Shorncliffe, England, June 16, 1915

Dear Miss Griffis,

Your very nice letter of May 30 reached me yesterday and to say I was delighted would be putting it too mildly.  Yours was the first and only letter from Calgary, or indeed from Canada, that I have had since we landed over two weeks ago.  I hope your health has come quite up to the normal by this time.

We had a very nice trip all the way across.  We did not have any leave at Quebec but embarked aboard the S.S Carpathia at once May 17 sailing about 3 p.m.  There was scarcely any rough weather on the ocean trip and I never missed a meal.  The land lubbers fared better than the old travellers very few of the former being seasick.  I never even felt a twinge, but then I was too busy most of the time to indulge in any such frivolities.  We never got a glimpse of a submarine although we kept a sharp lookout.  There were over 2200 troops aboard and the last part of the journey was run with lights all shut off at nights, or at least with portholes all blanketed.  For the last two days we had two machine guns mounted on deck and 100 men on guard with loaded riffles.  We came in sight of Plymouth Harbour on the afternoon of May 28 and docked at Devonport – a few miles up the river that evening.  The scene coming into Plymouth was most beautiful and I am very glad we arrived during daylight.  We did not get any leave from the boat to see Plymouth as I should like to have done for it is a most interesting city.  The people gave us a royal welcome and the boys on the training ships cheered themselves hoarse.  The Jackies certainly know how to cheer.

We spent the night on the ship and entrained next morning for Shorncliffe.  On the way down we passed through some of the most interesting parts of England including London.

Our camp is on a hill over looking the sea about four miles from Folkestone.  The ships are passing up and down all day and on clear days we can make out the French coast quite distinctly.  With field glasses we can see the towns and villages.  We are about 50 minutes by flying machine from the scene of the fighting.  We see those machines nearly every day and this evening a big airship (British) flew right-over the camp.  It was only a few hundred feet up and we got a fine view of it.  The men in the car were dressed in navel uniform.  Torpedo boat destroyers are patrolling up and down the coast all day. 

Dr. Gunn is at present at Canadian Shorncliffe Hospital about two miles away from here.  Dr. McGuffin is here in the Fourth Field Ambulance attached to our brigade.  Dr. Charlie Stewart is in charge of the hospital at Beach borough a few miles away.  I went out to see him on Sunday.  The hospital is an old country seat and is most beautiful.  I had the pleasure of meeting the donors, Sir Arthur and Lady Markham who gave up their home for hospital purposes.  Tommy Costello came down from London to see us on Sunday.  I heard his voice in the next tent to mine and could hardly believe my ears.  Upon investigation I found it was Tommy sure enough.  He keeps asking everybody if there is much danger connected with the M.O.S. work.  I was able to assure him that most of the medical officers with the first division were either killed wounded or driven insane.  Dr. Morris called at the camp yesterday but I did not have much time to talk to him as I had to go down to Folkestone. 

A few of us drove down to Dover the other evening.  It was a most interesting trip.  The harbour was full of warships.  I shall try to go to Canterbury next Saturday and see the cathedral. It is only a few miles away.  I have not been up to London yet.

Was very interested to know that the family responsibilities of Dr. Fallets and Johnson had increased. Is Geo. Johnson out at the Reserve?

Give my kind regards to Miss Murphy and all others and do write again soon. 

Yours very sincerely,

Harold W McGill Capt.C.A.M.C

P.S. Send letters as before.  We may move. Miss Gee is in France. So is my sister.  Have not seen her.  Have seen Miss Andrews and Miss Gardiner twice.

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