Witness to War: Friday Nov 16, 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 Nov 16, 1917: New draft came in with a bunch of the old boys among which were Tack and Vining and Cobb[1] – who is with me now –

[1]Cobb, Humphrey. Born 5 September 1898, Sienna, Italy. Enlisted 30 September 1916, Montreal, PQ (actual year of birth was 1899; Cobb likely lied on his Attestation papers in order to be the legal age of 18 for enlistment). A screenwriter and novelist, best known for his 1935 anti-war novel, Paths of Glory, which was later made into a film of the same name in 1957 by Stanley Kubrick.

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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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