Witness to War: Friday March 22, 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 March 22, 1918: Went to Fountainbleau and saw the Palace built by Francis I A most wonderful building and a marvel of interior decoration The richest I have ever seen Wish I had Clare along to enjoy all this with me. Fritz came over and dropped a few bombs It was sure funny to see the people [?] it for cover Couldn’t see any trenches handy so stayed on the street and saw the fun on. Girl went hysterical. Some [?] alright 12 mts since I kissed my little girl goodbye.

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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