Cipher Operator Cpl. Harold Spence 1st British Airborne Corps Signals

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Jonesy123, Aug 23, 2021.

  1. Jonesy123

    Jonesy123 Junior Member

    Hi guys,
    need your help...

    Too keep a very long story short, more than 6 years ago I stumbled on a crashsite of a glider very close to my home. I searched for many years to try and find which glider it was and who its occupants were.
    But last year I had a major breakthrough and then it all went very fast... I was able to identify the glider and all its passengers.

    The glider crash-landed on September 17th 1944 and the passengers were soldiers from 101st Airborne Division but they had a special attachee, a British Cipher operator with the name 'Harold Spence'.
    I also was able to find all relatives of the American passengers and even got in contact with one who is still alive today!
    I received lots of information and pictures including the detailed written account of this cipher operator.
    (it seems the account was also partially used in some books like "HELL’S HIGHWAY")

    Since they landed in enemy territory and surrendering was out of the question, they had to escape. They succeeded but two Americans were killed. That is why I want to make a little monument near the crash site.
    I have details and pictures of all passengers but sadly I'm still not able to trace down the relatives of Harold Spence.
    After a lot of research and dozens of emails I can't find any details of him which might help me to locate this hero or his relatives.

    Can you guys help me in any way to find more information about Corporal Harold Spence?

    I added a snapshot of a movie that was made on September 17 at Ramsbury when they were walkting towards their glider. The man in front is his good friend Cpl. Sellers which had a similar mission but who sadly died when his glider also crashed that day. Memorial Glider of 101st Airborne Signal Company - Mariekerke -


    Cpl. Spence & Cpl. Sellers.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  2. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Cannot find Harold Spence, but Frederick Sellers is possibly this man. He was originally in Royal Artillery and transferred to Signals 28/03/1944.

    Attached Files:

  3. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Deleted as down the wrong rabbit hole.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  4. Jonesy123

    Jonesy123 Junior Member

    • Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. Harold Spence did survive the war. His good friend Sellers was killed.
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    OK, hopefully the sleuths here can help in tracing him, although with only a name that will be difficult - unless you have some clues.

    Remainder of text deleted as down the wrong rabbit hole.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  6. Jonesy123

    Jonesy123 Junior Member

    No I'm looking for the relatives of Corporal Harold Spence :), the title is correct.
    Frederick Arthur Sellers is a different story...

    Harold Spence survived and he wrote a detailed summary of events after te war... Since he wasn't killed and he wasn't an officer, it is very hard to find any more information about him..
    that is why I am asking help...
    I realy would love to get in contact with his relatives because I can show them were his story took place.
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    I've given your quest a lot more thought and have just tried using www.familysearch,org limiting the birth year range to 1920-1926. That did not help.

    The only options left are in my opinion: 1) write to the Royal Signals Museum and seek their help, not research, but an appeal for help; 2) same with the affiliated; 3) try: Facebook Groups

    Sadly, as most who knew him are now deceased, all these are a "long shot" hoping they will advertise your quest or use a story that gets a response.

Share This Page