France, Sept 11/18

My dear wife; –

The boat did not sail until nearly five o’clock that afternoon, so you would get away from Folkestone a very short time after I did. I kept a lookout from the deck for a glimpse of the smoke of your train, but did not have the satisfaction of seeing it. We had a very rough crossing and it was nearly dark when we made port. I am pleased to be able to report, though, that seasickness did not add to my misery.

It was nearly nine o’clock when I finished dinner at the Officers’ Rest House, and a few minutes after I returned to my room in the hotel Capt. Clark looked me up; he had come over on the morning boat (I am glad I didn’t). We stayed all night in Boulogne and after breakfast the next morning we started out scouting around to discover a car going up to our corps area. We were successful in finding one that could take the both of us and which was to leave at 2:15 P.M. We got away at 2:30 and enjoyed every mile of the journey out in spite of the very strong wind. The car made excellent time, much better than the train could have done, and landed us at Corps Hq. shortly after five P.M.

The good fortune that had attended is throughout our leave continued to operate for I found that No 4 C.C.S. was within half a mile of us. The car took us on over there, from where we telephoned to our unit for a car. In the meantime I found Margaret and at her request gave her a detailed account of our trip through Scotland. The nurses asked Capt Clark and me to have dinner with them and we did so. By the time dinner was over our car had arrived, and very shortly afterward we were back home again. Major Burgens had gone on leave in the morning.

Margaret is looking rather thinner than when I last saw her, and no doubt the strenuous work of the past few weeks has had its effect upon her. She does not expect to remain
with No 4 much longer. If she is returned to the base this month she will apply for leave to England, but if her leave does not come through until later she will probably sped it in the South of France. Quite a number of the girls who came up with Margaret, including Miss Lynch, have already been returned to the base. Margaret is not at all anxious to leave the C.C.S., but I understand that 6 months is about the maximum period of a nurse’s term of duty with a Clearing Station.

None of the officers of our unit were wounded in the show, and the casualties among the men were not heavy. We had only one man killed. It is quite true about poor Moshier. He was instantly killed with a shell. Margaret saw Major Hornby going through the C.C.S. gassed. He must have been very lightly wounded in the Amiens battle or he would not have been back with his battalion within such a short time. He was not able to see; and when Margaret spoke to him he did not catch the name correctly and thought it was you that was talking to him. Margaret said he did not seem to be badly gassed. The blindness of course is a matter of only a few days. The 31st have not had heavy casualties.

I have lost my bet to Capt Moses and it is mostly your fault. When I went to see the mail man this morning I found that he had 12 letters for me and seven of them were from you. Three of the others were from my brother. There was a bunch of magazines sent by you awaiting me also. Many thanks to you for them.

The day is very unpleasant, windy with gusts of rain. There is also a feeling of Autumn in the air. I hope we shall be able to drive the Huns out of some of the big towns in front of us before the winter sets in so that we may have good billets for the bad season.

Your husband that very much misses you.
Harold W. McGill

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Published in: on May 29, 2008 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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