Lt Henry Emile Spenle, Suicide

He was born to naturalised parents Nationality and Naturalisation: Spenle, John, from France. Resident in Salford. Certificate A6595 issued 26 January 1891. HO 144/324/B9865. His address is given inn London Gazette as 3, the Crescent, Salford. There is a marriage record for John Spenle in Chorlton, 1893 to a Mary Elizabeth Davies.

1896 Sep 3. Birth of Henry Emile Spenlé at Salford, Lancs

1901 census spenle

1901 He is in the 1901 census with parents John and Elizabeth at 80 Manchester Rd, Swinton.. John is from Alsace and a naturalized citizen, a mechanical engineer aged 46. Elizabeth is aged 35 from Manchester. A brother Charles Davies Spenle is on the census. There's a birth record for him in 1899. And C D Spenle served in Beds & Herts Regt.

Educated at Manchester Grammar School. Then 5 years at Bale, Switzerland

mothers death

1912 Death of his mother. It would appear that the family moved to Basle roughly 1910/1911

1915 Nov 26. Attested at Dukes Road, WC (19 years 2 months) Posted & Embodied 2/28th London Regiment (Artists Rifle’s) Rank Cadet. No. 5422 Henry Emile Spenle . When he attested he was living at Dronfield, Wealdstone, Middlesex. Languages French and German (Certificate in German from ‘Obere Realochule’ Bale, Switzerland), Not able to ride. Chemistry Student, Father John Spenle, Avenue des Templiers 27 Epinal, Voges, France (Mechanical Engineer)

Shortly after the outbreak of the Great War second line and third line battalions of the Artists Rifles were formed - numbered 2/28th and 3/28th, the original battalion being 1/28th. The latter arrived in France at the end of October 1914 and became an Officers Training Corps (OTC), first at Bailleul and in April 1915 at St Omer. In November 1915 it absorbed the 2/28th; the 3/28th (which remained in the UK) then became 2/28th. On the 1st January, 1915 a third Battalion, "3/28th London" had been started (at first severely restricted to two Companies under a Major), in which all subsequent recruits had to be enrolled. It was placed under the command of Lt.-Col. William Shirley, recently retired from the Indian Army, who had been acting as Second-in-command of 2/28th. This Battalion, which was principally officered by senior N.C.O's sent home for the purpose from l/28th in France, was over 3,000 strong and in 3 years had passed 9,352 recruits through its ranks. After a period of recruit training in London, which included the construction at Kenwood of a series of entrenchments and dugouts on the most up-to-date Continental models, it also went into camp in Richmond Park, whence it was moved in July, 1915, to High Beech in Epping Forest, thence to Hare Hall, Romford, and finally to Berkhampstead, and on the absorption of the original 2nd Battalion by the 1st it was renumbered 2/28th. In May, 1915, instructions were issued for the formation within this Battalion of a separate School of Instruction for newly gazetted Officers of other Territorial regiments on similar lines to the School in France and during the next few months upwards of 1,500 such Officers passed through the School courses and examinations.

In November, 1915, the Regiment was officially recognised by Army Order (No. 429 of 1915) as an Officers' Training Corps, and the Home Battalion became the 2nd Artists Rifles O.T.C In March, 1916, its separate School, then at Gidea Park, was converted into four Companies of cadets to which recruits were passed on for training as Officers after receiving a preliminary military training in the ranks of the other four Companies, the whole being under the command of Colonel Shirley and run by Artists' Officers and Sergeant Instructors.

1916 Apr 20. Henry Edward Bartley Esq (address Dronfield Wealdstone, Middlesex) signed as his Guardian as he was under 21 on his Application for entry to an Officer Cadet Unit and J L Palon MA Highmaster, Manchester Grammar School confirmed his Education level. Character reference George Thomas, JP. Irlam Hall, Irlam, Manchester (Engineer & Exporter of Machinery)

1916 Mar 4. Transferred 2nd Artist’s Rifles OTC (Cadet Unit) 9h London Regiment, Gidea Park, Romford

1916 May 3. Passed Medical at Gidea Hall, Romford

1916 May 8. Recommended for a commission

1916 May 9. Transferred to 2/28th London Regiment

1916 May 25 Passed Cadet School

1916 May 30. Approved for commission

1916 Jun 1 Cadet H E Spenle to be 2nd Lieutenant with 12th London Regiment

1916 Jun 11. Discharged being appointed 2nd Lieutenant 3/12th London Regiment (199 days service, Character Good)

1916 Jun 12. Cadet Henry Emile Spenle from Artist’s Rifles OTC to be 2nd Lieutenant on probation with 12th (Reserve) Battalion London Regiment

1916 Jun 12. Service at Home

1916 Jun 28. at Fovant Camp

1916 Jul 10 Embarked at Southampton

1916 Jul 11 Disembarked Le Havre, Expeditionary Force France. Arrived Base Depot Le Havre

1916 Jun 12 Cadet Henry Emile Spenle, from Artists Rifles O.T.C., to be 2nd Lt. (on prob.).

1916 Jul 29. Joined unit for duty in the field 1/12th London Regiment

1916 Oct 5. Admitted 5th CCS P.U.O (Casualty Clearing Station with a fever of unknown origin . PUO is pyrexia of unknown origin)

1916 Oct 5. Admitted No.2 Stationary Hospital Abbeville for P.U.O.,

1916 Oct 19. No.2 Stationary Hospital Medical Board 2nd Lieutenant H E Spenle debility due to exposure. Recommends 21 days leave.

