Un amour interdit : des lettres d’amour entre un soldat et son ami datant de la seconde guerre mondiale retrouvées

La BBC a publié un article très touchant sur des lettres datant de 1939 à 1945, échangées entre deux soldats.


Le couple s’est rencontré lors de vacances dans le Devon (sud est de l’Angleterre), en 1938, un an avant le début de la guerre : Gordon Bowsher entretenait alors une relation avec le neveu de Gilbert Bradsley, mais c’est de lui dont il est tombé éperdument amoureux. A l’époque, l’homosexualité était strictement interdite. L’acte sexuel entre deux hommes a été décriminalisé en 1967 en Grande Bretagne.
La peur de se faire prendre était telle que lorsque Gordon Bowsher envoyait des lettres à son amour durant la guerre, il ne signait jamais que par “G”.

Tout le monde pensait alors que “G” était une petite amie, jusqu’à ce que l’on découvre récemment la vérité : il s’agissait bien là de Gordon Bowsher, en couple avec le soldat Bradley.


Dans l’une des lettres retrouvées, Gilbert Bradley a écrit : “Mon amour, je reste éveillé toute les nuits dans l’attente de l’arrivée du facteur tôt le matin.

On ne sait que peu de choses de la vie des deux hommes à l’époque, hormis que Gilbert Bradley avait été stationné dans l’Est de l’Angleterre dès 1939 pour contrer les raids aériens allemands, quand Gordon Bowsher, soldat d’infanterie, était sans cesse envoyé aux quatre coins du pays.

Dans une autre lettre, Gordon Bowsher écrit : “Mon cher et tendre, je ne désire rien de plus au monde que de t’avoir avec moi constamment. Je peux me rendre compte, ou imaginer me rendre compte, de ce que serait la réaction de ta mère et de ton père… Le reste du monde n’a aucune conception de ce qu’est notre amour – ils ne savent pas que c’est de l’amour.


En effet, être homosexuel était très mal vu à l’époque, en Grande Bretagne, et l’acte sexuel entre deux hommes était passible de prison. C’est d’ailleurs la raison pour laquelle ces lettres qui ont été retrouvées en 2008 sont d’une grande rareté, car la plupart des couples homosexuels de l’époque ne s’aventuraient pas à s’écrire de telles lettres, ou bien les faisaient détruire dès qu’elles étaient lues par l’être aimé, de peur d’être incriminés plus tard.

Dans l’une de ses lettres, Gordon Bowsher a d’ailleurs écrit : “fais une chose pour moi, sans faute aucune. Je veux toutes mes lettres détruites. S’il te plaît, mon amour, fais le pour moi.

Mais le couple restait tout de même optimiste en ces temps sombres. En février 1941, M. Bowsher a écrit :

Mon cher amour, 

Des années durant, on m’a rabâché qu’aucun amour ne dure toute une vie… 

Je voudrais, chéri, que tu fouilles sérieusement dans ton esprit, et que tu trouves en toi cet amour qui durera dans le futur. 

Imagine quand la guerre sera terminée et que nous vivrons ensemble… Ne serait-il pas une bonne chose que de vivre dès à présent sur l’idée de notre vie ensemble lorsqu’elle était à son apogée. 

Ton G.


On-t-il vécu heureux des années durant, après la guerre…? Personne ne le sait vraiment. Mais cela semble peu probable. En effet, monsieur Bowsher s’est installé en Californie une fois la guerre terminée, alors que l’on sait que monsieur Bardley est resté en Grande Bretagne. Les lettres se sont toutes arrêtées en 1945.

Dans une autre lettre, le couple fait référence à leur amour interdit de la sorte :
Ne serait-il pas merveilleux que toutes nos lettres puissent être publiées dans le futur, en des temps plus ouverts. Alors, tout le monde pourrait voir à quel point nous sommes amoureux.”


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