Born in Wheatley in 1891, son of Richard William Merritt, agricultural labourer, and Mary nee Clements, both born in Wheatley. They lived on High Street in 1901, in Blenheim, Wheatley in 1911 at Cromwell House. Brother of Walter John Merritt. He attended Wheatley Elementary school in 1896 and the Congregational Chapel Sunday School in 1902. Assistant in Harris's grocery shop in 1911. No detailed record of his war service could readily be found, but the Oxford Chronicle noted that, together with Llewellyn Jackson, he had been recruited to the Royal Garrison Artillery's Heavy Battery. He was living on Robin's Row in 1921.