Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect. According to the 1911 census,  William Needham Spence, elder son of ARTHUR WILLIAM SPENCE ARTHUR WILLIAM SPENCE , iron founder and mechanical engineer, of Cork Street, Dublin, was born in Co. Dublin circa in 1894 or 1895. He had become a pupil in the office of BATCHELOR & BATCHELOR & amp; HICKS  HICKS by 1915, when he exhibited 'an excellent set of measured drawings of Trinity College chapel' as well as 'Sheets of the architectural classic orders' and a design for a monument to Lord Roberts at the annual exhibition of students' work at the Metropolitan School of Art.(1)   His studies were interrupted by service in the First World War. He joined up in 1916 with a commission in the Royal Engineers, served in Mesopotamia and was mentioned in dispatches. After the war he worked in London, first with the firm of Campbell Jones, Sons, & Smithers and later in the Ministry of Supply, where he held an appointment at the time of his death. He died on 15 January 1956, aged sixty-one.

AAI: elected member, 1913; winner of Downes Bronze Medal for measured drawings for session 1913-14.(2)
RIBA: probationer, 1913;(3) student, 1914;(4) associate (special war exam), 1921.(5)

Addresses: Home: Lithgow, 12 Oakley Road, Ranelagh, <=1911-1914;(6) Ranelagh, 1921;(7) 24 Rutland Park Mansions, Willesden Green, London NW2, 1923.(8)


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the brief obituary by F.G. Hicks in RIBAJ 63 (1955-56), 404.

(1) Freeman's Journal, 26 Dec 1915; Irish Times, 27 Dec 1915.. The Trinity drawings were published in AJ 57, 21 Mar 1923, 528-531.
(2) AAI Green Book (1915), 46. The prizewinning drawings were presumably the measured drawings of Trinity College chapel, see note 1, above.
(3) RIBAJ 20 (1912-13), 650.
(4) RIBAJ 22 (1914-14), 120.
(5) RIBAJ 28 (1920-21), 146.
(6) See notes 2 & 3, above.
(7) See note 4, above.
(8) Who's Who in Architecture 1923, 232.

Author Title Date Details
Spence, William Needham 'The Chapel, Trinity College, Dublin'
1923 AJ , 21 Mar 1923, 528-531, 581,583