Witness to War: Friday June 29, 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:

Friday June 29, 1917: Got up and stood too my rifle in awful shape but managed to clean it some read all my letters fine warm day so did not sleep much wrote my little girl and started one for home, The Strafe is opening up again all you hear is the roar of the guns and the singing of the shells as they travel overhead. I guess there’s a war on aerial battles etc. Went out on wkg party again. We go out every night. It’s a bit dangerous as shrapnel bursts pretty close at times and a few machine gun bullets whistled overhead last night.

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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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