Eric Marmaduke Spence was born at Cockfield 9 October 1896 to John and Hannah Spence. In 1901 the family lived at Main Street, Cockfield. Eric attended Cockfield C. of E. School then the County School from 1907 when they lived at Oxford Terrace. In 1911, the family lived at 5 Victoria Terrace. He worked as a “coupler on the screens” at Mostyn Colliery.
6 November 1914 he joined 2nd Northumbrian RAMC [service no. 1682 then 388260]. He entered France 10 April 1915. At the end of the war he was sent home by Duty Order as a coal miner 31 December 1918. He was disembodied 3 February 1919 and finally demobbed 31 March 1920 after 5 years 178 days in the Territorial Force, 3 years 262 days in France. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals.
In July 1920, he married Sarah Lillian Pearl (Lily) Alderson at St. Mary’s Church, Cockfield. They emigrated to New Zealand. Eric Spence died 5 November 1982 and is buried at Hillcrest Cemetery, Whakatane, New Zealand.