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

France July 12, 1917

My dear Emma;-

I have just arrived at the aid post of the battalion which is in the front line. The aid post is in the cellar of a chateau that has been wrecked by shell fire.

We had a lovely crossing and arrived in Boulogne about 2 P.M. My train left early the next morning and the girls were good enough to get up before daylight to see me off. Their train was to go some hours later. I did not want them to get up so early but was pleased nevertheless that they did. At the railhead I was lively enough to run across a divisional motor car which landed me right at our horse lines. Later on I came up into the line and reported for duty. You will see that I did not lose much time in getting into harness again.

My leave seemed almost too good to be true especially when you told me you liked me and gave me the promise I so longed to receive. I was prepared to have that taxi drive around London until the petrol gave out or I knew my fate. But do not think dear girl that I do not realize what a terrible responsibility I took when I asked you for that promise and the trust in me that it involves. The knowledge that you love me is very sweet and before long I hope we may be able to begin our lives afresh together. In the meantime we must both “Carry on”. I think though that quite soon our immediate relatives and those near to us should know of our engagement. However I shall leave the decision in this entirely to you; I did not tell my sister Margaret but shall by letter do so when we have come to a decision as to our general course of action. If any mishap should be my lot here I should like my brother & sisters to know that I had left behind one who is very dear to me. Can you tell me what size of a ring you will wear for me? I wish to send you one as soon as possible.

When I next get leave I shall ask for a month and we can be quietly married and spend it together. The change you have brought into my life has caused me to give up the idea of trying for leave to Canada in the autumn. Goodbye for present and please excuse this short letter.

Yours lovingly,

Harold W McGill

Published in: on September 25, 2006 at 8:00 am  Comments (2)