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In Conversation with Mark Hignett

In Conversation with Mark Hignett


During our 2017 History Festival, Mark Hignett (assisted in research by Charlotte Phillips) led a presentation based on numerous love letters between two servicemen, one of whom, Gilbert, (who later became a Bombardier), was stationed at Park Hall Camp near Oswestry during WW2, and subsequent research in preparation for a book.  

The letters, found in a trunk in Brighton, after Gilbert’s death in 2008, were purchased, on behalf of Oswestry Town Museum, over a period of time since 2013. Initially it seemed they were to Gilbert from a girlfriend, with the initial ‘G’. The letters date from 1939.  On transcribing the letters, it became clear that they were between two men; from Infantryman, Gordon to Gilbert. 

The letters are very eloquent. They reveal the way in which their love was constrained by the moral and legal circumstances of the day. The resolution of this story, potentially, raises further routes of enquiry in California, where Gordon went to live in the 1950s.  The discovery of these very rare letters, the enquiries to confirm authenticity and the journey toward publishing a book have been hugely enriching to the museum’s collection of materials relating to WW2.

Join Mark in conversation with Peter Roscoe to find out what happened next.

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