Canada at War: THE DOMINION: A.W.O.L.

It was a national humiliation—thousands of Canadian soldiers were deserting to avoid combat.

Defense Minister Andrew G. L. McNaughton himself announced the shameful news. First, he told of the arrival in Britain of "more than 8,300" home-defense draftees (zombies) who had been conscripted for overseas service. He said that the program for reinforcing Canada's overseas forces was "progressing according to schedule." Then the General confessed:

"A high percentage of absenteeism was reported during the movement of the various [draftee] units in Canada over the Christmas and New Year holidays. Of 15,600 draftees warned for overseas service, 7,800 were at one time...

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