Rupert Croft-Cooke

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Rupert Croft-Cooke | Public Domain | 14088

At the height of the “cold war” of the 1950s, after the Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean caes, the police began a crackdown on gay people in Britain.

Rupert Croft-Cooke was born on 20 June 1903 and became a novelist, playwright, biographer, travel writer, and book critic of the Daily Sketch newspaper. Croft-Cooke’s secretary and companion, Joseph Alexander, met two Navy cooks, Harold Altoft and Ronald Charles Dennis, in the Fitzroy Tavern.

He invited them to spend the weekend at Croft-Cooke’s house in Ticehurst, East Sussex where they consumed food and alcohol and had sex with both Croft-Cooke and his assistant. On their way home from the weekend, they got drunk and assaulted two men, one of whom was a policeman. They were arrested and agreed to testify against Croft-Cooke to get immunity from prosecution for the assault charges.

Rupert Croft-Cooke was prosecuted for “gross indecency” and sent to prison for nine months. On release he went to live in North Africa but returned to Britain after the law was changed and died in Bournemouth on 10 June 1979.

SP

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