MB ChB Edin 1908; DPH RCS Edin 1910.
Spence was educated at the University and Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, and was house surgeon at the Royal Infirmary. Spence soon engaged in public health, and was assistant medical officer of health and tuberculosis officer in Cumberland and Carlisle. Spence was then appointed medical officer of health and school medical officer for Eccles, near Manchester, a post he held for nearly 30 years. Spence pioneered the use of open-air schools for delicate children in the North West. He was a fellow of the Society of Medical Officers of Health and the Royal Statistical Society, and was a member of the Royal Sanitary Institute. Spence retired in 1950 and died in 1962 at the age of 76.