Witness to War: Tuesday Oct 2, 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:

Tuesday Oct 2, 1917: Got up at 10am having a snap while Cap[tain] Beagley[1] is on pass if I could only get rid of the damned lice would be jake however theres no use howling they seem to be here to stay. This is a fine day again and feeling tip top Wrote a bit more on No 51 to Clare This resting is great dope could stand this for the duration.

[1] Beagley, Thomas George. Born 4 December 1889, Alton Hampshire, England. Enlisted 2 November 1914, Montreal, PQ. Died 9 August 1918, Manitoba Cemetery, Caix.

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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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