b. 28/12/1830 Dumfries, Scotland. d. 17/04/1858 Fort Ruhya, India.
Edward Spence (1830-1858) was born on Boxing Day, 1830 in Dumfries, Scotland. He enlisted with the 42nd Regiment of Foot (The Black Watch) and took part in the Crimean War. On 15th April 1858, during the assault on Fort Ruhya, he and Lance Corporal Alexander Thompson volunteered to assist Captain William Café, commanding the 4th Punjab Rifles, in bringing in the body of the mortally wounded Lieutenant Willoughby from the top of the Glacis.
Private Spence placed himself in an exposed position so as to cover the party bearing away the body. Spence was hit and mortally wounded at this point. He would die of his wounds on 17th April and was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Ruhya Cemetery. Due to the fact he was killed in action, he was not awarded the VC as posthumous awards were not permitted at that time. When it was decided to award the VC posthumously in 1905, Spence was included. His citation appeared on 15th January 1907, and the medal was sent to his nearest relative. It took six months to trace his nearest kin, the son of his father’s cousin. Spence’s medal is now held by the Black Watch Museum, Perth.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: BLACK WATCH MUSEUM, PERTH, SCOTLAND.
BURIAL PLACE: FORT RUHYA CEMETERY, OUDE, INDIA. (UNMARKED GRAVE)
Thomas Stewart – Images of the Spence VC Medal.