Transgender World War Two veteran Patricia Davies 'lived a lie'

Patricia Davies Image copyright Caters
Image caption Patricia Davies served in the army at the end of World War Two

A 90-year-old World War Two veteran who has come out as transgender said she has always known she was in the "wrong body".

Patricia Davies, from Sapcote, Leicestershire, who served in the army between April 1945 and 1948, said she was "living a lie" as a man.

Ms Davies said she knew she was transgender aged three and secretly came out to her late wife in 1987.

"They didn't realise it was something that you could not cure," she said.

Coming out to neighbours felt like a weight being lifted, she added.

Updates on this story and more from Leicestershire

Ms Davies said: "The atmosphere [around being transgender] was not safe.

"Even the medical profession didn't understand it as the treatment was to give you the 'electric shock treatment'.

Image copyright Caters
Image caption Patricia Davies said she has a new lease of life

Ms Davies served in the army, as Peter, in the Far East, India, East Africa and Palestine, before marrying when she was 21.

"You couldn't flaunt [being transgender] that would have been a disaster," she said.

"I would have been classed as homosexual, which would have caused problems in the army. I would have ended up in prison."

After coming out to her wife, who bought her jewellery and dresses to wear, they agreed to keep it quiet.

They were married for 63 years before her wife died six years ago.

She visited her doctor last year and has been taking female hormones.

Ms Davies said: "I have been keeping quiet. I have slowly started to tell some of my neighbours. Everybody said 'don't worry, as long as you're happy'."

She has joined the Women's Institute and is enjoying a "new lease of life".

She said: "[The best thing about coming out] is being accepted as a woman. That has been something I've wanted all of my life."

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