Spencley, Philip Clark



Private Philip Clark Spencley SC 7581 ACTIVE SERVICE (Korean War)

On August 21, 1952 Philip Clark Spencley completed documentation to enlist in the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps (RCIC), Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) in Kingston, Ontario. He was 21 years, 7 months and 13 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of 6 years. Philip Clark was born and raised in Burleigh Falls, Ontario and gave his birth-date as January 8, 1931. He indicated that he did not have previous Military experience. In 1948 Philip Clark completed Grade VIII, in the Burleigh Falls School. He lists his Trade or Calling as a Labourer. Philip Clark was 5′ 8″ tall and weighed 127 pounds, had a 33″chest (expanded) with a dark complexion, hazel eyes and black hair. His Medical examination was done August 19, 1952 at Camp Barriefield (near Kingston) and indicates he was fit for service with the RCIC. Philip Clark was of medium complexion with brown eyes, and black hair. He lists his father, Mr. Jesse Spencley of Burleigh Falls, as his next-of-kin. Philip Clark Spencely signed the Oath and Certificate at No 5 Personnel Depot (PD) in Kingston, Ontario on August 21, 1952. He was then enrolled as a Private (Pte) with Service Number SC 7581.

Document required to be actioned by Pte Spencley:

THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT I,… Philip Clark Spencley ………….
not being in possession of a Birth Certificate at the time of my Attestation, have been Instructed to obtain same, and upon receipt, have two (2) Certified True Copies forwarded through my Unit to Army Headquar-ters.
Unit. . No 5 Personnel Depot..
Date.. 21 August 1952 … … Philip Spencley …
August 21, 1952 Pte Spencley completed his Will in Kingston; his father was the sole beneficiary of all his Estate.

On August 21, 1952 Pte Spencley was recommended to be a Rifleman during an interview held at RCIC, 2nd Bn RCR at No 5 PD. On August 27, 1952 Pte Spencley was struck-off-strength from No 5 PD to the 2nd Battalion (Bn), RCR in Camp Petawawa, Ontario. August 28, 1952 he was taken-on-strength with the 2nd Bn RCR. From October 14, 1952 to December 11, 1952 Pte Spencley had a lot of dental work done due to him having 11 bad teeth. November 1, 1952 Pte Spencley completed 8 weeks of Basic Training. December 1, 1952 Pte Spencley was re-classified to Private 2nd Class. December 17, 1952 he redid his Will in Kingston; his father was the sole beneficiary of all his estate. December 20, 1952 he completed Advanced Training, then on December 31, 1952 he had an Annual Chest X-Ray done at the Petawawa Military Hospital.

2nd Battalion,
The Royal Canadian Regiment
My signature here below acknowledges the following:
(a) I have been warned for draft and to hold myself in readiness for all parades required to complete the preparations required for this draft and:
(b) If I am given embarkation leave, I shall abide by the regulations that permit me to have 72 hrs at my home address as on my attestation papers and that I shall return on the time stated as the termination of my leave.
(c) I will NOT discuss time of departure or other details with any unauthorized person.
(d) The contents of AGI No 461 dated 191, Discipline Aboard trains has been read and explained to me and I am familiar with the contents of that instruction.
Signed: 2 JAN 53 at CAMP PETAWAWA, Ontario
P. C. Spencley

On January 3, 1953 he was struck-off-strength from the 2nd Bn RCR in Petawawa to No 11 PD in Vancouver, British Columbia. January 4, 1953 Pte Spencley was taken-on-strength with No 11 PD, Vancouver. On January 14, 1953 he is struck-off-strength from No 11 PD, Vancouver to the X-4 List for No 2 Canadian Administration Unit (CAU) [RCIC].
Note: The X-4 List contains “Unposted reinforcements in the theatre of war belonging to the Unit or Corps”.

January 15, 1953 Pte Spencley is taken-on-strength to the X-4 List from No 11 PD in the Field; was granted “Foreign Allowance”; posted to the Canadian Army Far East and embarked Canada (from Vancouver). January 29, 1953 he disembarked in Japan.

February 20, 1953 Pte Spencley completed a 3-week Division Battle School Course. February 24, 1953, while at Camp Hiro, Japan Pte Spencley lost Property of Her Majesty’s Forces to the value of $16.67. He was fined $10.00 due to his neglect in losing the property. February 26, 1953 Pte Spencley embarked Japan and disembarked South Korea. February 28, 1953 he was struck-off-strength to the 1st Bn RCR from X-List (No 2 CAU) in the Field. February 29, 1953 Pte Spencley was taken-on-strength to the 1st Bn RCR in the Field.

At 0220 hours on May 3, 1953 Private Philip Clark Spencley was killed-in-action by a shrapnel wound to his head by a mortor explosion. February 4, 1953 he was struck-off-strength from the 1st Bn RCR to the 3rd Bn RCR.

