This collection contains over 250 letters from World War One published in The Cobourg World, a local newspaper published in Cobourg, Ontario. Newspapers across Canada regularly printed letters home from overseas, either letters written directly to the newspaper by the soldiers, or first written to the family and then contributed to the paper by the family. Collections such as those from The Cobourg World provide a fascinating look at the relationship of community and war as played out in the pages of the local newspaper. All letters in the collection have been previously published in the newspaper and were also later collected by local historian Percy Climo in a work entitled "Let Us Remember". The dates for which the letters are listed represent the dates on which they were published, as the original dates of the letters are not always indicated. Where the original date of writing is known it will be part of the letter text. Introductions to the letters and editorial comments as they appeared in the newspaper have been left as published. All transcriptions have been taken from copies on microfilm and as such there are no scans for this collection.
This contains collections of an unique nature, such as newspaper letter collections, interviews, and out of print publications.
This collection consists of more than 30 letters, as well as news items and editorials, originally published in the Dutton Advance newspaper in Ontario. These are letters home from soldiers overseas to family and community, spanning the years 1900 to 1944, which offer a unique glimpse of the ties between the soldiers and their homes. The dates indicated for the letters are those on which the letters were published in the newspaper, not the date of writing. Original headings and commnents at the time of publication have been retained.
Private Richard William Mercer was born in Bolton, England, on July 27th, 1897, to parents William and Georgina Mercer. On April 20th, 1916, he enlisted at Wawota, Saskatchewan, with the 196th Western Universities Overseas Battalion, “B” Company (University of Saskatchewan), Canadian Expeditionary Force.
He completed his basic training at Camp Hughes, Manitoba, before shipping to England on the S.S. Southland in November of 1916. He served both there and in France with a number of different units including Bordon’s Motor Machine Gun Battery and the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. He was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade in December of 1918 and served with them as part of the Allied Occupation Force in Germany, until finally returning to Canada for demobilization on May 18th, 1919.
Pte. Mercer’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 911016) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
The Mercer collection was provided through the work of Dwight G. Mercer who has documented Pte. Richard Mercer’s Letters from the Great War history online, where more information can be found about the Mercer story and of the history of the 6th Brigade & 2nd Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Dwight Mercer’s footnotes have been included with both the letters and the memoir, and provide extensive background information on both content and context.