RSM David Spence VC
David Spence was born in Fifeshire, Scotland. He joined the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers in 1842. At the age of 40 years old, and as a Troop Sergeant Major with the 9th Lancers, during the Indian Mutiny he was awarded the Victoria Cross. “For conspicuous gallantry on the 17th of January, 1858, at Shumsabad, in going to the assistance of Private Kidd, who had been wounded, and his horse disabled, and bringing him out from a large number of rebels”. David Spence served 24 years with the Regiment and finished his service as RSM. On 17th April 1877 David Spence VC, the retired Lancer and Yeoman Warder suffered a stroke in a London street, at 59 years of age.
After over a decade (by the family) of searching for the location of his grave, it was finally located in Lambeth Cemetery in an unmarked plot. The Regiment, the Victoria Cross Trust and the family have spent the last five years raising the money to have a headstone placed on the grave, ensuring the final resting pace of this gallant soldier was appropriately commemorated. It is fitting that the site of Spence’s grave is only 150 yards from the grave of Robert Kells VC another 9th Lancer and Yeoman Warder who won his VC during the Indian Mutiny. Both VCs can be seen at the 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum in Derby.
On Tuesday 14th March 2017, the gravestone was unveiled by the Regiment and members of the Spence family (some who had travelled from as far away as Australia) for the event. The service was conducted by the Regimental Padre, Major Graham Collingwood, and the serving Regiment was represented by Brigadier Andrew Hughes CBE, the Colonel of the Regiment.
THE ROYAL LANCERS OLD COMRADES’ ASSOCIATION ‘VETERAN LANCERS’
Colonel William English – Chairman of The Royal Lancers Old Comrades’ Association and Trustee of The Royal Lancers Charitable Trust.
I am writing to inform you that after ‘listening and discussing’ the needs of Veteran Lancers widely across the Regiment, I am now forming The Royal Lancers Old Comrades’ Association (RL OCA) Committee. In January I wrote a notice on Facebook through Home Headquarters informing that I would in due course be forming a committee to support the work of: ‘Remembrance’; ‘Benevolence’ and ‘Networking’. I can now inform that the RL OCA Committee will be made up as follows:
Chairman: Col William English
Vice Chairman 9/12L: Lt Col (Retd) John Pearce
Vice Chairman 16/5L & QRL: Maj (Retd) Chris Knight
Vice Chairman 17/21L & QRL: Capt (Retd) Richard Dzierozynski
Liaison HHQ: Maj (Retd) Phil Watson
Liaison RL: Capt Steven Mansfield
Liaison CCOCA: Mr Dick Boorman
Tower Host & Asst CCOCA: Yeoman Warder Steve McMenamy
Many of you are members of Branches and/or Informal Groups, but some Veteran Lancers are not – no matter. The Vice Chairmen listed above now have Areas of Responsibility (AOR) based around their antecedent regimental recruiting areas (see attached ppt). They will be talking to Leaders of Branches and Informal Groups, providing advice, support and a voice at committee meetings. In order that you as an individual may have a voice too, you can contact your antecedent Vice Chairman irrespective of your location (UK and worldwide) to discuss an antecedent matter; your voice will be heard at committee and you will receive a response to any question you raise. For those RL veterans starting to emerge from service in the RL, should you wish to contact your Vice Chairman, you should contact the Vice Chairman who covers the region in which you live.
The work we do in support of you ensures that our Veteran Lancers retain both dignity and respect in retirement – collectively we are maintaining pride in self and ensuring that our antecedent regiments traditions remain in place and the serving Royal Lancers remain, in unity, the very best regiment in the world. Proud to be a British Lancer - ‘Forged as One’.
I am pleased to draw your attention to the following appointments in the New Year’s Honours List published today.
PROMOTIONS IN AND APPOINTMENTS TO THE MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
As a Commander
Brigadier Andrew Gordon HUGHES, MBE
As a Member
Major Martin Patrick MORRISSEY, The Royal Lancers