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Born: c1877
Died: 15 July 1916, Somme
Address: 64 Crag Road, Windhill
Parents: Jack & Esther
Spouse: Eliza
Occupation: canal bargeman
Rank: Private
Rolls of Honour: Christchurch, Windhill; Thiepval Memorial
Children: Mabel & Alan Binns, John & Esther Spencer
Regiment: West Yorkshire
Wilson Spencer
Wilson Spencer’s death on the Somme got a very brief mention in the Shipley Times & Express on 11 August 1916: “Pte Wilson Spencer of 64 Crag Road, Windhill and of the West Yorkshires, was killed in action on July 14th. He enlisted last September.” But thanks to the census we are able to learn a little more of an interesting life. In 1881 he was just three years old and living with his parents, Jack
and Esther Spencer, at Halls Buildings, Windhill. Esther was born in Bradford, Jack was a woolcomber born in Windhill. By 1901, 22-year-old Wilson was alone on the barge ‘Sarah,’ moored somewhere on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between the basin with the Bradford Canal and Bingley. Ten years on and Wilson is still working as a canal bargeman but is now living in a three-roomed
house at 68 School Hill, Windhill with his wife Eliza The couple have been married nine years and Wilson appears to have taken in children, Mabel and Allan Binns from Eliza’s earlier marriage. Wilson and Eliza have two children, John Wilson Spencer, aged 4, and Esther May Spencer aged three months. It appears that two more children have died.
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