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Warner Wright Spalding (1844–1920)

The death, occurred in a private hospital yesterday morning, after a short illness, of Colonel Warner Wright Spalding. C.M.G. He was 76 years of age.

The deceased, who lived at Macksville, where he was a large land-holder, was a man of vigorous constitution for his years. His strenuous recruiting tour throughout the North Coast, although it was eminently successful, impaired his health. The soldierly spirit that made Colonel Spalding such a prominent figure in the New South Wales defence forces was with him to the end. Unable during the war to go away on one of the troopships, on account of his age, he did the next best thing–he became recruiting officer for the North Coast. It was the arduous nature of the work, indeed, that resulted in the breakdown which led to his death.

Colonel Spalding, who was born at Portsmouth, was a son of the late Colonel R.C. Spalding of the Royal Marines, and was educated at the Royal Naval School, New Cross. He was a Royal Marine cadet aboard H.M.S. Excellent from 1860 to 1861; a lieutenant of Royal Marines from 1863 to 1869; captain of the New South Wales Permanent Artillery, 1871 and adjutant Volunteer Artillery; colonel commanding the New South Wales Artillery forces 1892-96; acting commandant, New South Wales forces, 1892; and chief magistrate at Norfolk Island from 1896 to 1898. Colonel Spalding was present at the bombardment of the batteries by the English and French fleets at Simonoseiki, Japan; he carried the colours of the Royal Marines during the assault and capture of the batteries, and he was with the Soudan expedition (Suakim) in 1885, being second in command of the New South Wales Contingent. He was mentioned in despatches, and received, among other decorations, the C.M.G, bestowed in 1885, and the Khedive's Star. He retired some years ago from the New South Wales permanent military forces. Colonel Spalding transferred from the Royal Marines when the New South Wales Permanent Artillery was formed in 1871. The original formation of our coast defences was carried out under his direction. He had with him at the time as a young staff officer one destined to play a distinctive part in the Empire's defence–the late Major General Bridges, who commanded the 1st Australian Division at Gallipoli. Colonel Spalding inaugurated the system, of sending officers to England for instruction, the first selected by him being Lieutenant (after Major-General) Bridges. Three of Colonel Spalding's sons-in-law, including Colonel Cox Taylor, who commanded the 25th Field Artillery Brigade, and, temporarily, the 5th Division Artillery on the Somme, and a grandson, Mr. Noel Cox Taylor, were on active service in France.

The deceased is survived by a widow, five daughters, and three sons–Mrs. Cox Taylor, wife of Colonel Cox Taylor, commanding the Royal Australian Artillery, Mrs. Chas. Perrier, Mrs. Ernest Walker, Mrs. W. R. Willing, and Miss Daphne Spalding, and Messrs. Wary Spalding, an officer in the South African Constabulary; Mr. Reeve Spalding, a farmer, of Macksville; and Master Keith Spalding. The funeral will take take place at the Waverley Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, being preceded by a service at St. John's Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. The remains will be borne on a gun carriage. The deceased's old comrades are requested to attend in uniform.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Spalding, Warner Wright (1844–1920)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


1 May, 1844
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England


22 August, 1920 (aged 76)
Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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