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Date: July 27th 1917
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

France July 27/17[105]

Dear Father & Mother:-

Received your most welcome letters to-day dated June 30th & July 3rd. Well, I am 20 to-day my second birthday in the army[106]. It seems as if I have been a soldier all my life.

I got another parcel from Uncle Henry the other day and also a box of 200[107] cigarettes from the Halsalls[108]. My they are all certainly good to me.

I haven't been in the line for about six weeks[109] now so we are having a nice long rest.

I haven't seen Walt yet and I haven't seen Tom for about a month because our Battery[110] has been away.

Oh, I had a letter from Maggie Lawrie[111] the other day. I should like you to see the letter[112]. She is going to send me a parcel as soon as she receives an answer.

Hoping to hear again from you again very soon.

I remain Your loving Son
911016 R.W. Mercer

[105] Pte. Richard Mercer is still at Bois de Verdrel, France with an extended tour of anti-aircraft work.
[106] Pte. Mercer spent his first birthday in the Army undergoing basic training at Camp Hughes in Manitoba.
[107] Some soldiers were known to smoke up to 50 cigarettes or "gaspers" per day. Pte. Mercer tended to be a very modest smoker most of his life - perhaps smoking only 2-3 cigarettes per day. His silver cigarette case later saved his life at the Battle Passchendaele in November 1917.
[108] The "Halsalls" from the Liverpool area are very good friends of Georgina and William Mercer.
[109] The Battery has been involved in almost continuous training during the past month with some activity in an anti-aircraft role. The Borden Battery was on call to move on 6 hours notice. In the interim, they trained extensively with all of their equipment and machine gun barrage techniques. They were also restricted to base as a routine policy so as to be able to mobilize and move on very short notice.
[110] The Battery refers to the Borden Motor Machine Gun Battery which later became know as "C" Battery of the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. The war diary states 5 July 1917 that on "Dull and Cold" day a 
"Party of 12 OR under Lieut. P.H. Bruneau proceeded to BOYEFFLES to relieve Anti-Air Craft Section of the 1st Corps relief was complete by noon." This most likely did not include Pte. Mercer and the shortage of men would have kept him extra busy for about a month.
[111] The identity of this person is not known at this time nor is there any idea of what "the answer" was being expected.
[112] It appears to have been common to include other letters in correspondence in a fashion similar to forwarding email messages at present.