France, Aug. 13, 1918

My dear girl; –

You will think of me as a horrible savage because of my neglect in the matter of writing to you. The reason you have not been hearing from me is not because I have been too busy to write. It is true that I have had very little time to spare since a day or two before the show started, but still I could have found time to write you a short letter now and then had it been possible for one to get it sent out. Naturally our mail service was more or less disorganized. The day before yesterday I received my mail for the four preceding days. In it were 4 letters from you, those of Aug 1, 2, 3 & 4 respectively, two from my brother and the copies of “Canada” & “Life” that you were good enough to send. Thank you ever so much; the magazines came at a very opportune time for reading matter is at a premium where we are now.

I read all your letters at once when they came and did not get another chance to read them until this morning. After I woke up in the tent I read them all over again before I got up. Some of my confreres indulged in humorous comments upon my indulging in the rereading of old letters, but that didn’t delay me a particle. Of course you will understand that all our reading and writing must be done in the daytime, for we are under canvas and to show a light at night would be next thing to committing suicide.

I am having the morning off duty, the first for many days. I go on with my dressers at l p.m. and remain on until dark. I am at the corps M.D.S. and have been there since the show began. We have had to move forward twice, but moving forward is very encouraging indeed. The weather is beautiful for camping and bivouacking although a few clouds at night would be very welcome indeed especially now that the moon is waxing.

Please excuse the blot on preceding page. For once the weather has been altogether in our favor. It was cloudy and raining when the concentration for the attack was taking place and this prevented Hun observation, and since zero hour it has been clear warm and bright. There are heavy ground mists in the morning but this is a factor favorable to the side attacking.

I saw some 31st men yesterday. The battalion lost several officers. Lt. Cuntippe and Lt. Finn and another were killed, and Major Hornby and Capt. Jewett were wounded. I did not see Major Hornby but he walked out and was probably not very badly hit. I saw Jewett for a moment in the M.D.S. but was busy on another case and had time to only just speak to him. He was shot through the neck and seemed to have difficulty in speaking. He was on his feet though and will probably come through all right.

Several medical officers have been killed or wounded, but so far all of our unit have escaped unscathed. Capt Moses thought he was very fortunate to get away on leave but I’ll bet he is sorry now that he missed the show, the most successful in which the Canadians have been engaged.

I have had some wonderful experiences during the past few days, but I shall relate them (some of them at least) when go on leave after we come out of the line. I see by the papers that Mr. MacPherson Under Secretary for War, stated that 6000 men were to go on leave every month. I think I shall be among the first 6000.

Good bye for present. We have a bunch of men digging funk pits inside our tents for use during the hours of moonlight.

Your loving husband.

Harold W. McGill

Published in: on May 21, 2008 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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