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:
Sunday Dec 9, 1917: Went to Church in forenoon and went to Church hut in Gouy Servins in afternoon and wrote letters sent cushion Top to my little girl – went with Jobb to Gouy Servins and had eggs – then went to an Estaminet and had a few mugs of beer – couldn’t help thinking of Dumas’ 3 musketeers as we sat in this little tavern full of soldiers cracking rough jokes and through it all a carefree sort of atmosphere – met a Can artillery man who had been expelled from the French cadets whose father is a Col in the French army a clear chap and a real soldier of fortune a fine character for a war.