Abergavenny Witch Hunt

 Latest scandal ripper from Will. Features in yesterday's " Abergavenny Chronicle " under banner " The notorious Abergavenny scandal of 1942 revisted in controversial new book!" http://www.friends-of-tredegar-house.co.uk/book-list/latest-new-book-from-william-cross-now-available-the-abergavenny-witch-hunt/

                    CONTACT THE AUTHOR WILLIAM CROSS                                   

williecross@aol.com

                                  

MEET THE AUTHOR AT CARDIFF PRIDE 16 AUGUST 2014 

 FROM THIS WEEK’S 

           ABERGAVENNY CHRONICLE

                        24 JULY 2014

THE ABERGAVENNY WITCH HUNT  

A NEW BOOK FROM WILLIAM CROSS

In 1942 the Author J.R. Ackerley wrote a letter to the Spectator expressing his outrage in  regard to a story he had stumbled across that took  place in Abergavenny. The story concerned  a number of men who were involved in a notorious  sex case that made national  news and ‘rattled  the town like an earthquake.’ Ackerley was  himself gay in a  time when homosexuality was still an imprisonable  offence, and made  his protestations on the basis that over 20 men were put on  trial for homosexual  behaviour.

One of the men  involved took his  own life by throwing  himself in front of a train, while most of the other men involved  received sentences ranging from one to ten years.  

While it is indisputable  that lives have been  cut short  and damaged by  the criminalization  of homosexuality,the question  that must be asked is, did Ackerley have the full facts at his disposal in regard to the Abergavenny scandal of 1942? Or  did he choose to ignore certain extremely disturbing elements which would still carry a prison sentence today? For example, the Judge in the case  had no hesitation in describing some of the men involved in the case as ‘principals  who corrupted youths’. Such men’s defining sexual characteristic was that of a predatory male, which had they been heterosexual, would have been equally as damming.

A new book by Newport author William Cross covers in detail the 1942 case and it’s wider implications.  Keen to stress that he did not write the ‘The Abergavenny Witch Hunt’ out of any sense of mischief, finger-pointing or financial gain, Cross said,  

" I  wrote the book because history is not only about

great deeds and noble lives, it’s also about peeling back  the layers of less righteous conduct.”  

Under the editorship of a tenacious newsman named George Harris, the Abergavenny Chronicle covered the proceeding and trials more extensively than any other media outlet. Below is a brief summary of events as they unfolded [ not repeated here ].The Chronicle would like to add  that in no way, shape or form does it judge, condemn or seek to assassinate the character of any of the individuals involved in the 1942 case, but merely seeks to present  its readership  with a purely objective  article of historical fact that we  feel will be of some considerable  interest,  not only in respect to a period of Abergavenny’s history which remains largely forgotten,  but also in  regard to the ever changing dynamic of British social  and cultural life in the twentieth century.

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