Witness to War: Friday July 13, 1917

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 July 13, 1917: Left trenches about mid-night and came down to Neuville St. Vaast Had warm breakfast then Mac Charlie and I escaped out in the open and had a little rest Guess will write some. Letter No 29 to my little wifie Then went to bed and tried to rest out in the open But it was very warm. At 4.pm marched to Mt. St. Eloi and it was fierce Slept in dirty huts This is a lonesome and wrong life. When will it end. Rec’d letter No 26 from Clare Church very sick.

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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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