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Out In The Army: My Life As A Gay Soldier [Hardcover]

James Wharton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 13.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Jun 2013
Seeking escape from the quiet countryside of North Wales, the young James Wharton joined the British Army with adventure on his mind - and he found it. At basic training, boozing and brawling accompany the daily trials of army life but all the while James faces a battle of his own: he is gay and finding the courage to tell not only his family and friends but his fellow soldiers will be the biggest challenge of all. Written with searing honesty, James charts his incredible journey from punch bag to poster boy, along the way describing the troubles and trials of coming to terms with his sexuality. Late nights in the clubs of Soho to early mornings guarding the Queen; rocket attacks in the deserts of Iraq to tank rides with Prince Harry on the plains of Canada - this is James's life out in the army.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing; First Edition edition (17 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849545405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849545402
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

James Wharton's memoir of his life in the British Army is a stunning read. He trains to become one of those dazzling, shining cavalry troopers in the Blues and Royals, escorting and guarding the monarch, patiently sitting on their mounts as tourists photograph and giggle. But the Blues and Royals are no mere chocolate soldiers; they are deployed to Iraq like any other member of the military. It is while serving that Wharton finds the extra courage to come out and declare that he is gay. The consequences, both good and appalling, are written about without sentiment or self-pity. A wonderful, stirring and thrilling read. I laughed, wept and winced and closed the book filled with admiration at such courage and grace. --Stephen Fry

This acutely observed account of rocket attacks, scorpion bites and blistering heat populated by mates such as Shagger, Smudge and Scoffy could have been written a hundred years ago. It's the coming-out story, a gay wedding and a boyfriend who runs off with a vegan that make it a highly readable and distinctly twenty-first-century boy's own tale. --Ben Summerskill OBE

Out in the Army is the most moving book I have recently read. James Wharton is such a direct and honest writer that he brings you to the verge of tears not only when you expect him to but when you don't. His love of Queen and country, his husband and his family all come off the printed page and into your heart. --Paul Gambaccini

Out in the Army is a truly unique look at a soldier's journey from boy to man, from Wales to war. I couldn't put it down. --Anthony Cotton

A fascinating and charming insight into a remarkable life that wouldn't have been possible just a few years ago. --Matthew Cain, Culture Editor, Channel 4 News

An extraordinary story which is a mark of our changing times, Out in the Army is an inspiring read from start to finish. --Matthew Todd, ATTITUDE

[A] heartfelt account of a gay man's journey from recruit to veteran, as well as a non-judgemental appraisal of an institution's efforts to move with the times. On both counts it is a worthwhile read. --Soldier Magazine

A deeply moving and personal insight into life in the army. A story of bravery, love and victory. James we salute you. --Alice Arnold

[A] heartfelt account of a gay man's journey from recruit to veteran, as well as a non-judgemental appraisal of an institution's efforts to move with the times. On both counts it is a worthwhile read. --Herts Advertiser

A deeply moving and personal insight into life in the army. A story of bravery, love and victory. James we salute you. --Alice Arnold

About the Author

James Wharton was one of the first 'out' soldiers in the armed forces and was the first openly gay person to appear on the front cover of Soldier magazine, the British Army's official publication.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous and inspirational 22 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
James Wharton writes from the heart with a frank and sometimes jaw dropping recollection of his time in the army. His continued fight for equality is both heart warming and saddening at the same time, saddening in the way that equality is a fight and not a right.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out in the Army 21 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
James what a fantastic book downloaded it to my Kindle and could not put it down read the whole book in an evening.

I hope this will encourage others to come out and not hide in the closet
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful inspirational read! 14 July 2013
By Martin Belcher VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
James Wharton's memoir of his life in the British Army, coming out and his subsequent experiences as a gay soldier makes for an absolutely riveting read. From first experiences of being 'different' growing up in a small town in north Wales to joining the Blues & Royals regiment and being stationed in central London and taking part in regular royal duties such as the state opening of parliament, trooping the colour and a royal wedding. Seeing the the Queen at first hand and meeting the Prime Minister at no 10! Wharton takes us on a no holds barred journey of discovery, not only of his own sexuality but of the consequences of coming out amongst the British Army, still seen as one of the most homophobic of institutions. After some initial bullying and homophobia, Wharton finds the army and his regiment accepting of his sexuality in a way he could never have imagined. He details some very scary moments whilst on tour in Iraq and some laugh out loud moments on exercise in Canada working along side none other than Lieutenant Wales (Prince Harry to you and me). He finally enters into a civil partnership with the love of his life Thom and uses his new found media popularity to campaign in schools against homophobic bullying.

