Witness to War: Saturday, March 8 to Wednesday, March 13

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:

Saturday, March 8 to Wednesday, March 13: Not much doing except to eat and sleep – dandy little home here in a cellar Morning to night long walk ahead Wrote #87 to my little girl Marched to Bois de Grenier where we put up in huts not too bad. Usual drill for men till Monday March 17. I have been working on Coy Books March 18 set out for Paris marched to Noeux les Mines and took train for Paris via Bethune and Amiens Tack is along with me and it seems like old times to be on a trip with him Arrived in Paris about 9pm and went and reported to authorities then had supped at YMCA and went to London & [?] hotel.

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.