Witness to War: Wednesday Aug 15, 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:

Wednesday Aug 15, 1917Went on gas guard and at about 5:30 the Barrage opened up (Hill 70)[1] and we knew from supports that the 13-15-16 were going over the bags. The Roar of the Guns was simply awful at about 11am we went up to the front line crossing the open on the double over the bags in daylight is somewhat exciting

[1] The Battle of Hill 70, July 14, 1917 – August 22, 1917.

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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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