“It’s wonderful how B. Company is scattered, and sad how many of them have gone under”

Percy Spencer was enjoying a reprieve from the fighting, and looking forward to our American allies making an impact.

July 8, 1918
My dear WF

I expect you are wondering why I haven’t written for so long. Lately I have been working moving, & so often cut off from communication, you must forgive me.

Now I am at a course near the base. It’s such a rest to have definite working hours & playing hours. We work jolly hard but after work I can take a rod & fish or swim, or walk to a fairly civilized town. Last night I fished & all but landed the largest roach I have ever hooked.

My duties with the battalion have involved riding. I had the other day to ride about 20 miles to prosecute in a CM case. As the horse’s name was “Satan” & I hadn’t been on a horse for 3 years you may imagine my feelings. However we went very well together. 2 days later, I had to do a staff ride with Gen. Kennedy as he’s something of a horseman, again I wasn’t very happy. However I didn’t fall off & coming home even ventured upon a few gallops.
I’m sorry about Sydney. I expect it’s the “Flu” or “PVO”. We’ve had an awful lot of it, but I’m glad to say I have practically escaped.

Please keep me posted with news of Stan & Gil. Isn’t it funny how we all focus on you. I hope you realise how flattering it is.
While you have been having November weather, we have been sweltering & wishing for a cool breeze now & then.

I like this part of France – it is so rich in wild flowers, woods, streams, birds and dragon flies. Did I tell you of the beautiful golden birds which used to haunt my bivouac? I have long since found out that they are the famous French Oriel. The dragon flies are marvellous. Never have I seen such numbers or variety.

Do you remember my church door Christmas card? If so you will know about where I am when I tell you I’m just going to have a look at it again.

There are no end of Americans here. All well built fellows and very keen. It’ll be a bad day for the Hun that they take the field in earnest. How many there are I don’t know, but enough to make the necessary weight till our turn comes round again.

We have an American doctor from Philadelphia – a fine big fellow….

Yesterday I met a nice boy from No. 5 platoon who remembered me though I couldn’t place him. It’s wonderful how B. Company is scattered, and sad how many of them have gone under. I was lucky to miss the grand “withdrawal”.

Yours ever

Letter from Percy Spencer to Florence Image (D/EZ177/7/7/50-52)

“Things inside Germany don’t seem happy which is all to the good”

A Foreign Office friend of Ralph’s wrote with the latest news and rumours.


Dear Glyn

We have been so terribly rushed at the FO that I have hardly time to write to anyone about anything nowadays…

I am up here for 10 days leave & am fishing hard. Up to now I haven’t done well, though there seem to be a lot of fish, but I am out of luck. My host got 7 today & I only got one though I believe I was on the best water. It is awful good getting away for a bit from the FO as one gets very stale after 3 months or so [work?].
Things seem to be going pretty well all round, though as usual London is full or was full when I left 4 days ago of gloom & rumours. However none of the latter ever seem to come true.

You must be having a pretty strenuous time too. I believe the Huns are having a nasty knock at Verdun & it ought to keep them quiet for some time; meanwhile things inside Germany don’t seem happy which is all to the good. I think they expected to take the place all right & rather calculated on the effect it would have on their own people & on the neutrals.

Yours sincerely
E Drummond

Letter to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C32/18)