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210981

Pte. Frank Belgium Mercer

British Army Kings Royal Rifles Corps

from:Croydon

My dad is in the top row far left.

Frank Mercer my father died in 1995, sorting through his effects I found two photos. At first I thought they were from a training camp until I saw the address. His middle name was 'Belgium' as in the Country as his father (another Frank) was there in WW1 when he was born. His regiment was the Kings Royal Rifles, his P.O.W. number from the address side of card appears to be 7732. He did say the actor Sam Kydd was in the same camp. He spoke very little of his time as a P.O.W, but I do recall him saying he was captured at or near Dunkirk and was taken to Poland in a way that involved a lot of walking. In the late sixties when I was about 18, I went on a charity walk from Croydon to Brighton, overnight. I got back late next day and collapsed in a chair. I said "I made it dad, 49 miles!" He did not even look up from his paper but said "Huh, you want to try walking to Poland!". I also found his bank book, opened in June 1945, the first (and only) deposit was a cheque for £337, a large amount in those days. I realise this was his wartime back pay. It turns out he did not claim his medals, probably just glad it was all over and get back to normal life. I did contact the army medal unit and got them.

Frank is bottom row far right



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