Joseph Spooner was born on May 22nd, 1870 in Bury Saint Edmunds, Suffolk, England. Joseph married Alice S. Franks and together they had nine children before immigrating to Canada in 1904, where they had their final child. Their children’s names were (in order of birth) George, Alice, William, Rose, Margaret, Florence, Arthur, Edward, James, and Wilbert. The family arrived in Canada on board the SS Lake Champlain on November 28th 1904, and they settled in Galt (Cambridge), Ontario. Joseph was a successful in real estate, and his children, many of whom were now in their late teens and early twenties worked as well to support the large family. Joseph also spent seven years with the 29th Waterloo Regiment as a Field Artillery Driver.
At 44 years old, Joseph joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in late October 1914, a couple of months following the outbreak of the First World War. Joseph was promoted to Lance Sergeant of the 18th Battalion (Western Ontario) in Belgium. On November 14th, 1915 Lance Sergeant Joseph Spooner was killed in action and was later buried at Ridge Wood Military Cemetery. In February 1916 Joseph’s third eldest son Albert volunteered to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force at age 18. Albert was the only one of Joseph’s sons to enlist, and he returned home after the war ended.
Service number: 53878
“Canadian Virtual War Memorial: Joseph Spooner,” Veterans Affairs Canada, accessed March 21, 2015, http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/443500?Joseph%20Spooner
“Ridge Wood Military Cemetery,” Commonwealth War Graves Commission, accessed March 21, 2015, http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/51100/RIDGE%20WOOD%20MILITARY%20CEMETERY