Can you help us with Alfred info?

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FOLLOWING the recent national coverage with regards to Remembrance Day I believed it may be an appropriate time to ask your readers for any details which may help me in my search for information about my grandfather Alfred Gorton Spencer.

In his early 80s my father decided that he wished to know about his family history, we discovered that his mother (Ada Walton Spencer, nee Forrest) passed away in 1921 and on her death certificate it states that she was a widow.

My father was told in his younger years his father (Alfred) had been killed in the First World War. My family and I have been researching for over 10 years and been unable to confirm this. German bombing raids during the Second World War saw around 60 per cent of service records from the First World War destroyed.

We have been able to confirm that Ada’s brothers Robert and Arthur both served in the First World War, sadly Robert passed away in 1918 and is buried in Northern France. But our search for any information at all about Alfred has basically hit a brick wall.

We’re aware that in his earlier years (1891 to 1901) that Alfred lived with his grandparents (William and Margaret Ann Spencer) in Todmorden, also that his father was Henry Spencer.

The last information we have about Alfred is that he lived with his wife (Ada) and two children (Ida and Bernard) in Burnley in early 1914.

Should anyone who knows anything about either the Spencer or Forrest family have information concerning Alfred Gorton Spencer (it’s possible he was born as Alfred Gorton) please send me further details. My father passed away without knowing about his parents’ history but I still wish to solve this family mystery for him. If readers have any information, they can email

Mrs M. Almond