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Date: March 12th 1918
William & Georgina Mercer
Richard Mercer

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

Mch 12 1918[208]

Dear Father & Mother:-

Thanks very much for your letter dated Feby 14. I am quite well and we are having quite an easy time now[209]. Having beautiful weather. I suppose it is still cold over there. Surprised to hear Theodore[210] is on his way to England already. Will you get his address when he gets over here and send it to me and I will try and look him up. I hav'nt see Walter[211] for about four months but he is alright as far as I know. I get a letter from him now & then. Must close now[212]. Hoping you are both quite well.

Your Loving Son
911016 R.W. Mercer

“Early in March, Lt. General Currie decided to inspect the Motors. The date was set for March 11th. At about two in the afternoon, Currie arrived in his open touring car. The weather during the early part of March was excellent. "More like September than March," Currie noted in his diary. The Motors had dutifully lined up for the inspection. At best they were not the most disciplined or neatest of soldiers. In fact, one of the officers was quite concerned about the sergeant in his battery. The man had obviously been drinking during the morning and, although quite capable of performing his duties, his breath reeked of liquor. "For God's sake keep your mouth closed if he comes near you," he was told. Currie had a reputation for admiring well turned?out troops. As the tall burly general walked slowly along the line of troops formed up in front of their vehicles all were aware of the offending NCO. Currie stopped and asked the commanding officer for the sergeant's name. Walking up to the unfortunate man he asked, "Sergeant, what are the duties of the men under you?" No answer. The sergeant held his breath. "Sergeant," repeated Currie, "what do your men do?" The NCO's eyes darted toward his officer, who shrugged. "They do what I bloody well tell them to do!" exploded the sergeant. That evening Currie noted in his private diary, "… in afternoon rode to Verdel to inspect Motor Machine Gun Brigade?found it bad." Five days after the unfortunate inspection, Currie had lunch with two cavalry officers, Brig.?Gen. Seely and Maj. W.K. Walker. Walker, a Scot and hard disciplinarian, and a man in appearance, not unlike Currie himself, had been picked to take over from Lt.-Col.. Wilkins as officer commanding the Motors under Col. Brutinel. Machine?guns were nothing new to Walker. Although he was in the cavalry, he had spent most of his was service in a dismount cavalry unit called the Mounted Machine Gun Squadron. Walker was given Currie's views on the Motors. They were to be tightened?up and reorganized.” Alex Lynch, "The Glory of Their Times - March 1918", 2001, Lawrence Publications, Kingston. p 19
[209] After an officer inspection of the area [Vimy Ridge gun emplacements] on 12 February 1918, 11 men out a total compliment of 56 men (48 privates, 3 sergeants and 5 officers) were detailed from the Borden Battery in the digging, draining, camouflaging and replacing machine gun emplacements at Vimy Ridge in the Arras area of France. The emplacements were listed in the War Diary as V.10, V.11, T.S.6 and V.R.7. On 28 February 1918 these improvements are inspected and much of the work has to be redone.
[210] "Theodore" is, Theodore Larson from the Theodore, district in Saskatchewan.
[211] This is another reference to Pte. Walter Wylie, who is the surviving member of Pte. Mercer's two best friends from Theodore.
[212] Pte. Mercer closes this letter quickly as the Borden Battery War Diary makes a comment 
"Preparations made to commence work on V.R.7. Emplacement. Intense and prolonged bombardment of V.13 Emplacement and Battery Head Quarters this Afternoon, no Casualties were caused or damage done." Naturally no mention of the intense bombardment is noted in the letter home, however, this enemy action may have been responsible for the shortened letter.