Gone for a Burton

Posted by Ian Hamilton on April 29, 2003

Perhaps you can confirm my understanding of where this phrase comes from? (It means "gone without trace, disappeared, "scarperred"). I have been told that there was a war-time poster advertisement for Burton Ales. There are men in uniform on parade and the officer asks where one of the soldiers is. The reply is "He's gone for a Burton [Ale]". Does this ring true? Or just a load of rubbish?