The son of a Second World War veteran who was awarded the prestigious Arctic Star medal has paid tribute to a “great father and a true friend”.
Gordon Spencer made the comments about his father Bill Spencer, of Shotteswell, who served on Royal Navy destroyers protecting both the Arctic and Atlantic convoys in the 1940s and was one of the surviving servicemen awarded the prestigious medal in August.
Mr Spencer, 90, died at home surrounded by his family in the early hours of Thursday morning. Sadly, he did not live to see an article about his wartime achievements in last Thursday’s edition of the Banbury Guardian following a candid and fascinating interview given last Monday.
Gordon Spencer said of his father: “He was very much a man’s man, rarely complaining of problems, never sorry for himself, but he had a strong sense of compassion for anyone he thought had been hard done by or unfairly treated.
“Bill kept his children on the straight and narrow but also liked to have fun. He provided for a happy family who still enjoy each other’s company. Bill will be missed but he leaves the best memories for everyone. In his own words he was a lucky man. He packed twice as much into his life as most people and enjoyed it all.”
Born in Shotteswell Mr Spencer served on HMS Deptford and HMS Duckworth and last Monday he reeled off many fascinating anecdotes of his heroic wartime experiences, including bombing U-Boats off the coast of Cornwall and surviving an African ship wreck. After the war he worked in Kenya at a remote government station.
On his return to England he married his true love Eileen. The couple settled in Shotteswell and together had four children, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. His funeral will be at St Lawrence Church in Shotteswell next Tuesday at 2pm. All friends are welcome.
l See the Shotteswell village column on page 33 for another tribute to Mr Spencer.