France, April 7, 1917

Dear Miss Griffis;-

I wrote you last from the trenches and have not since heard from you. As this may be the last chance I may have of writing for some time I shall scribble off what may at least pass muster as an excuse for a letter.

We had quite a strenuous trip in the line. The guns kept roaring almost continuously and at times Fritz would become annoyed and send us back a shower of shells. We had to get out of the dugout in which we were when I wrote. The locality became too hot. The sentry next door was killed the day after we vacated the premises. We moved to a fine new dugout that the engineers had just completed for an aid post. It was quite roomy for a dugout and had racks for twelve stretcher patients. It was dug well down in the chalk and had two entrances. Fritz got one direct hit on the roof with a 10.5 cm shell while we were in it but the roof stood up in fine shape. The shock put out our lights and made our heads buzz for a while but no one was hurt. The Hun gave us 3 regular hates every day but just got the one direct hit. I hear that since we came out he has smashed in one of the doorways.

We are now out of the line for a short rest. The day we came out seemed like Sunday, the absence of noise was so marked after the infernal uproar to which we had been subjected for days. Also it was one of the few sunny days we have had during the past two months. It rains or snows 3 days out of 4, and freezes nearly every night. I used to think that Canada was a cold country. To day was fine but a high cold wind was blowing. However the mud dried a little. We have the same mud with us that we had last October and ever since except when it was frozen.

I went over to a field ambulance yesterday to hear a lecture on gas poisoning. While there I saw several Calgary M.O.s, including Major J. N. Gunn and Capt. Daniel Dunlop, also of course Major H. H. Moshier.

Somebody sent our mess a big box of Wrigley’s chewing gum. Although gum chewing is a habit I detest I am at present masticating a wad in honour of the latest of our Allies in the fight for freedom.

Sincerely yours

Harold W McGill

P.S. No, I have not been promoted to the rank of Major. HWMcG.

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