Over the Rainbow, Under the Radar

February is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) History Month.

History has not always been kind to LGBT people. LGBT people are often hidden in history, either purposefully hiding for fear of persecution or excluded from the records of mainstream society. As with most marginalised groups, LGBT people often only appear in official records when they come into contact – and often into conflict – with the establishment.  As a result, police and court records are a fruitful source.  But information exists elsewhere, and work is currently underway to progress this research and to uncover stories which show how diverse society is and always has been.

Here at Glamorgan Archives, volunteers have searched the records of the Cardiff Borough Constabulary to uncover examples of the arrest of individuals who may have been LGBT people.

Frederick Bainton was arrested in Cardiff in 1912.

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James Power was also arrested in the city that same year.

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John Gevas was arrested and sentenced to 12 months hard labour. He was then deported to his homeland of Greece.

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Martha Alice Hodson was arrested for committing offences whilst masquerading as a man.

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Arrested in 1918, Abdulla Taslameder was sentenced to 12 months hard labour.

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Henry Burns spent 3 years in Cardiff Prison following his arrest and conviction in 1919.

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William George Bignall and Frances Darmanin were both arrested on 30 May 1921 and charged with the same offence. Bignall was bound over to keep the peace; Darmanin spent 18 months in prison.

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Thomas Franklin was arrested in 1922 but his case was discharged.

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James Jones and Harry Selby were arrested on the same date for the same offence. They were both discharged.

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In 1910, Frederick Benson was sentenced to 2 years in the reformatory.

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Although Louis Perlin was discharged, he was subsequently expelled from the country.

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These cases have been extracted from the Cardiff Police Photographic and Fingerprint registers (ref.: DCONC/3/2/2-6) which are available for consultation at Glamorgan Archives.

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