France, May 19, 1918

Dear Emma;-

I was just settling down to answer your letter of May 10, which reached me last evening, when the mail arrived bringing me 3 letters from you, those written on May 11, 12 & 13, respectively. The mail was very late getting in yesterday and again to day.

It is a very fine day again and a little cooler than yesterday & the day before, a bit of a breeze has come up this afternoon. The moon is very bright at nights now but somehow we fail to appreciate the beauty of it. In fact we should be just as well pleased to have it cloud up and rain every night while the moon is doing business.

Had a fine dream last night, thought I was back in England on leave and in your company again. One of our officers came home last night with the story that leave had opened up for the army we are now in. However the rumor has not been confirmed to date. When leave does open I shall be the second to go from our unit. Capt Moses is on the list ahead of me. There are 11 officers in our unit, 9 M.O.’s, a dental officer and a L.M. At the present time 2 are away.

I met with quite a disappointment yesterday. Major Elliott, our dental officer, was going off up country for a movie machine with which to put on shows for our patients. He thought that his business might take him to the town where my sister’s unit is located so the Colonel suggested that I should go along also, which I did. It was a beautiful day and we had a fine trip through a most picturesque country. We arrived at No 4 shortly after noon only to find that Margaret had gone off with a party of the sisters for the afternoon. They had gone off to a horse show or something of the kind by special invitation, and the exasperating part of the whole business was that after our return we found that this performance was held at a place within a few miles of our C.R.S.

Had two Canadian letters to day, one from my brother and one from Mrs. Clarke of Calgary. I was very sorry to hear of the Flesher’s trouble. How is the other child that was born about a year ago? From the tone of the letters that I received from Canada I should judge that the people over there are doing a little more worrying over the war situation that has been case heretofore. It is about time that the realization of what a German victory would really mean reached some of them .I see by the papers that a monster delegation of Ontario and Quebec farmers went to Ottawa for the purpose of protesting against the conscription of their own class. They were most emphatically turned down by the government. At times Borden shows a little evidence of possessing a backbone. The United Farmers of Alberta however I was pleased to see passed a resolution in favor of the new conscription regulations and wired the government to that effect.

Was most sorry to hear of Grant’s casualty and can only hope that his wounds are not serious. It is strange that I had not heard of his being hit before for I have been seeing officers from his unit quite frequently. Give him my kind regards when you see him.

Best love to you and to you alone.

Your husband,

Harold W. McGill

Published in: on March 4, 2008 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  

France, April 30, 1918

My dear Wife; –

Your fine long and most interesting letter of April 24 came yesterday. To day I did not receive a scrap of mail of any kind to-day.

This an interval of time of about two hours duration between this paragraph and the one above. I was interrupted just after I began the letter. I had intended writing to Mrs. Clarke of Calgary this afternoon but shall not have time now. After dinner we are all busy for some time censoring the mail going out from the patients and our own men. There is a big bagful of letters every night.

Both the war news and the weather have been very depressing of late. It rained dogs and cats nearly all day yesterday and I think most of the night also. To day has been very cloudy and misty but there has not been much rain. I suppose the war correspondents will be telling us for about the Nth time that the Germans approached our lines unobserved on account of the mist. If patrols were kept out as they should be the mist would not make any marked difference except for airplane observation. Last year we used to hear a great deal about the mud.

I had a dream last night that I was on leave and that we were together again. I also thought that the news came that Merville had been recaptured by us. So when you get reliable news that Merville has really been recaptured you may begin to expect me in England on leave. I am not worrying as much over the war situation as I was a month ago. As a matter of fact just at present our work is to run a rest station and if we do that well nothing more can be expected of us.

I note that you express a desire to go to the U.S. or some other country after the war. No, if Canada had rejected conscription I should have agreed with you but not as things are. The U.S. had just as much moral obligation and self interest to be in this war from the start as Canada had. Canada has been guilty of many shortcomings but the U.S. many more. I believe the Americans are in it now heart and soul but they are over two years late in starting and it will be at least another two years before they are in a position to exert anything like their full strength.

Did not know that I was becoming so saturated with tobacco that I contaminated my note paper. I really am smoking entirely to much and must begin to moderate my habits somewhat in that line.

Do not expect a letter from me every day although I shall write at least every other day if possible.

Your loving husband
Harold W. McGill

Published in: on February 14, 2008 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment