Queer Places:
Kaimiro, New Zealand

coupleNew Zealand soldiers Claude Roy Ayling (1886 – November 8, 1950) and Norman Gibson met in 1915 on their way to WW1, and they fell in love. When machine gunner Norman Gibson was seriously injured in the Somme, France, his confidante, Roy Ayling, didn't know if he'd live or die. So Roy penned a poem to express his grief for the man he called his "Old Sunshine".

After the war, they farmed together at Kaimiro, up Mt Taranaki from Inglewood, New Zealand. They lived together for 13 years and shared a double bed. They lived as nudists and had a circle of nudist friends, including Rewi Alley and his partner Jack Stevens, who subsistence-farmed at Moeawatea, 30 km up the Whenuakura valley from Waverley, from 1920 to 1927, when Alley went to China.

Roy left Norman in 1931 and both married, though they stayed in touch. Norman's daughter became lesbian activist Miriam Saphira. In her biography of her father, A Man's Man - which includes a series of nude "physique" photographs of him - she is convinced their relationship was physical.

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  1. http://andrejkoymasky.com/liv/fam/biog1/gibson02.html