Witness to War: Thursday March 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:

Thursday March 29, 1917: Beautiful night grand sight to see the convoy steaming out to sea. Wafted a kiss to my dear wife as the shores of Canada gradually faded away wonder when I shall see her again Got up and had breakfast a lot of men very sick including the C.O. Maj. Pillow[1] and the Adj[utant] feeling fine so far on deck all morning and a grand day on the sea can see the other five boats of the party Guess will start a serial to my little girl

[1] Pillow, (Major) Howard Winthrop. Born 9 May 1883, Montreal, PQ. Taken on Strength 12 June 1916, Montreal.

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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