Lieutenant Eric Claude Spedding, of whose death from wounds advice was received on Saturday, was the youngest son of the late Mr D. M. Spedding, and was a member of the staff of the Bank of New Zealand in Dunedin when he was called up for active service. He might reasonably have withheld the offer of his services at the time he made it, for not long before he had undergone a serious operation; but he was eager to get away to the front and, as he left New Zealand with the Fourteenth Reinforcements, he must have been sent there very shortly after his arrival in England. He was educated at the Arthur Street School and at the Otago Boys' High School, and he took a leading place, in the athletic life of the latter institution, being a member of the first fifteen and, of the first eleven, of which latter he was captain in 1914, and being also the athletic champion of the school in 1914. After leaving school he joined the Carisbrook Cricket Club, and played for the junior representatives against Southland. -Otago Daily Tmes, 16/10/1916.
Eric Spedding was with the 4th Company, 2nd Battalion, of the Otago Infantry Regiment when it attacked German positions on October 1st in the Battle of the Somme. The Regiemnt's Official History describes the attack and its consequence: "As the last Otago company went forward two companies of Wellington Battalion moved up Goose Alley and then forward in two waves in rear of and in support to Otago. Advancing to the crest of the ridge after changing direction, 4th and 8th Companies were seriously depleted in strength under the blasts of machine gun fire which swept their ranks. Every officer was a casualty, and non-commissioned officers and men were heavily hit. But with unfailing determination they pressed on, successfully reaching their objective and passing some distance beyond it."
Eric Spedding was wounded with multiple gunshot wounds on October 1st, 1916, presumably one of those hit by "blasts of machine gune fire." It took him six long days to die from the septicemia produced by those wounds. It would have seemed an eternity to the young Dunedin bank clerk.