Project Description

ERNEST REVIL SPENCER 1900–1968

Royal navy

Born 15th March 1900 in Radcliffe on Trent

Baptised 8th April 1900 St Mary’s Church, Radcliffe on Trent

Died 1968 in Nottingham

1901 Census

Living on Bailey Lane, Radcliffe on Trent, with father Frank, a railway platelayer and mother Martha. Selina Allcock and James Bellamy are visitors.

1911 Census

Age 11, at school, living at the Harlequin, Radcliffe on Trent, with father Frank, a railway platelayer, and mother Martha Ann.

8th July 1916: Member of National Union of Railwaymen

Military Service

From the UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services 1900-1928:

Rank: Ordinary Seaman in 1918, Leading Seaman by 17.1.25

Service Number: J84696

Military Unit: Royal Navy

Theatre of War: unconfirmed

First service date: 5.2.18

Signed up for 12 years on 15.3.18

Height 5 feet 8 inches; chest 36¼ inches; hair dark brown; eyes brown; complexion fresh. Occupation: carpenter labourer

Service Record:

Ship Rating From To
Powerful Boy 2 5.2.18
Powerful Boy 1 14.3.18
Powerful Ordinary Seaman 15.3.18 6.5.18
Victory 1 7.5.18 15.6.18
Glasgow 16.6.18
Glasgow Able Seaman 12.3.19 14.4.19
Vivid 1 15.4.19 15.6.19
Leander (Vanquisher) 19.6.19 31.10.19
Columbine (Vanquisher) 1.11.19 1.11.20
Vivid 1 2.11.20 18.11.21
Cairo 19.11.21 7.3.24
Vivid 1 8.3.24 13.1.25
Ramillies 14.1.25
Ramillies Leading Seaman 17.1.25 30.9.26
Vivid 1 1.10.26 29.12.27
Resolution 30.12.27

Ernest’s character was recorded as very good throughout his service and his character was deemed satisfactory for the first three years, and superior from then on.

6.6.22: Passed educationally for Petty Officer

1.10.22: Passed proficiency for Leading Seaman

31.12.26: Paid War Gratuity

Medals Awarded:

A note on Ernest’s service record states ‘Traced Medal 1933’. It is uncertain as to which medal this referred, but to have been awarded a WW1 medal he must have served at sea. Service in depot ships did not qualify unless they went to sea, nor did service at shore bases and depots, except those within theatres of active military operations. Ernest was serving on HMS Glasgow during WW1, which was in the Adriatic in 1917-18 (see below):

Ships served on

The following information is adapted from www.naval-history.net and Wikipedia:

HMS Powerful was an ex-1st class cruiser which was used on harbour service at Devonport as a training ship.

HMS Victory 1 was a depot/base ship in the Portsmouth area.

HMS Glasgow was a 2nd class/Light Cruiser, Bristol-class. She served with the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron in the Adriatic in 1917-18 and at Gibraltar June 1919.

HMS Vivid 1 served as a depot/base ship for the naval barracks at Devonport.

HMS Leander and Vanquisher were part of the Twentieth Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet. Leander was a depot ship for Vanquisher which was a ‘V’ class destroyer.

HMS Columbine was a depot ship based at Port Edgar, Queensferry, Firth of Forth, serving destroyers. From Ernest’s service record it is assumed that Columbine was serving Vanquisher.

HMS Cairo was a light cruiser based in Hong Kong in 1921, moving to Shanghai in 1922, then to the East Indies Station from mid-1922 to 1925.

HMS Ramillies and Resolution were Revenge-class battleships. In 1924 Ramillies formed part of the British Atlantic Fleet and during the 1926 general strike she went to the River Mersey to land food supplies. Resolution was part of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets between the wars.

Other Information

Ernest served in World War Two with the same service number and was mentioned in despatches (London Gazette supplement 6th April 1943). As he had the same service number it is likely that Ernest signed up for another term in 1930 and served continuously up to and including World War Two (and possibly beyond).

From the 1922 Electoral Register

Address: Bingham Road, Radcliffe on Trent

Household: living with parents Frank and Martha

From the 1939 Register

Unable to find on the 1939 civilian register, presumably because he was on active service

Reasons for inclusion on the Radcliffe on Trent Roll of Honour

Born and lived in Radcliffe on Trent

300px-HMSPowerfulCirca1905

HMS Powerful

HMS_Glasgow_(1909)

HMS Glasgow