Hundreds of Love Letters Between Two Gay WWII Soldiers Were Found and Are Being Made into a Book
While on military training during World War Two, Gilbert Bradley was in love. He exchanged hundreds of letters with his sweetheart – who merely signed with the initial “G”. But more than 70 years later, it was discovered that G stood for Gordon, and Gilbert had been in love with a man.
At the time, not only was homosexuality illegal, but those in the armed forces could be shot for having gay sex.
The letters, which emerged after Mr Bradley’s death in 2008, are therefore unusual and shed an important light on homosexual relationships during the war.
Here are some of the letters:
Wednesday January 24th 1939
… I lie awake all night waiting for the postman in the early morning, and then when he does not bring anything from you I just exist, a mass of nerves…
All my love forever,
February 12 1940, Park Grange
My own darling boy,
There is nothing more than I desire in life but to have you with me constantly…
…I can see or I imagine I can see, what your mother and father’s reaction would be… the rest of the world have no conception of what our love is – they do not know that it is love…
But life as a homosexual in the 1940s was incredibly difficult. Gay activity was a court-martial offence, jail sentences for so-called “gross indecency” were common, and much of society strongly disapproved of same-sex relationships.
February 1st, 1941 K . C. Gloucester Regiment, Priors Road, Cheltenham
My darling boy,
For years I had it drummed into me that no love could last for life…
I want you darling seriously to delve into your own mind, and to look for once in to the future.
Imagine the time when the war is over and we are living together… would it not be better to live on from now on the memory of our life together when it was at its most golden pitch.
Your own G.
Work on a book is already under way at the museum, where the letters will also go on display.
Perhaps most poignantly, one of the letters contains the lines:
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our letters could be published in the future in a more enlightened time. Then all the world could see how in love we are.”