Witness to War: Friday, Aug 9 – 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 9 – 1918: Slept last night at our first objective and came today to valley above Cayeux where the boys went over at 12.45 without a barrage and here we got an awful cutting up. Came across Capt Beagley lying dead in a trench this is a terrible slaughter dead lying all over. Saw Canon Scott today happy as a lark cheering the wounded wherever he could friend or foe alike. The last I saw of him he was giving a German a drink of water Slept in after tonight.

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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