Gilbert William Spence was on born 10th May 1825 (19th May according to army records), in Lerwick and baptised on 7th July. He was the heir to Greenfield and his father's estate. He married Bridget Mullins. Gilbert William Spence joined the army for a time and served in the Royal Newfoundland Companies for four years. He was commissioned on 3rd April 1849 and retired on full pay on 2nd Nov 1855. He was listed as an Assistant-Surgeon M.D.
On his return from Newfoundland, Gilbert William must have set up practice with his father, because the First Volume of the Medical Register of the United Kingdom (1858), shows the entry for Gilbert in that volume: "Gilbert William Spence, Greenfield Place, Lerwick, Shetland. Lic.R.Coll.Surg.Edin.1848, M. D. Edin., 1848. Registered as a medical practitioner, 28th December 1858." The Army Register indicates that he was at King's College, Aberdeen, 1840-43 then graduated from Edinburgh in 1848. So, Gilbert received a formal and superior training at Scotland's oldest medical school.
Adapted from a paper by Graham Simpson - April 2002