My father was 20 when he volunteered with the British Army in WW1. In 1916, after a brief leave back from France to recover from a wounded leg, he returned to the front and was later declared Missing in Action. My mother, pregnant with my brother at the time, had an anxious few months until she received news from the Red Cross that her husband was in a P.O.W. camp where he remained until his release in 1918. Starving, he returned to England craving bananas, with rather disastrous results!
Among his personal papers we recently found a letter from the War Office certifying that “Lieutenant Arthurton was taken prisoner through no fault of his own“. Presumably this indicated he was not a deserter!
I remember my father as a very kind man, helpful to others and very fastidious about his personal cleanliness. I wonder if this and his dislike of getting wet in the winter was due to the horrendous conditions he endured in the trenches.