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Date: December 17th 1916
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

Borough Sanatorium[47]
Brighton, Sussex
Dec. 17/16[48]

Dear Mother & Father:-

Thanks for your letters of 14th & 27th Nov. I wrote you the day before yesterday telling you about my having the measles[49]. You will see that I am still here. I suppose I will get out in a day or so although I will be rather sorry. I am having such a good time.

I received a letter from Auntie Nellie[50] last night telling me that she has a parcel for me from you when I get back to Camp[51].

I have not yet received the parcel of scarf, mittens & socks but I think it must be at Camp because Walter wrote me and said there were two or three parcels waiting for me. I was told that I am getting a parcel from Wawota[52]. I

- remainder of letter is missing and was not signed -

[47] The term "Borough" is now used instead of "Brighton" in the previous letter.
[48] Whereas most letters from Theodore to the Western Front required about 30 days, letters just to England appear to have taken just 21 days. It is assumed another 7 days were required to sort the mail, forward to France and move it forward to the combat units at the Front.
[49] The military records indicate this is German Measles and Pte. Richard Mercer was confined to this isolation hospital from 8 December 1916 until 20 December 1916. It does not appear he is very ill, however, the disease is contagious and could affect other soldiers.
[50] 'Aunt Nellie' is the mother of Cpl. Alan Emery and 2/Lieut. Denis Emery, sister to Georgina Mercer and therefore the aunt of Pte. Mercer.
[51] This is Camp Seaford in Sussex where the 196th Western Universities Battalion will train until 31 December 1916 when it is then disbanded and troops are absorbed into several reserve battalions including the 19th Reserve where Pte. Mercer will undertake his second level of military training.
[52] Several young women from Wawota are sending parcels and letters to Pte. Mercer and they include a young and interested woman named Julia and her mother, an Evelyn Kidd and perhaps another person (s).  Also, it is possible these young women are sending similar packages to several of the “Wawota Boys” now with the 196th Battalion.