Alexander McIntyre Spence AM

b. 26/09/1866 Urquhart, Moray, Scotland.  d. ?

DATE OF AM ACTION: 03/07/1917 Rouen, France.

Alexander was the son of William and Agnes Spence (nee McIntyre). He became a master mariner and was master of the “Shuna” out of Glasgow, when the incident occured on the River Seine which led to the award of the Albert Medal. He was awarded the medal by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 31st July 1918. It is known he was still at sea in 1933, though nothing else is known of him after this date.



On the 3rd July, 1917, while the steamship ” Shuna ” was anchored in the River Seine, a fire broke out among some cases of grenades which formed part of the deck cargo. Captain Spence immediately hurried to the scene of the fire, but by the time he reached the spot the cases were well alight. With a few buckets of water he succeeded in extinguishing the fire before the first hose could be started, and he then removed the charred cases. Later on some others caught alight, but the fire was got under by means of the hose. Considerable risk was incurred by Captain Spence in rendering the service, and his prompt action undoubtedly averted an explosion and thus saved a great many lives.