Witness to War: Thursday May 3, 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 May 3, 1917: Arrived in Jersey[1] the birthplace of my father at 8am. Very beautiful place indeed. This is most interesting wish Clare was here to enjoy this with me. But will bring her back some day. Have just arrived at Stanley Le Rossignol’s place where I have met his wife and been made welcome Went down town and met cousin Emily wife of Peter Duval of [?] Spent a few moments with her walked around house des pas. And called on cousin Naomi wife of his Leo Duval – Richmond House – again I was made most welcome had afternoon tea and met Mr. Hubert of Guernsey. Came back to Stanley’s for tea then went out with Stanley for a walk came back and helped him a little in with details of Duval family for his chart and treatise Of the Duval family which he is making an then went to bed in a real bed.

[1] A British Crown Dependency in the Channel Islands located off the coast of Normandy, France, and the ancestral home of Ray Duval.

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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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