Role models of greatness.
Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
His military awards included Companion of the Order of the Bath, Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, Distinguished Service Order and Knight of the Légion d'honneur. In recent years, the memory of Charlton was taken up by opponents of the recent war in Iraq, specifically by British opponents of their country's involvement in that war, who hold him up as an example to be emulated by present-day officers.
Charlton's longtime lover was an ex-RAF airman named Tom Wichelo. The couple remained together for 23 years, until Charlton’s death in 1958. 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.
Charlton was also the author of a series of boys’ books, such as “The Camp at Auld-Man-Shiel”. These were adventure novels for adolescents, featuring athletic boys who loved aviation. Charlton became a close friend of famed writers J.R. Ackerley and E.M. Forster. When Charlton wrote his autobiography (1938), he dedicated it to Wichelo, Forster and Ackerley.