France, Oct. 1, 1916

Dear Miss Griffis;-

It is so very long since I have heard from you that I am greatly afraid that you have been ill again. Of course I have not written often either lately but I have been waiting to hear from you, and besides for past two months we have been leading very strenuous lives indeed and time for letter writing has been at a premium.

At present we are out in bivouac and have so far been very fortunate in regard to weather. The nights however are becoming quite cold and the men find it none too comfortable sleeping out on the ground. The battalion has lately been in 2 heavy engagements with the enemy and we expect to be at it again before long.

We apparently have the Huns shifting back but those of us who are engaged in the pushing process have little heart to rejoice after we find so many of our officers and men gone. I suppose though that is the price of victory. In our first engagement I had my batman killed by a piece of shell. In the last show we were in my stretcher bearer sergeant, the finest little fellow in the battalion, had his leg torn off by a shell and died of wounds in the F. Ambulance dressing station. I saw him after he was hit. He bid me good bye saying he had tried to do his work and was sorry he was not able to carry on to the end. It made me feel like a baby to hear him talk like that and I could very easily have made a fool of myself. He was the last one left of the stretcher bearers I brought from Calgary and was known and loved throughout the battalion. It is not so much the loss of him as a stretcher bearer that I feel as the personal loss of a friend. Teddy Barnes was his name and he had brought honours to the battalion by his athletic prowess. I must write to his mother.

I saw Major McGuffin yesterday. Capt Birch is up here somewhere but I have not seen him. I met O’Hagan and Selby a couple of weeks ago, and trust that they are still going strong. Goodbye for present. Please write.

Sincerely yours

Harold W McGill