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Date: January 16th 1918
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

Jan 16/18[181]

Dear Father & Mother:-

Received two letters and PC[182] from you. Glad you got letters from me when in hospital. I wrote you a few days ago. I am still quite well and am expecting to go on leave in a few weeks to Blighty. I am going up to see Uncle Henry[183] and Aunt Mary this time. Am going to stay in London[184] for a few days so don't be surprised if you get a cable for money. I think Walter is getting leave about the same time so we will most likely meet over there. We are having very bad weather here now. It rains one day and snows and freezes the next. Will write again in a few days if I have any news.

Your Loving Son
911016 R.W. Mercer

[181] On 16 January 1918 the weather was recorded in the War Diary as "Mild" at Verdrel, France. Pte. Richard Mercer was busy with on-going training and an inspection of the anti-gas equipment. The letter makes reference to the cold weather. This indicates that he must have written the letter between 12 and 14 January 1918 when the weather was indeed colder.
[182] 'PC' stands for postcard.
[183] Uncle Henry Mercer and Aunt Mary are believed to be living in the Yorkshire region of England.
[184] Pte. Mercer usually spent his leave time with relatives in England. On this occasion he decided to go first to London for a change. 
“Like the "Old Originals," those without English relatives headed for London to spend their pay. They would start at the Savoy or the Cecil, with filet mignon and lobster, drop down to Oxford Square and Lyons's Corner House, and wind up broke at the Union Jack Club or a Church Army hut.” p86 Morton, Desmond "When Your Numbers Up", 1993, Random House Canada Ltd., Toronto