I only met one other homosexual in the army. That was in Le Havre in 1917. We was on the boat coming home. I don’t know how these things work, whether it’s through conversation, or whether it’s the attitude of the individual concerned, but we seemed to come together, see. All of a sudden his arm was round my neck and this, that and the other, and then, of course, one thing led to another. And that was Phil, my affair that I had for seven years. When I come out of the army we stuck together. I was living at the time in Ilford. I rejoined the army in 1920, then I went out to Germany. I was living with Phil at the time and I saw him when I came home on leave and we kept a flat together. I was in the army because the army was my life at that period. He was somebody just like a wife to come home to…
… I don’t think our friends or family knew, yet they had a very good suspicion. Phil and I often talked about it, only he said, well, he says, as long as we love each other, what’s it to do with other people? And that was the true situation.
Text: First person account as told by Gerald, born 1892, Norfolk, England. Excerpted from Between the Acts: Lives of Homosexual Men 1885-1967, Jeffrey Weeks and Kevin Porter (eds)
Image: Unknown, via Bloomfield and George/Flickr