Desertion and AWOL in World War Two


Lantern Swinger
Hi Daisy,

I am not sure whether there are any comprehensive lists of RN personnel who either derserted or went AWOL in WW2, however, some of the Admiralty Courts Martial Cases and Files covering the WW2 period can be found at Kew.

Using the link below type in the Search Box:
Admilralty Courts Martial Cases and Files

Hope this helps.

Hi Sweetpea,

Thanks for that. I rather think that not all those who deserted ended up with court martial cases being brought and as such was after a "black list" if you like. A list containing all the names of those who deserted whether or not they were caught. Particularly interested in the period 1935 - 1946.

Apparently the Australians seem to have something. I posted the same thread on Ships Nostalgia and got the following:
"I can't answer regarding a "comprehensive" list but, when I served with the Royal Australian Navy, they
were rather shy of showing me an enormously thick book which was a list of all RN personnel who had
gone on the run in Oz, not just during WWII, but since some date in the 19th century. It was certainly a
contender for the world's thickest book, but I would be surprised if it were available for general
consultation, even for researchers for "Who Do You Think You Are"!"

Intend to chase this down and see what it brings!
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