From 1941 Spencer worked with the Royal College of Art at Ambleside in the Lake District. Too old to serve in the army Spencer was active in the Home Guard as a subsection leader. His witty observations of life during WW2 – typified by this composition – can also be observed in other paintings of the period such as The Tube Shelter
A series of fourteen large watercolours on the theme of The Home Guar, which were intended for publication, caused so much controversy that they to be abandoned after the watercolours were intercepted by the Royal Mail, on their way to the printers, and ripped along one side as an act of censorship.
Distinguished as having been an Official War Artist in both WW1 and WW2 Spencer was commissioned by the Artists Advisory Committee on four occasions as an Official War Artist in 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944.