I have your two letters of Aug 10 & 12 respectively. Please forgive me writing to you on military stationary but all the note paper I brought in with me has been used up although I have lots more back at the horse lines. I also owe you another apology for failing to thank you for the magazines you sent. They were very much enjoyed by myself and also the other Bn Hq officers. The dugout we had for Hq. mess was so small that we had to take our table out and heave it up over the side of trench when we wanted to get a sleep. We had the pioneers make the table for the purpose. I shall not forget to thank you for the lovely box of dainties which arrived last night although I did not see it until this morning. The bovril and chocolate are most useful in the trenches and the almonds are a real treat. Please do not bother to send sugar though for we get more than we can use in our rations. The army rations are the best now that they have ever been.
I had a good sleep last night. Went to bed about 1 A.M. and slept until 8 except for one interruption when I got up to see a wounded man. Only one other wounded came in and his wound was so slight that the orderly looked after him. The night before was a very poor one for sleep for Fritz was counter attacking our front and our artillery was making the earth shake. You will see by the papers that Fritz had no success with his counter attacks and there will be a lot more widows in Germany as the result. There have been a good few German prisoners taken here and nearly all of them are hungry. They will pick pieces of bread and biscuits off of the ground and eat it up in a ravenous manner. They say they have had no potatoes for some time. I saw one chap being brought in yesterday with a piece of bread one of our boys had given him still tightly clutched in his hand. He was making sure of having his rations with him no matter what happened. Our boys are splendid. Before they go “Over the wall” they all swear by all that’s high & holy that they will kill every sausage eater they come across. Yet a few hours afterwards you may see them handing out their rations and cigarettes to the prisoners.
On the average we are now getting much better weather than we did a couple of weeks ago. We had a very heavy rain storm last night but it cleared up beautifully afterwards. In the evening the air was clearer I think than I ever saw before in this country. The conditions were those of high visibility as the artillery men say. Did you see in the news that we had captured the weather expert of one of the German divisions? Our improved weather may be due to this.
Have seen your friend several times lately but can hardly say I really know him yet. He seems a very nice chap and his company commander Capt. Tucker of Calgary has a high opinion of his ability as a soldier.
Please do not be anxious if you do not hear from me for a few days. I shall be thinking of you be sure of that even if I do not get a chance to write.
Harold W McGill