France, Jan. 26, 1917

Dear Miss Griffis;-

Your letter of Jan 2 reached me 3 or 4 days ago and the next day the box of stationary and good eats arrived. Thank you ever so much. The nuts and raisins were fine, so good in fact that they are all eaten up already. I put them on the table at Bn. Hq. mess a few minutes after they came and the gradual disappearance set in almost at once. We had a bottle of Burgundy for dinner that evening, and this with the contents of your parcel made us think of home again. You will probably recognize this paper.

We are having real Winter weather now, colder than anything we experienced last year. There has been quite a depth of snow lying for the past 10 days and the ground is frozen hard. The temperature could not have been much above zero this morning which is very cold for this country. Fortunately we are not in the trenches but in billets in a village behind the lines. It is none too comfortable in billets but I hate to think of what it must be like in the trenches. The day the snow started we marched 10 miles in a thick storm. A very hard wind was blowing and the storm at times looked almost like a blizzard. The roads are now covered with ice and frozen slush. This mess makes very bad going for horses.

I have sick parade now at 6:30 AM and this means my getting up at 5:30. My washing water is frozen in the room every morning. I used to think that Canada was a cold country. Our men are sleeping in barns without fires. The most of them are keeping in very good health in spite of the severity of the weather.

The guns are growling away every night and day but we are just now pretty well out of the area of shelling. The shells should detonate well on the frozen ground. You have read I presume about the raids the Canadians have been carrying out. These raids must keep Fritz feeling very uncomfortable.

A short time ago I thought I should get away on leave before the end of this month but it doesn’t look that way now. I hope though to get away before the end of February for all leave will likely be cancelled when big offensive operations re-open.

I heartily sympathize with you in your desire to come out to the war and sincerely hope that I may soon have the pleasure of seeing you in some hospital on this side of the water.

Sincerely yours,

Harold W McGill

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