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Date: April 1st 1919
Richard Mercer
Georgina Mercer

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

Box 173
Theodore Sask.
April 1st 1919

Dear Rich

Am writing[296] this in hopes it will catch you[297] if you have not already set sail for Canada. I think you will be back before May. I hope so. Alan got home early in March - so guess you missed seeing him in France.

Dennis[298] had two weeks leave & is now in Germany, Harold Ashdown[299] has got the Sec. Tres. for Municipality. Wish you had been here because you could have got it for John Smith said so. The Post Office here is to go to a returned solder - we wonder what you views are - anyway get back as soon as you can. Harry Austin[300] is expected soon - he was in Ripon Yorkshire.

Harry Pendleberry & Nettie Mason[301] are to be married next Monday April 7th. I told you this in my last letter.

Let us hear from you when you land in Winnipeg[302] - try to meet you in Yorkton - Uncle Raymond was here on Sun- for the day - he says he will come down with you from Yorkton - am beginning to realize you may be with us soon - and naturally beginning to get elated.

Our dearest love to you. I have a feeling whilst I write this that you are on the Ocean now.

Your Loving Father and Mother.

PS Hoping you are well we should have a lot to talk about.

[296] This is the only surviving letter from Georgina and William Mercer to their son. By regulation, all letters from home were destroyed at the Front after being read. This prevented information from falling into enemy hands and being used for military intelligence. The fact this letter survived indicates the letter did not reach Pte. Richard Mercer in France, was not opened and therefore not required to be destroyed.
[297] On 29 March 1919, and a few days before his mother letter is mailed to him, Pte. Mercer (911016) is given a " A Medical
Examination Upon Leaving the Service of Officers and Other Ranks Who Have No Disability" by Dr. James O. MacDonald, Capt. MD/MC at Seaford, England. His physique is listed as "Good", weight is estimated at 170 lbs, height 5'8", vision is 6/6 in each eye and hearing is 21 ft in both ears. Five (5) medical conditions/injuries are noted (measles, German measles, concussion, impetigo and G.S.W. Forehead) with the comment "recovered". Both he and his mother's letter will pass each other on the Atlantic Ocean. [G.S.W. = gun shot wound]
[298] "Dennis" is her nephew 2/Lieut. D. (Denis) H. Emery, Essex Regt. who suffered from trench fever in the later stages of the war, recovered in southern France in an officer's convalescent hospital and is on occupation duty in Germany.
[299] According to the Theodore and District history book, Harold Ashdown's parents came to Theodore, Saskatchewan from Manitoba and originally were from England. The family was related to the hardware store millionaire from Winnipeg.
[300] Harry Austin grew up in Theodore and worked as a carpenter. During the Great War he spent 36 months in France and was wounded twice. When he returned from active service he married Flora Henderson of Theodore and became involved in managing lumberyards.
[301] 'Nettie' may have been one of the daughters of the Mason family of the Theodore district, who came to Canada from England in 1909 and settled in the Sheho area. northwest of Theodore.
[302] Winnipeg is the headquarters for the 10th Military District. The personal effects of Richard Mercer include the 
"Canadian Expeditionary Force Discharge Certificate for Private Richard W. Mercer (911016) was issued as part of 'Demobilization' by Lieut. Wm. Halladay. War Services Badge, Class "A" Number 185375. Military District No. 10."