France, Nov 12, 1918

Dearest Emma;-

Your letter of Nov 4 came the day before yesterday. I didn’t get a letter from you yesterday or to-day. We are getting our mail very irregularly now. As for newspapers I have almost forgotten what they look like. The latest I have seen was the “The Times” of Nov 7, five days ago. It is strange that the people nearest the war are those who know the least about it.

Well, we little thought when we were married 11 months ago to-day that the war would be over before we celebrated our first anniversary. Certainly I didn’t expect it. It is very hard even yet to realize that the fighting has ceased.

I do not know how strongly the censor regulations are still in force, but I must tell you of a very interesting trip I had yesterday. As you know, fighting ceased at 11 in the morning; but previous to that time the Canadians had driven the Boche out of a city that became famous in the first month of the war. I drove through the streets early in the afternoon and I shall never forget the experience. The place was ablaze with flags, Belgian of course predominating, but plenty of French, British and American. The shops were all open, and in many windows were displayed plaster busts of King Albert & Queen Elizabeth. I cannot understand where the people kept all these things hidden. You must remember that the Huns had been out of the town only a few hours when we were there. We tried to buy some Belgian colors in a shop where we saw a lot displayed, but the woman in charge of the shop refused our money. She pinned the colors on our coats and I am keeping mine as a souvenir. The people were thronging the streets in thousands, all in holiday attire, and all smiling at us. I don’t think I ever saw such a happy crowd. As we drove along we could see people waving their hands and handkerchiefs at us in every direction.

Now, how is the end of the war going to effect our proposed leave in France? I may be in Germany before my turn for leave comes again. It is likely though that we shall not have to wait the full five months. Even if our unit is taken to Germany there will surely be leave given from there, and we could arrange to meet in Brussels or some other nice city. Or would you like to spend a leave with me in Germany? I am told that the German people are extremely hospitable. In any case you must not go home to Canada without getting a holiday on the continent. We deserve another honeymoon you know, and let us have it away from England. All previous arrangements in regard to officers’ wives meeting their respective husbands over here will likely be revised now. Everything is now in a state of flux more or less but so soon as any regulations are formulated regarding this leave matter we shall have become conversant with them. Please let me know by reply whether you wish to come over here or for me to meet you in England. It might be that I could get a leave in England before I could get one with you over here. Anyway there is no particular rush about the matter. My turn for leave does not come for some time.

It has been a beautiful day. Yesterday was cold and foggy but Saturday and Sunday were like fine Alberta days. At noon on Sunday Captains F. Campbell and W. E. Graham called to see me and had lunch at the mess. I told the latter that I had heard an account of his death but did not tell him from whom I had received it. Graham was up at a C.C.S. on an operating team. Both he and Campbell are looking extremely well.

I must get to work to-morrow and write off a few Christmas letters. Should our unit get on the move it might be more difficult for me to do very much in that line.

I send you all my love, and hope that you are well and happy.

Your devoted husband

Harold W. McGill

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