andrew_mercer_1881.jpg

Second Lieutenant Andrew MercerAge: 3418811915

Name
Second Lieutenant Andrew Mercer
Name prefix
Second Lieutenant
Given names
Andrew
Surname
Mercer
Birth 24 May 1881 19 19
MarriageEdith Elizabeth Frances BingeView this family

Birth of a sisterJanet Barclay Mercer
15 July 1883 (Age 2)
Birth of a brotherGeorge Kilgour Barclay Brown Mercer
19 November 1885 (Age 4)
Death of a paternal grandmotherAgnes Dunsyre
10 October 1887 (Age 6)
Birth of a brotherHenry Kilgour ‘Harry’ Mercer
5 January 1888 (Age 6)
Census 5 April 1891 (Age 9)
Address: 17a Castle Street, Cupar
Birth of a sisterAgnes Dunsire Mercer
9 April 1892 (Age 10)
Birth of a sisterChristina Douglas Mercer
27 April 1903 (Age 21)
Birth of a daughter
#1
Janet Edith Mercer
1908 (Age 26)
Birth of a daughter
#2
Emily May Mercer
22 June 1910 (Age 29)
Death 22 October 1915 (Age 34)

Note: Wounded in action at Hohenzollern Redoubt, Battle of Loos 13/Oct/1915. Died of wounds at le Touquet, 22/Oct/1915.
Burial
Cemetery: Etaples Military Cemetery (Grave/Memorial Ref: I.A.12)
Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
Marriage: 3 January 1881Bleachfield, Leven, Fife, Scotland
5 months
himself
2 years
younger sister
2 years
younger brother
2 years
younger brother
4 years
younger sister
11 years
younger sister
Family with Edith Elizabeth Frances Binge - View this family
himself
wife
Marriage: Sanawar, India
daughter
3 years
daughter

Census1891 Scottish Census - George Brown Mercer and Janet Barclay Kilgour household

440 Cupar / Fife, Book 005, page ?, sched 51 Address: 17a Castle Street, Cupar Number rooms with one or more windows 4

NameRelationMCAgeSexOccupationEmREmDEmNBirthplaceInfirm
George MercerHeadM29MPolice ConstableYFife, Lochgelly
Janet MercerwifeM29FFife, Scoonie
Andrew MercersonS9MScholarFife, Scoonie
Janet MercerdaughterS7FScholarFife, Scoonie
George MercersonS5MScholarFife, Wemyss
Henry MercersonS3MFife, Scoonie

