Roy Spencer was born at Fortune on 24 June 1897, the sixth child of Charles Bennett & Mary (Hillier) Spencer. He grew up and received his early education in his hometown.
On 30 December 1914, 17-year-old Roy enlisted in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment to serve his country in World War I. He was one of the lucky few who survived the infamous July Drive, the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, on 01 July 1916. He did, however, receive a gunshot wound to the right forearm. On 14 April 1917, at Arras, France, he sustained gunshot injuries to his left foot and right shoulder. The shoulder wound was most severe and resulted in the amputation of his right arm and shoulder joint. He was discharged as medically unfit on 30 September 1918, having served admirably for three years and nine months, and returned home to Fortune.
In 1920 Spencer went to Sackville, New Brunswick where he completed a business course at Dalhousie University. He then returned home to work in his father's firm, C.B. Spencer & Sons. Roy was the senior partner and co-owner but, as he spent a great deal of time overseas, management of the firm was left to his younger brother Stanley.
Not long after the start of World War II, Roy Spencer was involved in recruiting and accompanying the newly enlisted men to their posts.
The loss of his arm didn't appear to restrict his lifestyle to any great extent. Spencer was a soccer player, an avid card player and a dedicated fisherman, especially of salmon. He tied his tie with one hand and always wore a shirt & tie, even when fishing! He was a member of the Masonic and Orange Lodges and also the Lions Club.
On 25 November 1926, Roy Spencer married Elsie May Bennett, with whom he had three children: Mary, Shirley and George. Unfortunately, May succumbed to pneumonia on 25 February 1940. Four years later, on 23 February 1944, Roy married Blanche Mercer, a union that produced daughter Judy.
Roy Spencer, distinguished veteran and honourable citizen, passed away on 12 February 1975 at the age of 78 and was laid to rest beside his first wife in the local United Church Cemetery. Blanche, who left Fortune sometime after the death of her husband, died on 22 December 1995 and is interred elsewhere.
Photos on this page show Roy Spencer salmon fishing at Conne River, Bay D'Espoir; wearing his shirt and tie, with slippers on his feet; taken around 1945. Photos supplied by George Spencer and are used by permission.