Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: May 20th 1917
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

May 20/17

Dear Father & Mother

Your welcome letters received dated Apl 9-13 and also 10/ enclosed[90]. I think those snaps are splendid. That coat of yours, Mother looks fine. I see that Father has my old coat on. I am keeping very well.

I think I like it better here than in England or any Camp I have been in yet. There is not so much regimental stuff[91] if you know what I mean as there was in Canada and England. I met Jack Binnell[92] by accident…

- remainder of letter is missing and was not signed -

[89] The Borden Motor Machine Gun Brigade, War Diary records the following notation on 20 May 1917 while engaged in France,
"Camblain L'Abbeye, Fine- Sunday, AM Cleaning up Camp. PM Church Parade." This letter was most likely written after Church Parade when the men would have had the afternoon off for rest and relaxation.
[90] At this time it is not certain if this is reference to Canadian dollars or English Pounds.
[91] Having entered the combat zone, the Borden Motor Machine Gun Brigade was more concerned with applied training and combats results rather than the "spit and polish" of the "parade ground canaries" who never did make it to the Front. Pte. Mercer was not impressed with many of the training officers and NCO instructors from England.  Pte. Mercer would have been involved in several days of " Carrying on with Syllabus of Training" as the Battery routinely trained six days per week.
[92] More research is required regarding the background of "Jack Binnell".