Horace Henry Mercer

Gunner - Royal Artillery - 53rd Heavy Field Regiment - Service No. 980723

Background Information


29th February 1920



Gunner - Royal Artillery - 53rd Heavy Field Regiment - Service No. 980723



28th July 1944 age 24

Horace Henry Mercer was born on 29th February 1920 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Horace Mercer, a Police Inspector, and his mother was Mary Adelaide (née Jones). He first attended was Holy Trinity School in Gravesend.

In 1929 Horace Mercer joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Reverend Samuel Lister. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Horace’s address as 26 Darnley Street, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Horace was in Town House.
In 1936 Horace left the School and went to work as a Clerk at the Trinity House Pilotage Office. In 1939 he Joined the Royal Artillery, serving in the 53rd Heavy Field Regiment as a Gunner, Service Number 980723.
In June 1944 Horace Mercer went over to Normandy with his unit. He was Unit Clerk at the Regiment Headquarters. On 28th July 1944, after earlier heavy shelling had died down, Horace Mercer was killed when he was hit by a stray shell whilst walking in the garden of the farmhouse that was being used as HQ. He was 24 years old. He is buried at Ranville War Cemetery, Calvados, France.
Two other members of Horace Mercer’s Form also died in World War Two – Roy Couves and Robert Knox.

There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest:

Ranville War Cemetery, Calvados, France