Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: December 13th 1916
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

Brighton Sanatorium[42]
Dec 13/16

Dear Father & Mother:-

You will be surprised to hear that I am in a hospital with the measles[43] again. I have been in here since last Friday night and am feeling fine. I was only in bed one day. Quite a number of our fellows got them and the whole Camp[44] is quarantined. I am having a very good time here and I think they will give me six days leave[45] when I get out. I think I will go and see Uncle Henry[46] at Yorkshire and also Liverpool this time. I haven't much to say this time.

With Love

[42] This was an isolation hospital in England. A significant number of troops were affected by measles during the confined Atlantic voyage.
[43] Pte. Richard Mercer is now affected by German Measles. It does not appear to be serious but he is quarantined to restrict the spread to other soldiers in training. At Camp Hughes in Canada, Pte. Richard Mercer was also treated for Measles.
[44] The "Camp" would have been Camp Seaford in Sussex, England.
[45] On 20 December 1916 Pte. Mercer of 196th Western Universities O.S. Battalion is released from Brighton Hospital after treatment for German Measles. It is assumed he is granted a short leave before re-joining training. The 196th Battalion will also be disbanded on 31 December 1916 and he will be incorporated into the 19th Reserve Battalion prior to final assignment. Many Canadian battalions were disbanded in England to feed both the Reserve battalions and then the combat battalions. There are few details on the 19th Reserve Battalion at this time, other than it was based at Camp Seaford, Sussex, England and served to complete the initial military training of the Canadian recruits.
[46] Uncle Henry Mercer is the brother of William Mercer and uncle to his only nephew Pte. Mercer. The location in Yorkshire is not known at this time and represents a move from the family's general residence in the Liverpool-Bolton area.