elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

L.E.O. Charlton & Tom Wichelo

Lionel Evelyn Oswald "Leo" Charlton was a General in the British Army during World War I and became Chief of Air Staff in Iraq. He later resigned that post in protest against the unfair bombing of helpless Iraqi civilians.

Charlton was also the author of a series of boys’ books, including Charlton and More Charlton. He became a close friend to writers J .R. ACKERLEY and E.M. FORSTER.

Charlton's longtime lover was an ex-airman named Tom Wichelo. When Charlton and Wichelo "pitched camp" in Dover in the late 1930s, much of literary London followed them. The main attraction seems to have been the easy availability of soldiers and sailors on leave in the coastal town.

W.H. AUDEN pictured the scene in his poem "Dover":
Soldiers crowd into the pubs in
their pretty clothes,
As pink and silly as girls from a
high-class academy.

L.E.O. Charlton was a British infantry officer who served in the II Boer War. Most notably, Charlton resigned his position as the RAF's Chief Staff Officer in Iraq as he objected to the bombing of Iraqi villages. Charlton's longtime lover was an ex-airman named Tom Wichelo, an old RAF pal. When Charlton and Wichelo "pitched camp" in Dover in the late 1930s, much of literary London followed them. Charlton wrote his autobiography, dedicating it to Wichelo, E.M. Forster and J.R. Ackerley, and then wrote adventure novels for adolescents.

Source: Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals by Keith Stern

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

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Tags: days of love, leader: l.e.o. charlton

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