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Date: February 13th 1918
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

Feby 13, 1918

Dear Father & Mother:-

Thanks very much for your letters received to-day dated Jan 9 - 14. I wrote you a couple of days ago telling you all about my leave. Can't understand you not receiving any mail from me for so long. Received a letter from Dona Tracy[194] and Mrs. Jonathon[195] to-day. I have received all parcels and monies from you. We are having very nice weather quite lately for this time of year. My it gave me quite a shock when I received the letter from Father to-day[196]. Well I have absolutely nothing to say this time except that I am quite well[197].

Your Loving Son
911016 R.W. Mercer

[193] The Borden Battery War Diary states 
"In accordance with Operational Order #3 of 6-2-18 from O.C. Can. Corps M.MG. Brigade; consisting of 11 Other Ranks, proceeded to site of proposed M.G. Emplacements to arrange for Dug-out accommodation for the Battery." This order moves them into the Vimy Ridge sector where they are retained for several weeks digging improved machine gun battery positions. It is from this location the Battery is later sent in March 1918 to undertake, perhaps its most important and costly role of the war.
[194] Donna Tracy is the sister to the late Private Tom Tracy who was killed at Passchendaele, Belgium.
[195] Mrs. Jonathon is unknown at this time but is likely from the Theodore district.
[196] This comment tells us that William Mercer, father of Private Richard Mercer, did not write very often - all letters sent to Pte Mercer were in the hand-writing of and signed by his mother Georgina.
[197] The Battery has been involved in endless training. During any extended periods in the rest billets the battery would have kept battle ready by the daily routine of the 'Syllabus of Training.' Their day would typically start at 6:45 a.m. with P.T. (Physical Training) for half an hour. Breakfast would follow. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., the day would be broken up and the men would take part in such activities as musketry (rifle shooting), bayonet fighting, and lectures on specific military topics (e.g. map reading) by officers and NCOs (a platoon corporal or sergeant). The day was usually finished off with sports. The evening could have activities planned or the men would have time for themselves. All were expected to be bedded down for the night by 9:45 p.m. TOM ARNOTT Soldier 214384 - France and Flanders