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Date: May 14th 1917
William Mercer

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

16 Rufford Rd.[85]
May 14th 17

Dear Mr. Mercer

When Richard came to see us[86] I intended writing you at once but it has been put off until now.

I didn't kiss him though I believe he was quite enough afraid of me without[87]. What a big fine chap he is! I hope he comes safely through.

Ernie[88] joined the forces in August 1914 & was twice wounded in Gallipoli. He has been in France for the last fourteen months. Exactly twelve months today since he was home on leave. He has gained 40 lbs. since he joined up.

Tom is now in Hamilton & is the proud father of a baby boy - born January. That makes his third. His address is 210 Bay St. South

Lily has a boy six years old - and I am the old maid of the family.

Dad has found this winter very trying. He has been indoors for

- remainder of letter is missing and was not signed -

[85] We do not know the writer of this letter as only a portion survives. It is a result of a courtesy call from Pte. Richard Mercer while on leave in England. It is assumed she is an unmarried close family friend of William Mercer from the Liverpool area as the Mercer family from England consisted of three brothers and no sisters. Her father appears to be known to William Mercer, so it is further assumed she is from a family with a long and close connection. A good number of her family are actively involved in the Great War. As William and Georgina were older than average (32 years) when started their family, most of their friends in England would have sons older than Pte. Richard Mercer.
[86] This is the result of the leave granted to Pte. Mercer in February 1917.
[87] It is interesting to note that here we have “a big, fine chap” of a soldier from the wild Canadian West willing to fight for King and Country and yet he appears to have expressed horror of being kissed by a female family friend.
[88] This person is unknown at this time as is the "Tom" who mentioned in the next paragraph.