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.
Harold W McGill