MT) company attached to the Road Board and was stationed at Wilton. This unit did not serve overseas. It had been formed on the 11th February 1916, so Robert joined not long after the unit formed.
Robert served with 650 (MT) Coy., RASC until, on the 8th January 1918 he underwent an operation for appendicitis. He spent some time recovering until the 7th June when the Army decided he was no longer fit and he was discharged under King's Regulations section 392 sub paragraph xvi as "No Longer Physically fit". He was awarded a Silver War Badge to mark his service.
In 1939, Robert was living with his wife, Annie, at 21, Stone Grove in Steeton and was working as a wood cutting machinist.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 26066
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War British Army Service Records. The National Archives (WO363).
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