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 , are therefore unusual and shed an important light on homosexual relationships during the war. 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 Information gleaned from the letters indicate Mr Bradley was a reluctant soldier.
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Seeking escape from the quiet countryside of North Wales, the young James Wharton joined the British Army with adventure on his mind — and he found it…. At basic training, boozing and brawling accompany the daily trials of army life, but all the while James faces a battle of his own: he is gay, and finding the courage to tell not only his family and friends but also his fellow soldiers will be the biggest challenge of all. Written with searing honesty, and updated to include a new chapter, James charts his incredible journey from punchbag to poster boy, describing the troubles and trials of coming to terms with his sexuality via late nights in Soho clubs and early mornings at ceremonial events.
The sergeant and I stared at each other for a moment as the office door shut. Only seconds earlier, we both stood silent, hands clasped behind our backs respectfully, as a noncommissioned officer stood inches from my face and threatened to end my career. As we left the office, the sergeant searched for something consolatory to say. His words, and any comfort I might have taken from them, fell flat. I sat, staring at my computer screen, trying to recall what task I had been working on.