Canada's Civilian army and its Zombies

Discussion in 'Canada' started by gpo son, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    although any evidence I have at this stage is anecdotal there were a great many NRMA troops that volunteered for overseas service over the course of the war. I expect that it would be difficult to track them as they would have to 'volunteer' to go...some likely did so to avoid some worse form of punishment due court martial, others changed their minds. the 12000 in February '45 were ordered to go under provisions of the act many of these disappeared during their embarkation leave.
    There was almost 80000 trained NRMA infantry men alone in Canada at this time.
    Actually DRyan your posting a few weeks ago indicated that a number units went over well after the last divisional troops went in '42. This surprised me and I was left thinking that these would have been mixed battalions of volunteers and NRMA personnel at this stage of the war.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  2. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    Byers indicates over 58,000 who went active after formally being enrolled as conscripts. He estimates on the order of 200,000 of the 587,000 Army volunteers may have been 'induced' by NRMA, so some 142,000 who elected to go active once a call-up appeared inevitable or after they had received notice but had not yet enlisted.

    As canuck says, the coercion to convert was ongoing and direct. There was a strong belief in the Army that it would be more successful than it turned out and there were endless schemes to try to get more manpower.

    Appending canuck's #20, also 232 wounded and 13 PW.
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  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Thanks for the information Kevin. Since the war diaries were eventually public record, they did not detail the kind of coercion that you mentioned, though I am sure it existed based on other sources.
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I just came across this appeal from the Prime Minister to the NRMA. It was located in the war diary of the 16th Engineer Services and Works Company RCE, which was located in Newfoundland in November 1944. NMRAAppeal.jpeg
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  5. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    nice find I have never seen that before a last appeal for volunteers. This would have been around the time that parliament invoked the clause requiring deployment of NRMA men to go overseas....King wished at all cost not to arbitrarily deploy the NRMA troops.
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I knew a little about NRMA but haven't paid much attention to it until now. Pretty interesting subject. Didn't Australia have a similar organization?

    Cribbed this link from Owen in a different thread.

    Embarkation of the Canadian Kiska force began at Nanaimo on 10 July. There were a few embarrassing moments when a battalion of the Winnipeg Grenadiers marched smartly onto the dock, halted and then refused to go up the gangway to their ship. Three or four rifles were thrown into the sea to the delight of news reporters covering the event. The battalion's commanding officer was furious. Before matters got out of hand, a detachment of Provost was summoned from Nanaimo to assist and the troops were marched back to camp.

    Officers and senior NCOs then divided the men into groups and in short order sorted everything out. A few ringleaders and barrackroom lawyers were cut from the boarding roster, and the battalion marched back next day ready to board its ship. Other Zombies who headed for the hills once the embarkation date had been announced began trickling back into camp. By 11 July Harry (Foster) was able to report the following: "Absentee situation completely under control. Some returning voluntarily, others being rounded up by the Provost and in custody...One Sergeant and a Corporal of the Winnipegs caught with a large store of supplies in bivouac on Mt. Benson! Had the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Lt.-Col. G.S. Currie, on my hands all day..."11
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  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Australian version

    On 20 October 1939, a decade after the Scullin government abolished universal military training, and some six weeks after Australia had entered World War II, Prime Minister Robert Menzies issued a press statement announcing the reintroduction of compulsory military training with effect from 1 January 1940. The arrangements required unmarried men turning 21 in the call up period to undertake three months training with the Militia. Under the Defence Act (1903), they could not be compelled to serve outside Australia or its territories. For this purpose, a separate, volunteer force, the Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF) was raised for service overseas.

    Defence (Citizen Military Forces) Act 1943 - Wikipedia
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