July 2, 1916

Dear Miss Griffis;-

Your very welcome letter of June 4 is to hand. Our rests out of the trenches are now so short that one has hardly time to get caught up with correspondence before the battalion has to go in again. There is a rumor going that all letters from the army are to be shut off and nothing allowed out but Field Service post cards.

My sister Margaret writes me quite regularly but I have not seen her since we were in London together. Leave from the front is now cut off completely and it is likely we shall all see some rough times before we pay a visit to old London again. I rode over to see No 3 C.C.S. a couple of weeks ago and saw several people I knew among the medical officers and nurses. This unit is under the command of Col. Blanchard whom I have known many years. Margaret is very anxious to get up with a Casualty Clearing Station and I wish she could for then I could get over to see her when the battalion was out of the trenches. She would then be within sound of the guns, but not near enough to witness at close range a heavy artillery bombardment at night, the grandest and most terrible spectacle I have ever seen or hope to see.

Our weather over here has been very wet except the past few days which have been particularly fine. It has been much warmer lately though than it was during the early part of June when our big show was on. Did I tell you I had a cousin killed at that time? He was M.O. to the First C.M.R. Battn.

Yesterday was Dominion Day and we celebrated the occasion by an inspection by the G.O.C. division in the morning and by holding a brigade athletic meet in the afternoon. The day was fine and everything passed off beautifully.

July 3

Some Boche aeroplanes came around bombing last night. I blew my lights out as a precautionary measure and did not get the letter finished. They were also dropping bombs around shortly after daylight but none of them came near us. I do not wonder that Fritz is coming over to do some damage for he is getting most unmercifully straafed all along the line these days. We are giving him lots of variety in the entertainment provided which includes artillery bombardments, aeroplane bombing attacks, trench raids and gas. The wind has been very favorable for gas attacks the past few days and the British have been putting it over nearly every night. Fritz is now getting a little dose of his own medicine. Our aeroplanes have been having some fun bombing down hostile observation balloons lately. One evening during our last tour in the front they went over and burned one, and the next day put three out of business, all within sight of our lines. The artillery fire now is tremendous and keeps up day and night. The noise affected my ears for the first time the last time we were up in front. My ear drums got positively painful and I had to put cotton wool in my ears when heavy firing was going on. The sound from the field guns is worse than from the big howitzers. I hope you may have read good news in the papers before this letter reaches you.

Sincerely yours

Harold W McGill

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