Death
Wounded in action at Hohenzollern Redoubt, Battle of Loos 13/Oct/1915. Died of wounds at le Touquet, 22/Oct/1915.
Note
Rank: Second Lieutenant (promoted from Sergeant on 17/Sep/1915.) Regiment: 42nd Regiment - The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) Awards: DCM and various awards for service in South Africa.
Note
The "Chronicles of Fife" have no record of a DCM for 2nd Lieutenant A. Mercer, 1st Battalion. However there is a DCM listed for Sergeant A. Mercer, 2nd Battalion. In 1914, 1st battalion was stationed in Aldershot and 2nd battalion in India. Both battalions were transferred to France at the outbreak of war, but 2nd battalion moved to Mesopotamia before the action at the Hohenzollern Redoubt. In his letters, Andrew talks about gaining his commission on 21/Sep/1915. We therefore suppose that he won the DCM as a Sergeant with the 2nd, then transferred to the 1st.
Note
Extracts from "The Royal Highland Regiment - Black Watch 42nd - 73rd Medal Roll 1801-1911" 2nd Battalion The Black Watch, South African Medals and Clasps. 1st April 1901, 1st Oct 1902. p231 Regtl No - 7144| Rank - Pte Name - Mercer, A Remarks - none (blank) Paardeberg - 1 Wittebergen - 1 Cape Colony - 1 Transvaal - 1 S. Africa 1901 - 1 S. Africa 1902 - 1 Right to King's South Africa Medal - Yes
Note
Andrew Mercer wrote letters from the front line in WW1. From them I was able to identify his record at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org/) There is also a picture of the cemetery where he is buried.
Note
Extracts from " History of the Black Watch in the Great War, Volume 1" by A.G.Wauchope. p118: Record of Officer's Services Name Mercer, A. Rank 2nd Lieut. Record Commissioned from ranks, after 16 years 8 mths service, 17.9.15, Wounded, 13.10.15, Died of Wounds at le Touquet, 22.10.15 Actions at which present Loos '15, Hohenzollern Redoubt '15 Promotions and Regtl Appts Nil p150: List of those "Mentioned in Dispatches" 2nd Lieut. A. Mercer p337: 2nd Battalion, list of those receiving DCM Sgt. A. Mercer
Shared note
Note from Erica Gregory, grand-daughter of Andrew and Edith: Granddad had been recalled to fight in Europe and, as soon as they could arrange it, Granny and the girls (Janet and Emily) came over to London in early 1915. As the ship was late in arriving, they missed Granddad’s special leave and he had to go straight back to the front despite missing them. When he was wounded, Granny went over to tend him and was with him to the end. She never recovered from his loss and was quite eccentric thereafter – very loveable though. During the time she spent nursing him, Janet and my mother had to stay in the house of a kindly Police Sergeant in Dover. As she was not allowed to take them over to France, he and his wife offered them accommodation out of the blue. Mum says Granny was eternally grateful but she feels the Policeman and his wife were a trifle relieved when the girls were collected on Granny’s return as they had been brought up in a very free and easy way in the mountains of India and were a trifle adventurous – specially with roof climbing. She would just smile and say no more about it. Granddad was always spoken of with great love and both the girls had adored him, as had Granny. I can feel that love when I think of him now, it was such a strong influence in my childhood.
Shared note
Note from Erica Gregory, grand-daughter of Andrew and Edith: Granddad had been recalled to fight in Europe and, as soon as they could arrange it, Granny and the girls (Janet and Emily) came over to London in early 1915. As the ship was late in arriving, they missed Granddad’s special leave and he had to go straight back to the front despite missing them. When he was wounded, Granny went over to tend him and was with him to the end. She never recovered from his loss and was quite eccentric thereafter – very loveable though. During the time she spent nursing him, Janet and my mother had to stay in the house of a kindly Police Sergeant in Dover. As she was not allowed to take them over to France, he and his wife offered them accommodation out of the blue. Mum says Granny was eternally grateful but she feels the Policeman and his wife were a trifle relieved when the girls were collected on Granny’s return as they had been brought up in a very free and easy way in the mountains of India and were a trifle adventurous – specially with roof climbing. She would just smile and say no more about it. Granddad was always spoken of with great love and both the girls had adored him, as had Granny. I can feel that love when I think of him now, it was such a strong influence in my childhood.
Media objectandrew_mercer_1881.jpg
andrew_mercer_1881.jpg
Format: image/jpeg
Image dimensions: 277 × 445 pixels
File size: 46 KB
Type: Photo
Highlighted image: yes
Media object19150718-AM-letter.PNG
19150718-AM-letter.PNG
Format: image/png
Image dimensions: 800 × 567 pixels
File size: 49 KB
Type: Photo
Highlighted image: no
Media object19150728-AM-letter.PNG
19150728-AM-letter.PNG
Format: image/png
Image dimensions: 799 × 670 pixels
File size: 65 KB
Type: Photo
Highlighted image: no
Media object19150921-AM-letter.PNG
19150921-AM-letter.PNG
Format: image/png
Image dimensions: 800 × 627 pixels
File size: 39 KB
Type: Photo
Highlighted image: no
Media object19151023-AM-letter.PNG
19151023-AM-letter.PNG
Format: image/png
Image dimensions: 801 × 282 pixels
File size: 12 KB
Type: Photo
Highlighted image: no
Media objectAndrew+Edith.jpg
Andrew+Edith.jpg
Format: image/jpeg
Image dimensions: 1,378 × 1,053 pixels
File size: 386 KB
Type: Photo
Letters from the front - 1915

Andrew Mercer's letter from the western front - 18/07/1915


'B Company'
1st Black Watch
B.E.F. France
18-7-15


Dear Harry

I received your kind and welcome letter yesterday dated 6 June for which very many thanks. It must have travelled all over France by the look of the post mark on the envelope. However I was glad to see that you were all well, as this leaves me the same, although you mention about your shortness of work, which is a pity and will soon buck up I expect after this was is over.

We are again in the front line trenches immediately on the left of the French who are having a great deal of fighting day and night for a certain town. We are fully expecting an attack as they are reported to be massing on our immediate front and have been for a considerable time now. I really wish they would have a good try and to break through, I think it will just about see things to a close then. We caught a spy the other day who informed us that the enemy knew about all our movements, which we have had to change. We got a German last night, he was coming towards our lines, and our sentry challenged him, he never replied so the sentry and another did not mince matters I can assure you he had a few holes in him to let day light through. He died in our hands. We don't know what he was up to, if on patrol, cutting our wire or going to bomb us, he had a bomb in his pocket.