Private Philip Clark Spencley’s pay records show the following:
21 August 1952 paid as a recruit $87.00 monthly;
01 December 1952 payed as a Private (2nd Class) $91.00 monthly
16 January 1953 payed as a Private with Field Pay $97.00 monthly
04 May 1953 payed as a Private without Field Pay $91.00 monthly

As a result of his Service, Private Philip Clark Spencley was awarded the following Medals:

United Nations Korean Service Medal;
Canadian Korean War Medal; and
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal – Korea. (awarded January 13, 1992)

He also qualified for the Korean Service Badge.

Although there is no indication in his File, Pte Spencley’s Medals and Awards would have been sent to his father’s address in Burleigh Falls, Ontario.

On May 9, 1953 a Report of Interment for Private Spencley P.C. SC 7581 contained the following comments:
No personal effects on or with the Remains;
Buried in a canvas square May 9, 1953;
Service conducted by Rev. P.A.J. Arch; and
One copy of this Form in Burial Bottle 18″ below grave marker at head of grave.

In a letter from the Estates Section dated May 11, 1953 Jesse Hewitt Spencley was requested to complete Questionnaire Form P. 64. Also contained in this letter was a comment advising him that his son had made a Will and he was the sole beneficiary. The Questionnaire requested family history information. On May 30, 1953 Jesse Hewitt received another letter from the Estates Section thanking him for completing and returning the Questionnaire.

June 24, 1953 there was a letter from the Estates Section to Mr. Jesse Spencley advising him that his son’s personal effects; Dental Category Card, Wallet with photos and paper and Holy Bible have been sent to him by Registered Mail.

On June 26, 1953, when Jesse Hewitt Spencley received the items listed in the Inventory of his Son’s Personal Effects, he returned the following note:

Dear Sirs
I was very disappointed at not getting his wrist watch and Fountain Pen
Which we of the family gave him at Christmas before he went away.
Those were some personal effects which I did not get.
Thank you
Mr. Jesse H. Spencley
Burleigh Falls

No response was found in his son’s File.

June 30, 1953 a letter from the Judge Advocate General (JAG) [Estate], Ottawa to Mr. Jesse Spencley contained the Last Pay Certificate of his son’s; a cheque for $284.14.

Another letter, dated August 6, 1953, from the Estates Section advised Mr. Jesse Spencley that he would receive a cheque in the mail in the amount of $367.17. The amount was comprised of $84.03 – a gratuity under the Defence Services Pension Act plus $283.14 – a credit balance in his son’s pay account. A cheque will be mailed shortly.

September 8, 1953 a letter from the Estates Section advised Mr. Jesse Spencley that he would receive a cheque in the mail in the amount of $75.62. The amount represents the War Service Gratuity earned by your son and is an asset of his Service Estate.

On September 28, 1953 Mr. Spencley received three pictures of his son’s grave marker in the United Nations Military Cemetery, Tanggok (a suburb of Busan) South Korea.
An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s magazine by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:

The Military is the single calling in the world with a job specification that includes a commitment to die for your nation. What could be more honorable.



Philip Clark Spencley was born in Burleigh Falls, Ontario on January 8, 1931. His parents are Jesse Hewitt Spencley and Grace Meeks. Philip Clark was raised and educated in Burleigh Falls and was known as “Pete”.

Philip Clark liked to play baseball and be a spectator at hockey games and he enjoyed a good book on mysteries. His hobby was in wood craft, in his spare time he liked fishing and being a fishing guide.

Philip Clark left school at 17 years old to go to work. From 1948 to 1951 he was a 10% partner in an Ice Business with his brothers cutting ice in the Winter and selling it in the Summer. The money wasn’t very good and the work was hard so he took a job at B. Mace’s Sawmill as a lumberman for which he earned $800.00 plus room & board for one year. He was out-of-work since July 1952 since the Sawmill closed for the Winter; he didn’t want to return to the ice business.

Philip Clark decided on at least one term in the Army because he was out of work and for an opportunity to see more of life then had been possible for him so far. He was judged as somewhat shy and naïve.

Philip Clark’s paternal grandparents are William and Sarah Spencley who farmed in Douro Township, Peterborough County.

Philip Clark’s parents were Jesse Hewitt Spencley and Grace Meeks of Burleigh Falls, Ontario. They were married in Auburn, New Zealand in 1907. Jesse and his wife had 12 children: Bernice, born about 1908; William, born about 1911; Frederick, born about 1913; Gordon, born about 1915; Emma Grace, born about 1917; Jesse Lamontford, born about 1919; Albert, born about 1921; George Livingston, born about 1923; Jean Elizabeth, born about 1926; Ernest Paul, born about 1928; Philip Clark, born January 8, 1931; Bernice and Earl, born about 1935.

Philip’s father was a caretaker of an Island Estate nearby for the past 42 years; he was in good health and provided steady and moderate comforts for his family. He owned the home and a small acreage; his mother was in poor health and died in 1947 at 63 years of age. Jesse died in 1968, both are interred in Lakefield Cemetery.