Witness to War: Sunday August 26, 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:

Wednesday August 26, 1917: Church parade in one of the dining halls. First wholly non-conformist service I have been to since coming across and seemed good to me – The preacher took his text from Pauls apostle to the Phillipians 101 chap – 21st verse For Me to live is Christ – Wandered around the camp in the afternoon with my Ausie [Australian] chum Young who calls me Canada and I call him Ausie – a big good natured chap – Felt lonesome as usual and started letter No 42 to my Little Girl – read some of the “Octapus” and am now ready for bed.

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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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