Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram Pinterest LinkedIn

Fighting with Pride (Hardback)

LGBTQ in the Armed Forces


By Maj Michael Brigham, Lt Elaine Chambers, Sgt Darren Ford, SLt Edward Hall, Sir Michael Howard, Lt Cdr Patrick Lyster-Todd, Lt Cdr Mandy McBain, Flt Lt Caroline Paige, Cdr Roly Woods, Edited by Lt Cdr Craig Jones
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 248
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781526765253
Published: 30th November 2019


£20.00 Introductory Offer

Print price £25.00

You'll be £20.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase Fighting with Pride. What's this?

+£4 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £30
(click here for international delivery rates)

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

Order within the next 9 hours, 8 minutes to get your order processed the next working day!

To mark the 20th anniversary of the lifting of the British Armed Forces ‘gay ban’ on 12 January 2020, this book brings together a selection of LGBTQ servicemen and women who have served in the Armed Forces since the Second World War. Their stories are profoundly moving testaments to their loyalty, their courage on the battlefield, and their unswerving sense of right and wrong.

Included are ten accounts of members of our Armed Forces who have lived remarkable lives. In some cases they were dismissed in disgrace or forced to resign when asked questions about their private lives. Their stories are those of remarkable sacrifice and courage in their units (and in battle), but who were forced to live in secret before their services were removed at the stroke of a pen after being declared 'no longer required’ or ‘dismissed in disgrace’.

These are the stories of the David and Goliath battle for equality, through every court in the UK and Europe. For others their story is one of remarkable careers at the front line of operations worldwide, with accounts of service in the Second World War, the Falklands War, the Gulf Wars and the war in Afghanistan.

This book celebrates the lives of servicemen and women who have stood tall and taken their place with pride and dignity in the fighting units of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and the British Army. These are the inspiring stories of people who have created amazing careers and sought and found a welcome denied to so many.

These are inspiring personal stories of how LGBT+ service personnel challenged and overturned exclusion and discrimination in the military. They remind us that LGBTs in the Armed Forces were once tasked with defending freedoms that they were themselves denied. But thanks to their resilience, they are at last free and equal. Bravo!

Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner and Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation

This important book records a turning point in LGBT+ equality in the UK and the beginning and end of a remarkable journey for our Armed Forces. Resolute and determined, these are the stories of those whose journeys epitomise what was lost by excluding and what we have gained in equality.

Baroness Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, 2014–2019

Fighting with Pride is a captivating book chronicling an incredible period of positive change in the social history of the Armed Forces, told by the women and men whose courage on the battlefield was matched by their courage of conviction. These veterans of WW2, the Falklands Campaign, the Gulf Wars, Northern Ireland, the Cold War, Iraq and Afghanistan met every operational challenge demanded of them, yet many suffered the indignity of an imposed disgrace that led to dismissal. You will be moved by their unstinting loyalty to their Service and Country, with recollections that will make you laugh and shake your head in dismay and disbelief.
It now seems incredible that some of our dearest and best were compelled to live complex lives in the shadows for fear of arrest, detention and dismissal. The accounts of this wholly depressing experience, as told by Patrick Lyster-Todd and Elaine Chambers, remain worthy of somber reflection today. In stark contrast, Mike Brigham and Rory Woods’ contemporary accounts of the Armed Forces today reminds us (with some relief) how far we have come. Today we are proud to be all of one company, where equality truly means equality for all. But we would not be where we are without the protagonists for change you find in this uplifting book. Craig Jones deserves our thanks for skilfully bringing the stories of these women and men together. He is dismissive of his own naval career, but he fought a good fight to the betterment of the Armed Forces, and we are honoured to call him a brother in arms who believes in the power of fundamental good, the worth of responsibility and strength of example.

General Sir James Everard KCB CBE, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe

Marking the 20th anniversary of the lifting of the ban on gay servicemen and women in the Armed Forces, this collection of the stories of 10 LGBT+ personnel from the Second World War to present day forms a moving testament to their courage on, and off the battlefield.

Bookseller Buyers Guide

About Maj Michael Brigham

Major Michael Brigham MBE is a serving infantry officer in the Mercian Regiment of the British Army.

About Lt Elaine Chambers

Lt Elaine Chambers, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, was a nursing officer in Cold War Germany but she was dismissed after being ‘found out’.

About Sgt Darren Ford

Sgt Darren Ford, Royal Military Police served with the Royal Military Police in the 1980s and 1990s. He was outed by a boyfriend and dismissed, after an investigation by his own unit.

About SLt Edward Hall

ASLt Edward ‘Ed’ Hall RN was a University Cadet Officer when he ‘came out’ to colleagues in 1993 not realising that being gay was prohibited in the Armed Forces.

About Sir Michael Howard

Captain Professor Sir Michael Howard CBE CH OM MC Sir Michael Howard is one of a dwindling number of our Second World War veterans.

About Lt Cdr Patrick Lyster-Todd

Lt Cdr Patrick Lyster-Todd RN joined the Royal Navy in 1972 and in a busy operational career served in Northern Ireland, where he witnessed the Warrenpoint bombings; and for two and a half years as the Navigating Officer of HMS Achilles, the warship to be based in Chatham.

About Lt Cdr Mandy McBain

Lt Cdr Mandy McBain RN joined the Women’s Royal Navy Service Royal Navy in the 1980s, completing her training at HMS Raleigh.

About Flt Lt Caroline Paige

FLt Lt Caroline Paige RAF, is an inspirational woman and the first transgender officer to serve openly in the UK Armed Forces. 

About Cdr Roly Woods

Cdr Roly Woods RN is the current head of Fleet Security on the Staff of the Commander in Chief Fleet. He joined the Royal Navy in 1978 and has served in the Falklands War and Iraq.

About Lt Cdr Craig Jones

Lt Cdr Craig Jones MBE RN joined the Royal Navy in 1989, later to become the first ‘out’ LGBTQ person the Armed Forces, leading that community through a bewildering period of change.

Other titles in Pen & Sword Military...