Old Cambrian Society

  OC Society
  OC Alumni
  Photos
  OC News
  Events Diary
  Register Here
  Impala Project
  Where are they?
  Obituaries
  Contact us
  Links
  Copyright
 

   Obituary - William Robert McAllen (“Mac”) Spence

  

William Robert McAllen (“Mac”) Spence
Nickname: Mac
House: Hawke
Year: 1948-1953

On 30th January 2015, Webmaster received an e-mail from Dennis Leete (Nicholson 1947-51):

William Robert ( Mac)  Spence KR 4640.

Gents,

I regret to advise the death of "Mac" this morning in Nairobi  after a drawn out illness; in Diani hospital at the Coast, then in hospital in Nairobi, and finally at the home of friends in Langata, nursed by his wife Janette.

Although Mac lived in Jersey Channel Islands, they had a house at Shimoni on the South Coast of Kenya, where they over-wintered every year.
We plan to hold a short " Kwaheri" for him at the Regiment Clubhouse from 15hr00 6th February 2015.
All his friends are welcome.

Regards,

Dennis Leete

 

The following was Mac's entry in the Alumni section of this web site prior to his death:

 

William Robert McAllen (“Mac”) Spence

Nickname: Mac
House: Hawke
Year: 1948-1953

Born in England in 1936, I was taken squeaking at age 3 to join my Dad George1 in Kenya. I arrived at the PoW from Mombasa Primary via Nairobi Primary, where Jimmy Gillett was headmaster and the cricket master Teddy Boase. Teddy actually moved up the hill at about the same time but never managed to teach me cricket.

Being small though swotty, I spent three years in Junior House – two as rabble and one as a house prefect. A year in Inter., contemporaneously with Roger Whittaker, left me only two years in Hawke House itself where J.J. (Jeremy) Woods was head of house and remains in touch, together with Bob Dewar and George McKnight.

School was not all swot and semi-skilled sports. Early on, Geoff Griffin recruited me into the 2nd Nairobi Scout Group and I rose to King’s Scout and Senior Troop Leader. After leaving POW at the end of 1953, one of the earlier Outward Bound courses got me up Kilimanjaro before my first apprenticeship in the law in Mombasa.

The Regiment got me in July 1954 and after KRTC first course at Lanet, organised OHMS tours to Uplands (Lari territory just after the massacre), the Escarpment, Narok and the Aberdares with “O” Company and numerous OCs. Release from emergency service gave a spell back in Mombasa before serious involvement with the law.

But territorial service remained compulsory for several years and anyway the camaraderie was great so I stayed in various ranks until the eve of Uhuru, the “suspension” of the Regiment and my finest hour carrying the Queen’s Colour up the Hill to the Cathedral of the Highlands.

Starting as trainee with the Registrar General, Hamilton Harrison & Mathews headhunted me in 1959 and I stayed with them for 25 years; becoming an advocate and a partner with John Silvester and Mike Somen and doing a range of legal work; the gaudiest being a (successful) murder defence behind Byron Georgiadis.

Along the way I was clever or lucky enough to marry Jannett, née Croxford, a genuine Boma heifer from Eldoret and our daughter Fiona was born in 1979. We left Kenya in 1984 but have visited constantly ever since and have retained a toehold at Shimoni.

After a spell managing a small law office in Lechlade on Thames I accepted the offer not to be refused, to practice trade mark law on an international scale out of the specialised, Jersey office of Spoor & Fisher Jersey. Here we have been since 1988, not realising for many of those years the Old Cambrian connection with our professional competitor and good friend Steve Le Feuvre.


1    Mac's father, George, was known to a generation or two of Old Cambrians. Sadly George passed away in 1999, and his obituary was published in Coastweek on 23rd July 1999
- Obituary of George Spence

(Registered - 26th June 2003) (Updated - 23rd Aug 2009)