May 31, 1916

Dear Miss Griffis;-

Fritz seems to have got over his afternoon “Hate” and I shall try to do some letter writing before something else starts. We had a very quiet morning but this afternoon Fritz began to hate the poor remains of our village church and heaved in a bunch of six inch shells to mark his disapproval. He has been firing a number of “Duds”, i.e. shells that fail to explode. I wish they were all in this class. Of course a dud is perfectly harmless unless it makes a direct hit.

Your letter of April 30 reached me a few days before we came into the trenches, also the chocolates for which I cannot thank you enough. They were great and the only trouble was that as soon as my brother officers got a taste of them they (the chocolates I mean) were gobbled up in no time. The cigarettes are all done and were A.1. You know I am not much of cigarette smoker but like one occasionally as a change from the pipe. One smokes a lot at this game.

Was very pleased to hear that Dr Chambers was developing into a speaker for such occasions as graduating exercises, etc. He will soon be a second W.J. Bryan although I know I am offering him (Dr Chambers) an insult by making such a comparison. How is Dr Fisher getting along? I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing some more Calgary ex medicues before long. I told you in my last letter I think about the visit I made to No 8 F. Ambulance. I shall go over to visit them again when the battalion goes out to rest camp.

Had a card from Dr J.E. Palmer the other day. He is in a hospital in Reading Berkshire but whether in a military or civil capacity I do not know. I shall try to get out and see him when over on leave. Also must get out to meet Major Mewburn when I go over again.

Speaking of leave reminds me that my turn has come around again but I intend to let somebody else have my turn this week and go myself next turn. This will be on June 8. It should be very nice in England now. Wish I could meet you in London and we could go off and have ice cream and strawberries. I shall have some anyway. I may spend part of my leave in Ireland or Scotland this time. Ireland should be tolerably safe by now. My sister Margaret will not be able to get away to meet me this time for her turn for leave is still some way ahead. She is still down at Le Trefort. It will be a joke on me if I get hit with a shell after giving up my turn for leave.

This is the first letter I have written in the trenches since we moved up to this front over two months ago. We have had a rather easy time of it this tour and have come off very lucky in the way of casualties. We go out to night but of course all sorts of things may happen before the battalion is relieved so I had better touch wood. I shall probably see Capt. A.H. Taylor on my way out for his battalion is moving up in support of the one taking over from us.

Sincerely yours

Harold W McGill

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