France, June 6, 1918

Dear Emma:-

I did not have any letters from you for 3 days but this morning was made very happy by the receipt of those you wrote on May 28, 28 &30 respectively.

Well, I managed to get up to the C.C.S. and see Margaret yesterday afternoon. She is in good health and spirits and is still on night duty. She expects to have another week of it. I reached the C.C.S. at about 4 p.m. and had tea with the sisters. After the tea we went to a concert given by the 3rd Cdn. Division entertainment party. The show was very good and well worth one’s while. After the show Major Bell, who was with me, and I had dinner with the O.C.C.C.S. and then sat in the sisters’ lounge until eleven p.m. when it was time to take our departure. Fortunately the unit was not taking in yesterday or last night and Margaret was not busy. I saw Miss Lynch who is looking very well indeed.

Margaret is quite concerned about the long hours of duty that you are doing and I fear from what I gather from your letters to day that her anxiety is quite justified. My dear I do not want you to get tired out. I do not understand why it should be necessary for you to return to the wards after 9 p.m. Of course if you were in a hospital giving active treatment I could understand everyone having to do extra hours during a rush but I fail to see why such a thing should be part of the regular routine in a convalescent hospital.

The sisters have very nice quarters prettily situated and their only fear is that they may have to move. The Huns have been bombarding the town but none of the shells have fallen near the hospital. There are also enemy planes around nearly every night but up to date they have done no damage. The search lights got on to one large bombing plane the other night and one of our fighters who was up shot him down. The nurses were all out watching the fight. The Hun came down in flames. One of the crew jumped out and was killed of course, and 3 charred bodies were found in the wreckage.

It was quite cold enough for Alberta last night. We had a long weary ride home after dark but reached our destination without any mishap. I came away with out my stick though.

You asked me about Al Spencer. He was slightly wounded up the line somewhere by a shell but I do not think his injuries were severe enough to require his evacuation.

I have heard that there is a Canadian mail in the war zone but none of it has come our way yet.

Good bye for present and please do not overwork yourself.

Yours with greatest love,

Harold W. McGill

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Published in: on March 20, 2008 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  

France, May 22, 1918

Dear Wife;-

The mail came in early to-day and brought me your letter of May 16. You seem to have plenty to do and I sincerely wish that you may keep well and able to carry on with the new duties you have undertaken. Have you a good class of patients? I mean are they civilized? Whatever else you do, under no circumstances submit to any petty tyranny on the part of those in charge should they appear disposed to exercise such. I should not wish you to accept such treatment from anyone, and certainly not from English officials whom I am learning to love less every day the war proceeds.

Last night when I wrote I was too scared to confess that the cause of the interruption in the afternoon was my being called away to take part in a game of quoits. After dinner we all went to the opening of the moving picture plant that we have just installed, the one Major Elliott was after the day I went to see Margaret and found her away. After I returned from the movies I finished my letter and then we all turned in and censored the outgoing mail. It was then 10 P.M. and not quite time for bed so we had a few rubbers of bridge. It was a beautiful moonlight night and we could hear the night flying enemy planes buzzing around but no bombs were dropped near us. By the way I hear that you have had a big raid in London and that several enemy planes were crashed.

I forgot to tell you that I won the game of quoits that I mentioned before as having been about to take place to decide who was to be the low man in the singles competition. We are now playing the doubles and our games yesterday afternoon were the first of the series. My partner and I won two games, or at least my partner did, for I contributed very little towards the victory. There is no playing going on this afternoon on account of the heat. I have just come in from having a siesta in a hammock out under the trees. This does not sound much like a tale of the horrors of war, does it? I was through with my work by 2:30 P.M. It is clouding up now and we may get some rain to-night. We shall all be quite satisfied to have the moon covered up for one night. It makes too good a lantern for bombing planes.

We had an inspection of our transport by the G.O.C. Division this morning. The General asked me if I had heard of the fine raid my old battalion had pulled off this morning. It seems that a big party entered the enemy lines, captured about a dozen prisoners and killed a large number of Huns. The G.O.C. was greatly pleased with our transport. The D.A.A and L.M.G. was along and again mentioned the subject of leave. He has charge of the leave business of the division. He told me in a joke to get my application in early for “You know” he said, “We married men have to stick to-gether.”

I see by the paper that Their Majesties were up inspecting a hospital at Richmond. That is near your locality is it not? I shall look out for you in the pictures that appear in the illustrated papers if they visit you and photographs are taken. So get right in the eye of the camera.

Your loving husband

Harold W. McGill

Published in: on March 6, 2008 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment