Witness to War: Friday, Aug 23 – 1918

Private Raymond Duval, MM, was a soldier of the 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment) CEF who served overseas during the last two years of the First World War. He participated in some of the fiercest fighting seen by Canadians during the war and was decorated for bravery at Passchendaele. Determined to preserve his memories of the First World War, he maintained a daily record of his experiences. Here is what he wrote precisely 100 years ago today:

Friday, Aug 23 – 1918: Received dandy registered parcel from my honey girl Another very hot day. The above is a brief sketch of the Battle of Amiens. What a man’s sensations are is impossible to describe. To see the Calvary going into charge in the teeth of a murderous hail of machine gun bullets and see them fall by the score was magnificent but awful. To see those tanks lumbering into a machine gun nest and absolutely obliterate it was fine and then to come along and find the stores guns and piles of booty everywhere, it was great. Understand RMR’s mentioned in dispatches they deserve it as the boys were magnificent but at what a cost. Casualties fearfully heavy.

The RMR Foundation thanks Natalie Dyck for generously sharing her publication of “The Diary and Memoir of Private Raymond Duval” in order for us to be able to share his story with you 100 years on. You can learn more about Private Duval here.

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