Witness to War: Tuesday Dec 11, 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:

Tuesday Dec 11, 1917: C.O. Inspection went up the line in the afternoon coming to Lens Get by train and walked up to Lievin we came up at an awful walk and was feeling sick – we relieved the 8th Batt’n in cellars there and we walked in the Billet was surprised to meet Waldo Minor[1] of the 8th. It sure seemed funny to meet him in the smashed cellar of this village after not seeing him since 1906.

[1] Minor, Waldo Russell. Born 3 September 1891, Sweetwater Valley, California, USA. Enlisted 23 February 1916, Medicine Hat, AB.

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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