On the subject of deserters, I know a bloke that was called up to do his National Service, this was as it was coming to an end, around 1960. He didn't fancy going so he didn't. Just carried on as he always had. There were no follow up enquiries, not even a letter. I often wonder if He still has a black mark against his name.
Years ago, I worked in a magistrates' court that had two ferry ports within its jurisdiction. Every couple of months, a deserter would be picked up in the checks at a port, some had been wanted for decades! They were always remanded in custody (police cells) to await a military escort.
I was chatting to a MAA once who was based in Guzz and he had an old chap turn up and hand himself in, it turns out he did a runner in the 50's and was now dying of cancer and wanted to clear his name before he went.
The MAA took his details and sent him a letter a few weeks later saying no further action, the chap died a week after getting the letter.