Witness to War: Thursday August 23, 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:

Thursday August 23, 1917: Raining this morning so no parades. Went for a route march in the afternoon thro’ the streets of Boulogne, fine afternoon. Started Letter No 41 to my Little Girl in the evening but I guess I will wait till tomorrow to finish it It is very lonesome here as I know nobody most of the soldiers here are very rough lot and it is disgusting to listen to the talk in the tent at night. We sleep in a large tent about 25 in the tent.

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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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