If judging by his appearance can go for anything they are very badly off, he had one boot on, no socks, and his clothes looked like the worse of wear. His age would be about 45 year, height slightly over 6 ft and well made.

I have had no word from Edie yet but expect some every day, had word from Jessie they are all doing well around that side.

Now dear Harry I will close with fondest love to you all out there, not forgetting your wife and child. I expect to come out that way some day, and then I expect you will be glad to get rid of me.

I remain your loving Bro

Andrew


Andrew Mercer's letter from the western front - 28/07/1915

'B Company'
1st Black Watch
B.E.F.
France 28-7-15

Dear Harry & Father,

I write you these few lines to let you know that I am enjoying the best of health, hoping this finds you all enjoying the same blessing. I received two letters from Harry and two from Father, also one from Jessie, so you see I have got some to answer. I have been exceeding busy of late, and hardly had a minute to myself. As I am in charge of the Bomb throwers my time is taken up from daylight to Dark. I have also been put on the Brigade Mortars for throwing large bombs, they are small guns used in the trenches, the bombs are 30lbs. 16lbs. And 6lbs. then come the hand made ones 2lbs. 1lbs. We had a serious accident the other night 22nd: while at instruction and practice one of the guns burst killing an officer and two men, wounding 6 others. The officer was blown to pieces. I was exceptionally lucky I was only 6 ft from the officer, he stopped the force of the explosion also the pieces thus saving me. His name was George Mitchell, the amateur boxer who fought with Carpenter. One of the best men I have met and although an officer one of my best friends. I was warned to take over his duties, which were very numerous. This is one of my days work last week: Reveille 6am. Called by the Sgt Major to see the Adjutant for 1 hour. Breakfast 7.30am. 8am clean rifle, equipment, shave, etc. 9am Company Orderly Room, 9.30am Regimental Orderly Room till 10.15. 10.30 summary of Evidence for a Court Martial of one of our men till 11. Had to be 6 miles away by 12noon at Divisional Head Quarters for a Court of Inquiry re Bomb accident which lasted till 3pm. At 4pm I was asked to arrange and carry out the funeral of one of the men who was killed 3½ miles away at 6pm. I got back at 8pm and had to report to the Adjutant who kept me another ¾ hour, got to my billet had dinner and fell asleep having a smoke after it, what do you think of that for spending ones birthday as it was 24th. Thank goodness they are not all alike, but much of a muchness, without the burial part. When out of the trenches, I am here there and everywhere at every officer's beck and call, but I mind not doing it for nothing as I intend to get a commission out of it if possible, that means promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

Now I will close as I am very tired as it is near 12 midnight, and I am on duty tomorrow for 48 hours straight off with 10 guns and 13 men.

With fondest love to you all out there

Your loving Bro and Son

Andrew

P.S. Edie is in London with her brother.
Doing well. Address.

Mrs A. Mercer
12 Cornwall Road
Fulham London SW

 


Andrew Mercer's letter from the western front - 21/09/1915

'B Company'
1st Black Watch
B.E.F.
France 21-9-15

Dear Mother & Father,

I am in the best of health at present hoping this finds you the same.

I am writing this in a hurry as we are lying in readiness to attack the Germans as soon as this bombardment stops it is just like hell here guns of all sizes never ceasing the enemy are running like sheep and if we get through their line "Hey for Berlin" as fast as possible. I will drop you a P.C. as often as possible during operations to let you know my welfare, hoping and trusting it will be the best.

My papers are not here yet but it is all settled I am getting the commission, and doing the work of an officer now. Will write you a long letter giving the results If Spared. I have a dangerous job.

Now mother I must close quickly as I have a few to write and hardly any time, so Goodbye for the present and God bless you all.

Your loving son

Andrew

PS I am exceptionally busy tonight again.

As B4

Andrew

PS the colour on the envelope is caused by the acid we use for the enemy's gas it prevents it lying about in the bottom of the trench.

The note is a French paper note for two pence half penny. It will be a curio after the war, as you see it is dated 1st January 1915.

As B4

Andrew


The final telegram - 23/10/1915

 

URGENT TELEGRAM

Perth, Western Australia

23 October 1915

H.K. Mercer
Care Mr Thomas
Baker Ngn (Narrogin)

Cable from Edie Andrew died peacefully

Agnes