Yours, with all my Love, David xoxoxoxoxo (1,000,000 times)

David, a boy who had a relationship with Benjamin Britten, an English composer, conductor and pianist, tells of his experience.

Source: Britten’s Children, by John Bridcut, Faber & Faber, June 2006

I wasn’t a great kid, you have to understand: I was not what you might call a “come home at night” kid and I’m talking seven or eight years old. I’d be in the alleyway and I’d be up little girls’ trousers – I’m serious – and always it was my mother that would come storming down the alleyway and say, “Why aren’t you at home?”

Ben was not only a father to me, but a friend – and you couldn’t have had a better father, or a better friend. He was generous and kind, and I was very lucky. I loved him dearly, I really did – I absolutely adored him. I didn’t fancy him, I wouldn’t have gone to b… – well, I did go to bed with him, but I didn’t go to bed with him in that way.

Everybody asks me whether or not he gave me one, whether or not it was a sexual relationship. The answer to that question, as I have often said, is: no, he did not. I have slept in his bed, yes, only because I was scared at night and I have never ever, ever felt threatened by Ben at all because I was more heterosexual than Genghis Khan!

He certainly wanted to bring me up, he certainly wanted to send me to an appropriate school where I could learn music and learn to play the piano, and, yes, he loved me, he did, he did. But he loved me like a father, not like a lover

Dear Ben,

Thank you, Thank you for the lovely game ’Dover Patrol’. I enjoyed playing it so much at Aldeburgh with Richard, that I have been trying to get it (in vain chiz.,), therefore you can imagine my joy at receiving your parcel. This is also an opportunity to thank you for my lovely stay at Crag House, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a holiday so much – even Venice. It was so good to have somebody you were fond of with you all the time and for this Ben, I thank you indeed. I most certainly will – if it’s all right with you, stay with you again sometime.

Yours, with all my Love, David xoxoxoxoxo (1,000,000 times).