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Date: September 7th 1915
William & Georgina Mercer (Emery's Uncle & Aunt)
Lance Corporal Alan Emery

[transcription and footnotes have been provided by the collection donor]


Dear Aunt & Uncle,

Have received you letter dated 6th August, also parcel posted the same day. Please accept my best thanks for same. It came without a hitch. Glad you liked the snapshot Mother[2] sent you. Yes I suppose Rich[3] is having a fairly busy time of it. Hope he manages to have a little holiday. It is a thing no one can do without. My weeks leave passed too quickly, as you may imagine my time was fully occupied. And now we are getting on in this year, the only thing to do is to look ahead for Christmas; it will be rather interesting to know how it will be spent. Mother & Father have had their holiday. Did not go far this year. Denis[4] has managed to get a week, and I think he was in need of one. Is a very conciencious worker[5], and therefore wears himself out rather I am afraid.

Glad to hear the crops etc. have been a success so far this year. This could not be more acceptable news in times like these. We have very changeable sort of weather here[6]. Something like the English sort, but when it rains, it comes down in sheets and makes the place a mire in no time.

-remainder of letter is missing from Alan Emery (cousin) and was not signed-

[1] This partial letter, dated September 7, 1915, is the oldest surviving letter in the family collection related to the Great War in Europe. It is written by II/Cpl.. Alan Emery in the British Army to his aunt and uncle (mother's side) now in Canada.
[2] 'Mother' is the sister of Georgina Mercer (nee Emery) and the mother of Alan Emery the older cousin of Richard Mercer. Alan's letters to his aunt and his cousin must have created some sense of adventure and excitement in the mind of Richard Mercer now working for the Union Bank of Canada in the small town of either Theodore or Strasbourg, Saskatchewan, Canada.
[3] 'Rich' - is Richard William Mercer. This letter infers that Richard, only 17 years of age, is currently not enjoying his employment as a junior banker in rural Saskatchewan. Richard began his banking career in his hometown of Theodore and has since been transferred to Strasbourg. Later he enlists while working for the Union Bank in Wawota, Saskatchewan. Several young ladies from Wawota and their mothers will later send letters and parcels to Richard during much of his time overseas. One can assume he was considered one of the eligible bachelors from the Wawota district.
[4] Denis Emery is the younger brother of Allan Emery and is the younger cousin to Richard Mercer. He is the last cousin to enter the Great War. No letters from Denis exist in this collection, however, it is expected several letters were exchanged between him and his cousin Pte. Richard Mercer while they were at the Front. All letters would have been destroyed.
[5] If Denis is good worker but still too young to volunteer (18 years) for the British Army at this time, therefore, he also must have started working at a young age much like his cousin Richard Mercer in Canada.
[6] II/Cpl. Alan Emery is in France with the British Army, however, at this time his geographic location and military unit has not yet been researched.