She reveals how they employed a range of survival strategies, some ridding themselves of all connection with the military while others hid in plain sight. Their reasons for desertion varied. Some were already living a life of crime while others were conscientious objectors who refused to respond to their call-up papers. Boredom, protest, troubles at home or physical and mental disabilities all played their part in men deciding to go on the run.
Andrea Hetherington’s timely book gives us a vivid insight into a hitherto overlooked aspect of the First World War.