With great excitement, we are working to ensure that Mercer’s grave, which had fallen into a dilapidated state, is able to stand the test of time. Besides urgent work now, we want to ensure that it can be maintained for the next 100 years before it becomes a fresh generation’s turn to mark the Waterloo 300th commemorations.
Without restoration the grave would have deteriorated irreparably. Our work has cleaned and repaired the stone and restored the inscriptions. Our next step is to inform with a tasteful information board.
Mercer lived to the ripe old age of 85, and shares his grave with his sister, who made it to 98. Both are buried at St David’s Church, Exeter, a City mentioned in his Journal, which he adored in his unpublished memoirs, which he chose to make his home.
The grave is made from the beautiful but susceptible Portland Limestone (think St Paul’s Cathedral, the Cenotaph and the stone used by the Commonwealth Grave Commission). This stone was fashionable at the time, but does erode. In 1985 the church helpfully recorded the inscriptions, but even then, less than 100 years after Mercer’s sister’s death, there were gaps, errors and guesswork required to fill in the blanks. Through careful research we got the wording right, received the permissions we needed and got going.
The Waterloo Association, The Royal Artillery Charitable Fund & Royal Artillery Association, Exeter Historic Buildings Trust, G Para Battery RHA and the Exeter Civic Society all kindly pledged contributions to the Mercer Grave Restoration project totalling £2,655 so that the work could commence.
Here is the work underway:
And now the stone is all back in place, cleaned, repaired and looking magnificent, as shown here.
We need to raise at least £3,800 to complete the initial project, and then at least double this to create a fund to maintain the grave and signage for the next 100 years. You can help in many ways, so please ‘Get Involved’ here, and you can see how we are progressing towards our target here.
Thank-you for your support, every bit of help is truly appreciated.