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Date: September 22nd 1918
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

Sept 22/18[248]

Dear Father & Mother:-

I received three letters the other day which I answered but thought I would write you a few lines to let you know I am quite well and getting along alright. My mail is coming a lot better lately thank goodness. Of course I suppose the reason is because I have changed my address so often[249]. I have received all the money orders you mentioned. I have not received any since July from you though. Have not heard from Walter since he was wounded[250]. I expect he has made Blighty. At least I hope so. Leave is opening up a little now so expect to go on leave myself sometime before Xmas[251]. It is nearly nine months since I was on my last. We are out for a rest[252] at present and having a fair time with concerts and one thing and another. The concerts are really as good as one sees anywhere. Some of the actors were dressed up as girls[253] and by jove one couldn't tell the difference. We are having rather wet weather at present. I suppose it is beginning to get cool over there now. Must close for this time.

Your Loving Son
911016 R.W. Mercer

[248] It is Sunday and Pte. Richard Mercer is at Tilloy-les-Hermanville, France with the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. In the morning they undertook a Tactical Exercise with sports in the afternoon. They have not been in heavy combat since 2 September when they operated as part of the No. 2 Group of the Canadian Independent Force along the Arras-Cambria Road near Neuville-Vitasse. Here they sustained heavy casualties.
[249] Between 30 July and the writing of this 22 September 1918 letter, Pte. Mercer and the Borden Battery have changed locations thirteen times. The geographic movement was as follows: Tilloy Les Hermanville, Courcelles, Gentilles Wood/Amiens-Roye Road, Maison Blanche, Bois-en-Z, Maison Blanche, Conteville (Lens), Tilloy Les Hermanville, Arras Citadel, Neuville-Vitasse, Wancourt, Tilloy Les Hermanville, Maizieres and finally another return to Tilloy Les Hermanville.
[250] Pte. Walter Wylie was wounded in action and is recovering at Etaples, France.
[251] Pte. Mercer, 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade is granted leave "In the Field" from October 26th 1918 until November 8th 1918. This is his second 14 day Leave to England. His first 14-days Leave to England was granted on January 21, 1918 - to return February 7, 1918. This earlier Leave to England was with Pte. McDonald, M. and Pte. McLeod, J.G. of his Borden Battery.
[252] The 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade has been involved training after being involved in heavy combat during September 1 and September 2, 1918. The training was needed to train the replacements for the casualties.
[253] The "girls" could be a reference to a military troupe of actors known as "The Dumbbells". More research is required to confirm this.