France, April 2, 1918

Dearest Emma;-

Your two letters of March 26 & 27 respectively came to hand last evening. I was just sitting down to answer them when the mail came in and brought yours of March 28. You certainly keep up a fine record as a letter writer and every line is much appreciated.

I very much enjoyed reading the letter from Mrs. Dean. The Deans were very good friends of mind in bygone days. Mr. Dean is a chemical engineer. When I was in Exshaw I met some very nice people among the technical and engineering experts who had charge of the building and equipping of the works and with some of them I have maintained a more or less desultory correspondence ever since. Prof. Christie of whom you have heard me speak was another friend I met there for the first time. He had charge of the installation of the turbine engines in the power house of the plant. He has written several books on technical matters connected with steam engineering. In Exshaw we were a small clique of professional men among a big crowd of labourers and naturally we were thrown much together; thus the conditions leading to the forming of close friendships or otherwise were present. This afternoon I wrote to another old Exshaw friend, a French electrical engineer named Louis de Gilleul. Louis can curse the Germans in five different languages.

The situation militaire is somewhat less exciting just at present but the condition is most likely no more than a lull in the storm.

We are still in our good quarters but a move on an hour’s notice would not surprise us. We marched 26 miles one night. It was not pleasant to hear the people in the villages through which we passed cursing the English. When they heard we were Canadians however our “apology” was accepted. During the past week I have seen the terror of inhabitants of an invaded country upon the approach of the enemy. It’s a frightful thing to watch, poor old women loading the few poor belongings they can carry in a wheelbarrow and fleeing away from the sounds of the guns. Shall write again soon.

Your devoted husband

Harold W. McGill

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Published in: on January 17, 2008 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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