France, Dec 25, 1917

My dear wife;-

I have just finished a very fine Christmas dinner with my friends and confreres of the 5th F. Amb. I have been thinking of you all day and wondering if you have had as good a Christmas as I have had. I am just a little afraid you may not, for you see in a sense you were the one that was leaving home while I was at least back among familiar surroundings such as I experienced last year and the year before. However I am very lonesome without you and shall count the days one by one until I am able to meet you again.

The boat did not leave until the afternoon and I had lunch before I went on board. We had a splendid crossing and arrived before dark. I expected to remain in Boulogne over night but was fortunate enough to get a ride in a lorry coming up to our area. Our unit had moved and I was very disappointed in not being able to find it. I was taken in and given a bed by one of the other field ambulances and this morning the OC sent me off in a car to find my unit. I had some difficulty in locating it but managed to do so about noon. The morning was fine but snow came on during the afternoon and to night the scene in quite Christmas like and reminds one of Canada. It is not very cold though. You may think that the ride out in the lorry would be very cold but it was not.

We had a first class dinner. The men had their feast at 4 P.M. and the officers dined later. We had turkey, plum pudding, fruit nuts, candy etc., a real home like Christmas dinner.

I found a considerable amount of mail waiting for me, letters papers & parcels. So far I have opened only one of the latter, one from Frances containing socks cigars, cigarettes, a tooth brush, candy figs, raisins and I don’t know what not. The other parcels I shall open to-morrow when I get rested up a bit. One is from Mrs F. D. Wilson.

Please begin sending out our announcements with one to Lt. Col. D. P. Kappele & officers of 5th Cdn F. Amb. I shall send you a list of others later.

Be of good cheer dear girl.

Your loving husband

Harold W McGill

5 A.M Nov 12, 1917

Dear Emma;-

Your two letters of Nov 5 & 6 respectively arrived yesterday. I am very sorry to hear of your illness and hope that as you say you were better by the time your letter reached me. I have had quite a bunch of letters lately but have not been able to answer any of them. This is a peculiar hour to be letter writing but it is about the only time of day that I have a chance to do any. I got up at 3:15, had breakfast at 3:30, and then saw to getting away relief parties, rations, etc. I expected to take the parties up myself this morning but another officer was going up so I did not have to go. When there is no officer in the party I take the reliefs up the line myself and then return. After I got the parties away this morning the place was so quiet that I thought it was a good chance to talk to you for a short time. The last time I wrote to you was on Nov 6 while I was sitting up waiting for “Zero Hour”.

Yes, I received your letter speaking about Longham or Longman and have not forgotten the matter. However I scarcely see how I can help him much. Is he anxious to get with a field ambulance? If so I shall mention the matter to our C.O. and it may be possible to get him out as a reinforcement to this unit.

I really do not know what to say to you regarding your coming to France. You see I am very anxious to marry you when I next go on leave and am looking forward with a great deal of pleasure to spending the leave with you. This could hardly be if you came to France. However if you receive an order to report for duty in France I presume you will have to obey but I am afraid our marriage in that case would have to be delayed some months. I shall leave the decision entirely with you. Of course I should like you to have a record for service in France during the war but am selfish enough to wish very much to have you spend all the time with me when I next go on leave. What you will do afterwards when I return to the front is matter that I have not yet taken under serious enough consideration.

The 31st Padre is returning to Canada very shortly and I am afraid will not be available for our purpose. He was around to see us the other day and I had him bury one of our sergeants that had been killed in action. A number of fine 31st officers and men whom I know well went under in the recent fighting. Do you remember a young officer you noticed on the Victoria Station platform! He was killed by a bomb the other night.

Best of love dear sweetheart

Yours always

Harold W. McGill

P.S. Ted, you used to be at C.G.H. is with our unit. He returned from hospital yesterday. H.W. McG

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