Witness to War: Tuesday, Nov 12 – 18

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:

Tuesday, Nov 12 – 18: Worked hard all day as we are going to move tomorrow – Full pack again.

Author’s note in 1954: Rumor of ceasing of war [was] circulating very frequently, and batches of prisoners [were] continually coming through. Spanish flu [was] very bad among the civilians, but not serious in forces. We are told [that the] delegation from Germany have been allowed through [the] lines on [their] way to see Marshal Foch.

November 11,1918 This is the day fighting ceased – a great day – very thrilling and satisfying. [It is] hard to believe, but a great quietness fell over the Battle lines. It seemed so strange not to hear the continuous roar of distant or faraway guns – no flares at night – all is still. [We are] getting all ready for [a] move tomorrow.

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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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