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Date: December 15th 1918
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

Friesdorf - Bonn, Germany[271]
Dec 15/18

Dear Father & Mother:-

Thanks very much for the parcel received to-day. The cake was splendid. Did you make it[272]?

We arrived in Bonn this morning a city of about sixty thousand right on the bank of the Rhine[273]. It is certainly a very pretty place too. We are in barracks now[274]. I think it was used to be the German cavalry barracks[275]. It is very modern and up to date. Will send you photo's of the place as soon as I can.

I wrote you yesterday or the day before. I think I have been writing you very often lately, haven't I? All for this time. Hoping you are both quite well.

Your loving Son[276]
911016 R.W. Mercer

[271] The 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade moved into Bonn [Friesdorf], Germany on Saturday December 14th to protect the major bridges over the Rhine River. Their movement included passages through Vith, France on December 10, Hellenthal, Germany on December 10, Mechernich, Germany on December 11, Rhinebache on December 12 -13 and finally into Friesdorf, Germany on Saturday December 14th. Friesdorf is later absorbed by the larger city of Bonn. Pte. Richard Mercer had travelled through semi-mountainous terrain on a motorcycle at the start of winter. The bridges the 1st CMMG Bde. are guarding are important transportation links into the German heartland. At this time we believe he was now a regular motorcycle dispatch rider.
[272] The comment suggests that Georgina Mercer did not bake very often; and if she did, the results may not have been as well as might be expected from other mothers. Problems with diabetes and blood sugar levels could be a second factor influencing the amount of baking in the household. Georgina was also a businesswoman and this may further have influenced her ability to find time to bake. It is therefore assumed that any other baking sent to Pte. Mercer would have come from other mothers from Theodore.
[273] Pte. Mercer a dispatch rider for the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade later transfers to the 2nd Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade in December 1918 during the movement to Bonn, Germany and occupation duties. It is speculated that he wished to follow a specific officer from the earlier Borden Battery. This officer and perhaps some of the surviving men would have been the survivors of the Ludendorff Offensive and would have been more compatible to associate with than the latest new batch of inexperienced recruits and junior officers.
[274] A Leave Pass was issued by the 2nd Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade to Pte. Richard Mercer on 20 December 1918 to be absent from Barracks from 1620 hours until 2100. The address makes reference to “Signallers”.
[275] The exact location of this former German cavalry military barracks in Friesdorf has not been determined at this time, however, this municipality was later absorbed by the larger city of Bonn during the 20th century. Further research is planned.
[276] The tone of the letter is upbeat and positive. He has achieved the unexpected, he has survived the Great War.