Punishment of First World War soldiers for sexual orientation detailed in new study

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03/25/2023

Frederick Lea Hardy died fighting for Canada near Vimy Ridge in the First World War. Shortly before being killed in action, the teenager spent time in prison doing hard labour as a military punishment for his sexuality. Hardy was one of at least 19 members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force involved in consensual relationships who were arrested and tried for what was then known as gross indecency. The painful, often bleak, stories of these men were uncovered by Sarah Worthman while doing research at Veterans Affairs Canada. Her findings have just been published under the auspices of the LGBT Purge Fund, a non-profit organization established through a class-action settlement.

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