I absolutely loved this book, I smiled, laughed, got angry and filled up with emotions. Just like myself and thousands of other gay men & women, I can understand the journey Wharton has taken and the homophobia that you have to combat in your life, luckily this is getting less and I guess we are extremely lucky to live in Great Britain one of the most free and tolerant countries in the world. I highly recommend this book whatever your sexuality, it is a memoir of a vivid and rich experience and James Wharton should be extremely proud of himself. Wonderful.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone has a story... 21 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I never really had a role model before to look up to when I came out, but this not only provided that, it makes you see how far as a nation we have come. I have had the fortunate privilege of meeting James once or twice when I was at Student Pride and along with his husband they were both very nice to speak to and get along with. Being that what James has chosen to write in the book is now public information makes you aware that if you want something then you are going to have to fight for it no matter what. I have heard some say that he only mentioned prince harry in the book because he is attention seeking. Not the case at all! Everyone has a story to tell and if that is who is involved then so be it. Although we like to strive for perfection, the book points out that we are all by no means perfect, but we strive to be everyday. Everyone has a background, past and event that they are not proud and sometimes do not want people to see. It takes someone who is strong and has courage to say/write what he has done in his book. This is the first book in a long time that I have read and at one point read for so long and it was 2AM. It is definitely worth a read and to see what this man single headedly has done for the Army, Nation and equality for all people in the LGBT community.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read 17 Aug 2013
By SueF
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is as truly inspiring read.
Not only is it very well written and therefore totally engaging..... it also tells the story very honestly and respectfully.
I bought the book after seeing a recommendation from a friend of mine - I feel this is a book we can ALL learn from and therefore wholeheartedly recommend you read it.
I would love to read the next chapter of James' life and expect that it will continue to be full of love and maturity.
Thank you for sharing your story x
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 15 Aug 2013
By NickR
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is truly inspirational. James is a real hero and role model. I was lucky enough to meet him after reading this and can confirm he deserves all his success.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read.. touching, funny, real.. 19 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. As an ex forces member and a gay man, I wasn't as lucky in my military days to be the person I wanted to be. Therefore this book reminded me of myself a lot... James has taken us inside the military to show the great lengths they have taken to recognise that soldiers (or airmen or sailors) can do a great job no matter what their sexuality. It also showed that the cracks are still there in which old prejudices still appear. His finding of his partner, their trials and tribulations are both warming and funny, and you cant help but be thrilled at their civil partnership and their future together. The book is well written, paced well and also reminds us of the amazing work that all our servicemen and women do both at home and abroad. The characters are colourful, interesting and you get to know them very well. A great read, very enjoyable and also moving.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books ever! 21 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the Best Books I have ever read. Honest, raw, emotional and true - no holds barred.. I couldnt put it down. Buy it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good read
Informative, authentic and honest. Gave me a complete different understanding of the implications involved being a gay man/woman in the army, as well as how much work still needs... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lex
5.0 out of 5 stars out in the army
item was before the due date, when i saw the book in the gay times and read the story with it, i oreded it, it was the frist book that i could not but down.
Published 2 months ago by W. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Super story of Gay life in the military today
This is a first class autobiographical account of a young gay soldier's service for his country and his determination to be treated equally to straight colleagues. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hugo Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars A frank, beautiful story of bravery, vulnerability and achievement
A frank, beautiful story of bravery, vulnerability and achievement.

James so generously shares his adolescent and military years with the reader. His highs and lows. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Richard W. Angell
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
It's OK but really it's nothing more. Don't know what I expected, but I wasn't truly convinced by this account.
Published 3 months ago by Andrew Poole
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good book
Well worth a read, it written from the heart in places, I'm not a fan of the armed services at all as i work with a couple of ex army guys who bang on about how great it, but this... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard Wyeth
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent inspirational book!
Well worth the money, credit due. Great work done and a positive outlook on life! It will get you thinking about our society
Published 4 months ago by Stephen Penketh
4.0 out of 5 stars Breaks the mould
Heartwarming honest outing by a gay man, while also teaching us much of interest about royal service and the forces
Published 4 months ago by Paul Bach
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely honest.
This is a very honest and moving account of James Wharton's experiences as one of the first serving soldiers to come out as gay. Read more
Published 4 months ago by karen smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
I loved every minute of this book. James writes really well and his story about life in the army as a gay man is fascinating. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Geoffrey W Slone
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