3 July 1917 – Gustav Comte

Facing a life of death day in day out, it’s no surprise Gustav Comte went AWOL during the First World War.

Comte was a Canadian soldier born in Montreal in 1895. He enlisted in the army during the First World War and was posted to France.

While on the way to the trenches in early April 1917, Private Comte went missing and his fellow soldiers went onto attack Vimy Ridge without him.


He was eventually arrested six weeks later at the base port of La Havre, where Comte was accused of trying to leave the country and court-martialled.

The Canadian was found guilty of desertion and sentenced to death by firing squad, one of 23 Canadian soldiers shot at dawn during WW1, aged roughly 22.

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