Private Duval takes a “break” in 1917

The 14th Battalion (RMR) marching to rest billets after Hill 70, August 1917

Westmount, Quebec – 03 August 2017: Many of you have been following the daily exploits of Private Raymond Duval, MM by reading his diary which has been published every day on the RMR website since 22 March 2017 – publishing what he wrote precisely 100 years later to the day. Private Duval has been faithfully recording in his diary every single day.

His story is about to start taking some “breaks”. He won’t be posting daily for a while.

The reason for these breaks is because Raymond Duval is about to start becoming engaged in major battles for the first time, such as the battle of Hill 70. It is not just the combat itself that interrupts the diary, but rather the overwhelming reality of the mundane preparations for the same – be it inspections by visiting generals & politicians, exhausting route marches to get into position, or simply having some spare, lazy time that was spent in pursuit of finding friends, loafing around in the French summertime, etc. War was not always hell at all times, after all!

But the reality of war being hell comes home quickly enough for our correspondent, for the first major battle that he joins, Hill 70, becomes real… real quickly. He writes on the first day of the battle, 15 August 1917: “Things were popping plenty here and casualties were again being sustained all too frequently”.

The story of Hill 70 will be laid out tomorrow for you, stay tuned!


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