May 16, 1916

Dear Miss Griffis;-

You owe me at least two letters, perhaps more, but I must write to day thanking you most sincerely for the box containing all sorts of good things and which reached me yesterday afternoon. It is most kind of you to take the time & trouble to make up such a varied selection of dainties and pack them off to me. We tried the cheese at lunch to day along with cold meat & green onions and it was excellent. We are busy on the raisins but the bovril I shall keep for my next trip to the trenches. Everything came through in A.1. shape except that the handle of the tooth brush was broken. I am well supplied in this line however. You certainly must have thought that the mice had me asking for terms to judge by the large supply of munitions you sent. By a strange coincidence I received a couple of traps from my sister the same day that yours came. The mice are not as bad on this front as where we were during the winter but the rats are very plentiful. The Germans gassed our old front the other night and I hear killed most of the rats also some pigs and cows behind the lines. They killed a rat with a 4 inch shell across the road from my aid post the last time we were in the trenches. A four inch gun seems to me to be a rather large instrument with which to hunt rats but the Germans believe in being thorough about everything.

I have seen Capt. A.H. Taylor several times during the past week. His battalion was camped just across the road from us but they went into the trenches the night before last. Taylor is looking well and is in good spirits. The 8th F. Ambulance is now over here and is located a few miles from our camp. I must try to get over and see Col. Hewetson and Capt. Sanson before we go back to the line. Our battalion has now been out for a week and we expect a few days more before going in again. We had a long trying tour of it the last trip but came off fairly lucky in the way of casualties, i.e. luck for this front.

I attended more wounded from other units than from our own and some of them were very badly hit. The great majority were shell wounds. Fritz throws 4 & 6 inch shells around this country as though he got unlimited quantities presented to him free. Occasionally one of his shells fails to explode but these instances are few and far between. A trench mortar battery man undertook to set off a dead shell the other day by shooting a rifle at the fuse. He succeeded admirably with the result that he had the side of his skull carried away by a fragment. I always leave unexploded shells, bombs, etc. severely alone.

We have had cool wet weather since we came out into camp but it turned out fine this morning and is now a bright warm summer day. We were awakened at 4 this morning by a Boche aeroplane flying around dropping bombs. Our anti air craft guns and machine guns drove him off and the few bombs he dropped did no damage. A year ago this afternoon we were on the train running from Ottawa to Montreal. We reached Quebec after midnight and sailed the next afternoon. The year has passed quickly. I should like to think that we may make the return journey before another year passes but I doubt it.

The reports of the fighting here last month which I have been reading in the Calgary papers make me very wild. They are filled with gross inaccuracies and contain lies made out of whole cloth. I saw one account to-day which said that we were putting 4 Germans out of action for every man we lost. This is absolutely false although I suppose it pleases the people at home to think that it is true. You must not think from what I write that I am discouraged or down hearted. We will beat these Germans in the end if we stay with it long enough, but it is time the people at home realized what a formidable and skillful enemy we are fighting.

Please write when you have time.

Sincerely yours

Harold W McGill


The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: