Shropshire

Gay WWII secret letters gain Hollywood interest

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption"My own darling boy" - a greeting in one of the letters

The romance between two gay WWII soldiers, whose letters were discovered years later, may be turned into a Hollywood film.

Love letters between Gilbert Bradley and Gordon Bowsher, written in a time when homosexuality was illegal, came to light after Mr Bradley's death in 2008.

At that time armed force members could have been be shot for having gay sex.

A Shropshire museum displaying the letters has been contacted by hundreds of people including film producers.

See more on this story

Image copyright Oswestry Town Museum
Image caption The letters, signed 'Your own G', were originally thought to be from a girlfriend

Mark Hignett, a volunteer at Oswestry Town Museum and who bought the letters off eBay, said the forbidden romance has received a huge amount of interest including producers, publishers and playwrights.

More quirky projects inspired by the story include a choral group who want to put the letters to music, and a student who wants to base a clothing range on the letters, Mr Hignett said.

He expects further interest following an upcoming heritage project.

Heritage Open Days have organised letter writing workshops after which letters will be burned in a memorial fire.

The ashes will then be transformed into a commemorative diamond.

Image copyright Oswestry Town Museum
Image caption In one letter Mr Bowsher urges his lover to "do one thing for me in deadly seriousness. I want all my letters destroyed"

Annie Reilly, Director of Heritage Open Days, said the jewel will be "a commemoration of this love which had to really fight against the odds to exist."

It will be inscribed with a paraphrased line from one of the letters: "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."

The letters are highly unusual, but the museum's collection numbers almost 600.

It was not until 1967 that gay relationships between consenting men over 21 were legalised in the UK. It was not permissible to be openly gay in the armed services until 2000.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites