ANTI-FASCISM , ANTI-NEO NAZISM WITH THE ANTI-NAZI LEAGUE HERE IN BRITAIN DURING THE ANTAGONISTIC STREET BATTLES AND RALLIES DURING THE 1970’S -1980’S

HERE IS MORE INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY AND HOPEFULLY EDUCATIONAL FOOTAGE TOUCHING UPON THE ANTI NAZI MOVEMENTS HERE IN BRITAIN DURING THE 1970’S- 1980’S .

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PLEASE DO BE AWARE THAT  THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , IT’S OWNER , OR ANY OF IT’S STAFF HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL HAVE NO AFFILIATION , CONNECTION OR INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY EXTREMIST , POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR OTHERWISE MOVEMENTS WHATSOEVER …… WE SIMPLY EXHIBIT AND TOUCH UPON A GREAT MANY POLITICALLY INCORRECT AND TABOO SUBJECT MATTERS THAT NO OTHER VISITOR ATTRACTIONS DARE COVER IN THE WAY WE CHOOSE TO DO HERE. …. “IT’S ALL HISTORY FOR GOODNESS SAKE”….EVEN IF ON OCCASIONS, SENSITIVE , THOUGHT PROVOKING SUBJECT MATTERS THAT INCITE STRONG DEBATE .

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Anti-Nazi League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed(July 2008)

Anti-Nazi League logo

The Anti-Nazi League (ANL) was an organisation set up in 1977 on the initiative of the Socialist Workers Party with sponsorship from sometrade unions and the endorsement of a list of prominent people to oppose the rise of far-right groups in the United Kingdom. It was wound down in 1981. It was relaunched in 1992, but merged into Unite Against Fascism in 2003.

The initial sponsors included Peter Hain (a former Young Liberal leader; then the communications officer of the postal workers’ union UCW, more recently Secretary of State for Wales), Ernie Roberts(deputy general secretary of the engineering union AUEW) and Paul Holborow (of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP)).[citation needed][edit]History

In its first period, 1977–1982, the Anti-Nazi League was supposedly run by an elected committee nationally and similar committees throughout the country, although in practice many local and National ANL initiatives were launched directly by the SWP. Many trade unions sponsored it as did the Indian Workers Association (then a large organisation), and many members of the Labour Party and MPs such as Neil Kinnock.[citation needed] The Anti-Nazi League was best known for the two giant Rock Against Racism carnivals of 1978: involving bands such as The ClashStiff Little FingersSteel PulseMisty in RootsX-Ray Spex andTom Robinson, they saw 80,000 and then 100,000.[citation needed] In 1981 with the eclipse of the National Front and collapse of the British Movement the initial incarnation of the ANL was wound up. Some elements within the ANL opposed the winding up of the organisation, including some members of the SWP. After being expelled from the Socialist Workers Party some of these elements formedRed Action and with others organised Anti-Fascist Action, who had a much more open view to using violence to intimidate groups and individuals they considered fascist. In 1992 the Socialist Workers Party relaunched the Anti-Nazi League due to the electoral success of the British National Party.[citation needed] In 2004 the ANL affiliated with the Unite Against Fascism group alongside other groups such as the National Assembly Against Racism.[1][2]

[edit]Beliefs

Most of the ANL’s activities in the 1970s were in opposition to the National Front, an organization led by John Tyndall who had a long history of involvement with openly fascist and Nazi groups. The ANL also campaigned against the British Movement which was a more openly Hitlerite grouping. The ANL was allowed to run down in the early 1980s.[citation needed] The organization was revived in 1992. In the 1990s its main efforts have been to oppose the British National Party, which denies that it is a Nazi Party.

[edit]Activities

The ANL carried out leafleting and other campaigns against Far Right groups which it claimed were not just racist but fascist; see BNP and British National Front. The ANL was linked to “Rock Against Racism” in the 1970s, and has worked with a similar group, “Love Music Hate Racism“, from 2001 onwards.[citation needed]

[edit]Blair Peach killing

Main article: Blair Peach

In April 1979, an ANL member, Blair Peach, was killed following a demonstration at Southall against a National Front election meeting. Police had sealed off the area around Southall Town Hall, and anti-racist demonstrators trying to make their way there were blocked. In the ensuing confrontation, more than 40 people (including 21 police) were injured, and 300 were arrested. Bricks were hurled at police, who described the rioting as the most violent they have handled in London. Among the demonstrators was Peach, a New Zealand-born member of the ANL. During an incident in a side street 100 yards from the town hall, he was seriously injured and collapsed, blood running down his face from serious head injuries. He died later in hospital.[3] An inquest jury later returned a verdict of misadventure, and Blair Peach remains a symbolic figurehead for the ANL. Campaigns continue for a public inquiry into his death. A primary school in Southall bears his name.[4]

[edit]The ANL’s Leadership

The ANL National Organiser at the time of the creation of Unite Against Fascism was Weyman Bennett, a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party. Its previous National Organiser was Julie Waterson, also a member of the Socialist Workers Party and a former member of the National Executive of the Socialist Alliance.[citation needed]

[edit]Challenges and criticisms

[edit]Denials of Fascism and Racism

When the National Front and the British National Party were led by John Tyndall, his record of involvement in openly Neo-Nazi groups made it far easier to assert that the National Front and BNP werefascist or Neo-Nazi in nature. Similarly, his convictions for violence and incitement to racial hatred provide ample grounds for the ANL to claim both organisations were racist.[5] The ANL and other anti fascists argue that the BNP remains a Nazi party irrespective of the fact that it has adopted what the ANL describes as the ‘Dual Strategy’ of cultivating respectability in the media while retaining a cadre of committed fascists. This position is countered by BNP members who claim that their party is increasingly democratic in its nature. Journalistic investigation by The Guardian newspaper (December 22, 2006) has supported the ANL’s view that the BNP remains a fascist party.[6]

[edit]A popular front against fascism

More broadly, the ANL is seen as a form of anti-fascism that seeks out alliances with a broad spectrum of progressive organisations usually rooted in the Labour movement. Socialist historian Dave Renton, for example, in his book Fascism: Theory and Practice,[7] describes the ANL as “an orthodox united front” based on a “strategy of working class unity”, as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Critics of the ANL, such as Anti-Fascist Action[8] argue that the ANL’s co-operation with “bourgeois” groups who work closely with the state, such as Searchlight magazine and the Labour Party, rule out this description, making it a classic popular front.

[edit]Free speech

Critics of the ANL (including people opposed to the far right) claim that its “No Platform for Nazis” policy and call for far right parties to be “shut down” amounts to denying the democratic rights tofreedom of speech and freedom of association. For some, this reflects the fact that freedom of speech is either universal or non-existent; others take the more nuanced position that this reflects the greater protection to be accorded to those sub-sets of freedom of speech and association which deliver ‘democracy’ (so political speech would attract greater protection than forms of speech, such as pornography, which do not contribute to democracy). This view point accords with those anti-fascists who believe that the best way to defeat the far right is by debate rather than censorship, which they say is both ineffective and hypocritical. Relatedly, the ANL has been subject to the more pragmatic criticism that its constant calls for groups like the BNP to be banned will allow the far right to portray themselves as victims of censorship, and the anti-fascist movement as intolerant and undemocratic. The ANL response to this criticism derives from the argument that, because fascist groups ultimately seek to curtail democracy and suppress democratic rights (even if they initially seek to obtain power through democratic means), the curtailment of their democratic rights can be justified as a means of protecting those of the broader citizenryMilitant anti-fascists, however, have criticised the ANL for relying on the state to prosecute or censor fascism, rather than promoting direct action by citizens.[citation needed]

[edit]Relationship with the SWP

The ANL has been accused of being a ‘front’ for the Socialist Workers Party; that is, of being controlled by the SWP and having the agenda of recruiting members to that organisation, while giving the impression of being independent,[9] generally by left-wingers who are not associated with the SWP

NICKY CRANE- FORMER SKREWDRIVER SECURITY AND CLOSE FRIEND OF IAN STUART DONALDSON, ALSO BRITISH MOVEMENT LEADER GUARD CONFESSES TO BEING HOMOSEXUAL

NOTORIOUS  BRITISH NEO-NAZI  SKINHEAD NICKY CRANE  SHOCKS  CLOSE FRIEND  IAN STUART DONALDSON – FRONTMAN OF FAR RIGHT SKINHEAD BAND – SKREWDRIVER  – REVEALING THAT HE IS GAY . 

SHORTLY AFTER COMING OUT NICKY CRANE DIES FROM AN AIDS RELATED ILLNESS IN DECEMBER 1993

PLEASE DO BE AWARE THAT  THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , IT’S OWNER , OR ANY OF IT’S STAFF HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL HAVE NO AFFILIATION , CONNECTION OR INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY EXTREMIST , POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR OTHERWISE MOVEMENTS WHATSOEVER …… WE SIMPLY EXHIBIT AND TOUCH UPON A GREAT MANY POLITICALLY INCORRECT AND TABOO SUBJECT MATTERS THAT NO OTHER VISITOR ATTRACTIONS DARE COVER IN THE WAY WE CHOOSE TO DO HERE. …. “IT’S ALL HISTORY FOR GOODNESS SAKE”….EVEN IF ON OCCASIONS, SENSITIVE , THOUGHT PROVOKING SUBJECT MATTERS THAT INCITE STRONG DEBATE .

Nicky Crane caused the British  Neo-Nazi Skinheads and British Movement  considerable embarrassment Crane was for some time a Nazi poster boy and very prominent in the Nazi movement in the 1980s. He was a member of the fascist British Movement Leader Guard and had something of a fearsome reputation on the cobbles. He was mates with Ian Stuart Donaldson of Skrewdriver etc. and did the security for their gigs. Crane was featured on the cover of one of the Oi! albums, looking very butch, much to the embarrassment of Gary Bushell who was promoting the music and was desperate to convince people that Oi! wasn’t involved with organised fascism.  This was despite the fact that Gary Hitchcock of Combat 18 was the manager of the Oi band the 4 Skins. The 4 Skins played in Southall, a predominantly Asian area (and much recommended for cheap and delicious restaurants), which resulted in a mini-riot and the boozer being torched.

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Nicky Crane gained notoriety by being a bodyguard/compatriot of Skrewdriver, the infamous racist punk band, and as founder of Blood and Honour, the British racist skinhead movement alleged by many to be enforcers for the British National Party, a far right British political party dedicated to keep Britain the same color as milk.

Nicky Crane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nicola Vincenzio “Nicky” Crane (21 May 1958 – 8 December 1993) was a British neo-Nazi skinhead activist. He came out as gay before dying from an AIDS-related illness in 1993. Max Schaefer‘s 2010 novel Children of the Sun depicts an aspiring screenwriter’s search to find out about who was the “real” Nicky Crane.

StrengthThruOi.jpg[edit]Neo-Nazism

Nicky Crane joined the British Movement (BM) in the late 1970s, and by 1980, he had become the BM organiser for Kent. In 1980, he attacked ablack family at a bus stop near Liverpool Street station. For this act, he was convicted of unlawfully fighting and making an affray, and given a suspended sentence. Crane appeared on several T-shirts and calendars produced by the Aldgate skinhead shop The Last Resort during the 1980s. In 1981, he appeared on the cover of the Oi! compilation album Strength Thru Oi! (due to his skinhead appearance, not his racist views), with hisNazi tattoos partially airbrushed out.[1]

Also in 1981, he was convicted and jailed for four years for his role in a BM-organised attack on a group of black youths arriving on a train atWoolwich Arsenal railway station in 1980. He once led an attack on an anti-racist concert being held in Jubilee Gardens in London. Pictures of him storming the stage where singer Hank Wangford was performing appeared in national newspapers; although Crane was clearly identifiable, no action was taken. Released from jail in 1984, Crane soon began providing security for the white power skinhead band Skrewdriver, and remained associated with the band and its leader, Ian Stuart Donaldson, for the rest of the decade, designing two of the band’s album covers and writing the lyrics for the song “Justice” on the LP Hail the New Dawn. He was jailed again in 1986 for six months following a fight on an Underground train. In 1987, he was instrumental in setting up the neo-Nazi network Blood and Honour with Donaldson.

