Photo:Gervase Spendlove

Gervase Spendlove

in 2nd Lieutenant's uniform

Photo:Memorial in St John the Baptist Church  Beeston

Memorial in St John the Baptist Church Beeston

Gervase Spendlove of Beeston

By Ralph Lloyd-Jones

Gervase Thorpe Spendlove was born in 1897, son of Edith and Joseph Spendlove an ex-Army Captain and successful Nottinghamshire businessman. He was educated at Oundle (Public) School in Northamptonshire, leaving just before the outbreak of the Great War. He was a member of an eccentric patriotic organisation called the 'Legion of Frontiersmen' which was supposed to consist of civilian volunteers who would help defend the borders of the British Empire. As its name implies, this was envisaged for remote regions like Canada and India, they did not expect an attack on the Empire quite so close to home as it came in August 1914. In September Gervase left his home at the Willows in Beeston, and rode with four fellow-motorcyclists to General French's Headquarters in France where they volunteered as despatch riders, being incorporated into the Army Signals Corps. He was given the Non-Commissioned rank of Corporal. By November his Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the South Lancashire Regiment had arrived, but tragically he was killed almost as soon as he joined them near Ypres on 17th of that month. Although he was only 19, Gervase Spendlove had volunteered remarkably quickly and must have enjoyed some exciting adventures with his biker friends before becoming an early victim of trench warfare. Though the house is no longer there, the grounds of the Willows now make up a small slightly melancholy public park in Dovecote Lane.

This page was added by Ralph Lloyd-Jones on 07/09/2023.

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