1916 Oct 22. Granted 21 days sick leave in England

1916 Oct 31 1916 Army List 12th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Rangers) 2nd Lieutenant posted to 1Bn (on probation) Spenle, H E. The number '1' on the 1916 Army List seems to indicate the 1/12th (County of London) Battalion which was part of 168th Brigade in 56th (London) Division at this time, rather than the 2/12th (County of London) Battalion which was at Bromeswell Heath at this time.

1916 Nov 14. To duty with unit

1916 Dec 1. Rank confirmed

1916 Dec 11 Joined for Duty with XI. Corps HQ

1917 Feb 8. Admitted 33 CCS Back problem (ICT)

1917 Feb 13 To Duty

1917 Mar 11. 2nd Lt. H. E. Spenle, Lond. R., T.F., and to be seed. 2nd Lt. (Graded for purposes of pay as Staff Lt., 3rd Cl.).

1917 Mar 17 Appointed 4th Class Agent Intelligence Corps (signed For O i/c Terr Inf “Southern Section” GHQ 3rd Echelon BEF) This seems to be what became a Class II agent later on.

1917 Jul 1. 2nd Lt. H. E. Spenle to be Lt., and remains seconded. (Substituted for that which appeared in the Gazette of 9th Jan. 1918.)

1917 Aug 11. 2nd Lt. H. E. Spenle, Lond. R., T.F., and to be seed. (Graded for purpose of pay as Staff Lts, 2nd Cl.)

1917 Nov 28 1917 Army List Commands & Staff (Graded as Staff Lieutenant 2nd Class) Spenle 2nd Lt HE 12 Bn Lond R 11Aug17 12th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Rangers) 2nd Lieutenant Spenle H E (Spec Appt) 12 June16

1917 Dec 12. Promoted to Lieutenant

1918 Nov 28 1918 Army List Commands & Staff (Class HH) Spenle Lt HE 12 Bn Lond R 11Aug17 12th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Rangers) Lieutenant Spenle H E (Spec Appt) 1 July 17

father died

1918 A Jean Spenle was killed during WW1, who may be related, given that probate was in London. Henry Spenle's father was recorded on both his service record and his trip to the New Hebrides (which was in 1919/1920) as John Spenle, Avenue des Templiers 27 Epinal, Voges France (Mechanical Engineer). Sondernach and Epinal are about 25 miles apart.

1919 Aug 22. Disembodied

1919 Aug 22. 12th Bn., London Regt.—Lt: H. E. Spenle is restored to the establishment

1919 Nov 27 1919 Army List 12th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Rangers) Lieutenant Spenle H E

1919 Oct/Dec Marriage of Henry E Spenle to  Sybil O G Schaublin at Brentford vol 3a, p21 (she appears to have been born Lancashire 1895)

1919 Dec 9 New York to New Hebrides

1919 Dec 28 Spenle passes through New York . Describes himself as a transit to New Hebrides.His stated intention is to visit his Aunt, Mrs K Klehm at Faureville Mele, Vate (same as Fate) Island in the New Hebrides. This has to be his father's sister (his mother was English, and one assumes that if she had married a Mr Klehm, it would have been in England, and there is not a record)

France and the United Kingdom agreed to administer the islands jointly. Called the British-French Condominium, it was a unique form of government, with separate governmental systems that came together only in a joint court. The condominium's authority was extended in the Anglo-French Protocol of 1914, formally ratified in 1922. The condominium was called the "Pandemonium" because of the duplication of laws, police forces, prisons, currencies, education and health systems. A book called 'Vanuatu' by Jocelyn Harewood and Michelle Bennett, makes this reference to the 1920s on the Islands: "Drunken plantation owners used to gamble... using the `years of labour' of their Melanesian workers as currency. Islanders used to be lined up against the wall, at the mercy of their employers' dice. Long after America's Wild West was tamed, Vila was the scene of the occasional gunfight and public guillotining."

klehm hill

1920 May 18 A man called Spenle from Noumea to Sydney, Australia on SS Pacifique. Also on the ship is a "Mrs Klehm" . There is still a Klehm Hill near Mele, Mele being a few miles west of Port Vila.

1920 Sep 21. Lieut. H.E.Spenle joined the ADRIC as no. 614, and it appears that he was allocated to Depot Company.  Tudors Toughs has him as H E Spencer of London Regt

1920 Sep 30 He was transferred to the Police Authority's Office and given the rank of District Inspector 3rd Class.  

1920 Nov 21 Commits suicide in his office in Dublin Castle. The two men who identified H.E. Spenle's body at the inquest, were both Temporary Cadets in "F" Company of the Auxiliary Division. Lieutenant A.C.C. Farmer was no. 852 and 2/Lieutenant B.H. Emery was no. 699. E H Emery is certainly still a serving Army officer. ACC Farmer also appears to be in Intelligence. Both are on RIC records as being enlisted in RIC. And Spenle is not on the RIC lists but is on ADRIC list.

1920 Nov. Death of Henry E Spenle recorded Oct/Dec 1920 vol 2 , p 378, aged 27 indicating birth 1893

And strangely

1921 Sep 30 relinquishes his commission Lt: H. E. Spenle (sic. in The Times, Monday, Nov 21, 1921)


1921 Sept 30 Relinquished commission under AO 166/21 as amended by AO 332/21 retaining the rank of Lieutenant (LG 18/12/21)

6 Sept 1935 Service enquiry from ‘Ministry of Pensions’ into Service Records for dates Disembodied and Relinquished commission.


Suicides among Intelligence Staff at Dublin Castle