Will Spencer was born and brought up in the East End of London of the 1920s. As a boy he would cycle out from Canning Town into the Essex countryside to go bird watching and sketching. In those days a dog of mixed ancestry was usually part of the family and lots of neighbours kept chickens in the back yard. So birds and animals were part of his life even as a Londoner. Then later London Zoo became his second home.

 

At the outbreak of World War II Will joined the Royal Air Force as a young man of 18 years of age. He qualified as a wireless operator and spent the War years in RAF Transport Command. He gained the rank of Flying Officer when he was commended for his quick action in passing on a distress signal from a US Air Force aircraft.

After the War he worked in a London Advertising Agency for a while until he submitted a strip cartoon to a national daily newspaper ~ The News Chronicle. This was based on the idea of friendly aliens finding life on Planet Earth amusing. The owners of the newspaper, who were Quakers, rejected the cartoon on religious grounds but liked Will's work and invited him to submit other ideas. He came up with a pocket cartoon 'Animal Crackers'. It ran for nearly 20 years. Will numbered among his many fans H E Bates, James Cameron, William Russell Flint and Idries Shah.

             

 

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