Read Heartbreaking and Romantic WW2 Gay Love Letters

Read Heartbreaking and Romantic WW2 Gay Love Letters

During World War 2, homosexuality was more then just frowned upon, it was illegal. If found guilty English soldiers could be punished by death. But that didn’t stop two soldiers from sending each other romantic letters.

During military training, Gilbert Bradley had sent hundreds of letter to a lover who he called “G”. Later after his death in 2008, it was found out that “G” stood for Gordon, and a 70-year-old love story resurfaced.


Wednesday January 24th 1939

My darling,

… 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,



The letters surfaced after in 2008 and opened the discussion of love and homosexuality in the military. The letters are a rare find, because most gay men would have destroyed any incriminating evidence linking them to same-sex attractions.

These two men, though, met on a houseboat in Devon in 1938. Gordon Bowsher was from a well-off family—his father owned a shipping company and tea plantations. When the war had broken out a year later, Gordon Bowsher was trained as an infantryman, and shipped off to different locations across the country.

In the 1940s life as a gay man was a crime and gay activity was a court-martial offense. ______________________________________________________________________________________

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.


Sadly the two did not live happily ever after. The two men went their separate ways. Mr. Bowsher went on to be a well-known horse trainer who had employed Sirhan Sirhan the man convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.

Mr. Bradley moved to Brighton and died in 2008.

The letters were found in Mr. Bradley’s home and were sold to a company specializing in military mail.

Owestry Town Museum bought the letters. Only three were purchased off eBay at a time. When the museum’s curator Mark Hignett began reading the letters he thought the letters were addressed to a girlfriend or fiancé.   When it was discovered the letters were written to a man, the museum spent hundreds of pounds to purchase over 600 letters. Mr. Hignett considers the rarity of the letters “invaluable”

A book is soon on the way, and the letters are on display at the museum.

One of the most heartbreaking lines from the letters was “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.” [BBC]




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