Hiya, I'm hoping someone can help...
I was wondering what the punishment for deserting the British Royal Navy would be in the 1950s. My character won't actually ever be caught, but I want to know what he would be scared of. He would have joined up at 15 and worked man and boy, then deserted with very little time left before he could have left anyway (circumstances demanded it - he would have been in trouble if he stayed too). He would have jumped ship around Malaya somewhere, during the Malayan conflict. So what would he be afraid of if the Navy ever did catch up with him? He didn't desert in a time of war, but it is quite possible that if he was caught he would have further charges awaiting him than just desertion. I'm sure I've heard they can drag you back and force you to serve out your remaining time, as well as any punishment/jail sentence etc. But I've also heard things about them docking pay - obviously he hasn't been paid for most, if not all, this time, and he would have taken very little with him in terms of stuff which belonged to the Navy. Also, would there ever be a time when so much time had passed the Navy just wouldn't care anymore, even if they did find him?
Since he left he has lived a blameless life, and is in fact now a police officer (not under the same name as he was in the Navy, obviously!).
Thank you in advance for any help.