VAD Polly Spencer

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Polly Spencer

Nursing, Member St. John's Ambulance Brigade

Polly Spencer was born on 4th September 1894 and baptised on 3rd October that year at St. Andrew's Parish Church in Keighley. Her parents were Edward Henry Spencer, an iron turner with laundry machines from Halifax and Clementia (known as Clemmie) Spencer nee Hartley from Bingley. They had married at St. Mary's Church in Eastwood in 1887.

Baptism record for Polly Spencer

Polly was one of five children, two of whom died in infancy.

Having lived at 18 Fleece Street at the time of Polly's baptism, the family lived at 41 Green Street by the time of the 1901 census. Polly's older brother was William Henry and, although only 12 years old, was working as a doffer in a worsted mill. Polly was 6 and her younger brother Herbert was 4. Clemmie's widowed mother Sarah and sister Martha Ann also lived with them.

The Spencer family shown on the 1901 Census

The family still lived at 41 Green Street in 1911. William was working as an engineer's fitter in a machine tool works, Polly was a textile spinner and Herbert a fobber with worsted yarns.

Polly was a member of St. John's Ambulance Brigade, and also worked as a nurse voluntarily at Morton Banks War Hospital throughout the year of 1918. Perhaps she was inspired by her younger brother Herbert who was serving with 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. He died on 20th September 1918 , just two months before Armistice, aged 22 in France and Flanders and is buried at Grand-Serauourt British Cemetery.

Polly and her parents continued to live at Green Street. Clemmie died in 1931 and Edward  in 1933. Polly was still there in 1939, working as a textile operative reeler.

The 1939 Register

Polly never married, and died on 29th November 1963, survived by her only remaining sibling, William.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929

1939 England and Wales Register

West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962

England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

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