Witness to War: Thursday July 5, 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:

Thursday July 5, 1917: Wrote letter No 27 to my sweetheart wife If I only knew that I would surely see her again I then would be a happy boy but it’s the uncertainty of all this that spoils and makes things worse Some Imperials a few feet along this trench gave Blake a few tins of Bully and Jam and sodas so we will be jake tomorrow. Fixed up my funk hole so I can stretch out in it. Also managed to make some tea. Duty as usual tonight stand too.

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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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