[edit]Homosexuality

Crane was leading a double life as a homosexual, even serving as a steward at the London gay pride march in 1986. He was a regular at Londongay clubs such as HeavenBolts and the Bell pub.[2] At various times, Crane had worked as a bin manbicycle courier, and a doorman at an S&Mclub. He worked for the protection agency Gentle Touch, and was able to shrug off any connection with the London gay scene as just part of his security work.[3] He also appeared in the Psychic TVvideo for Unclean, and in amateur gay porn films while still a neo-Nazi activist.[4] In July 1992, Crane admitted his homosexuality on the Channel 4 programme Out. On the programme, Crane and various other homosexuals explained why they were attracted to the skinhead scene. He was immediately disowned by his Nazi associates, including Ian Stuart Donaldson, who said he felt “betrayed”. The same month, the UK newspaper The Sun ran an article on him entitled Nazi Nick is a Panzi, and included a picture of Crane with his face snarling at camera, head shaved bald, braces worn over his bare torso, faded jeans, white-laced boots and brandishing an axe. Some 18 months later, Crane had died from an AIDS-related illness.

FASCISM AND NEO-NAZISM HERE IN BRITAIN DURING THE 1970’S- 1980’S WITH NOTORIOUS BRITISH NEO-NAZI BAND- SKREWDRIVER AND IT’S POLITICAL LEADER … IAN STUART DONALDSON (1957-1993)

PLEASE DO BE AWARE THAT  THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , IT’S OWNER , OR ANY OF IT’S STAFF HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL HAVE NO AFFILIATION , CONNECTION OR INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY EXTREMIST , POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR OTHERWISE MOVEMENTS WHATSOEVER …… WE SIMPLY EXHIBIT AND TOUCH UPON A GREAT MANY POLITICALLY INCORRECT AND TABOO SUBJECT MATTERS THAT NO OTHER VISITOR ATTRACTIONS DARE COVER IN THE WAY WE CHOOSE TO DO HERE. …. “IT’S ALL HISTORY FOR GOODNESS SAKE”….EVEN IF ON OCCASIONS, SENSITIVE , THOUGHT PROVOKING SUBJECT MATTERS THAT INCITE STRONG DEBATE .

POLITICALLY INCORRECT IT MAY BE ….. THOUGH AGAIN A PART OF OUR BRITISH HISTORY THAT WE SHOULD NOT FORGET. IT HAPPENED 

 

Skrewdriver

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Skrewdriver
Origin Poulton-le-FyldeEngland
Genres Punk rock
Rock Against Communism
Years active 1976–1993
Labels Chiswick
Rock-O-Rama
Past members
Ian Stuart Donaldson
Phil Walmsley
Ron Hartley
Kevin McKay
John “Grinny” Grinton

Skrewdriver was an English punk rock and (later) white power skinhead band formed by Ian Stuart Donaldson in Poulton-le-Fylde in 1976. Their original line-up was a non-political punk band, but Skrewdriver evolved into the one of the first neo-Nazi rock bands, playing a leading role in the Rock Against Communism movement and becoming the most prominent white power band in the world.[1]

Ian Stuart Donaldson, formerly of the cover band Tumbling Dice, formed Skrewdriver after seeing the Sex Pistols in Manchester. Skrewdriver at first sported a punk appearance, but they changed their image to a skinhead look. They also temporarily flirted with a rocker/biker look, around the time they released the EP Built Up Knocked Down.[2][3] In 1978, Donaldson moved to Manchester, where he recruited guitarist Glenn Jones and drummer Martin Smith. This lineup toured extensively, but certain venues were reluctant to book the band because of their reputation as a violent skinhead band. Performing largely for a skinhead audience, the first versions of the band released one album and two singles on Chiswick Records. This version of the band split in January 1979, but Donaldson resurrected the name Skrewdriver in 1982 using new musicians in a different format.[edit]Career

Although the original band had a minor reputation for attracting violence at their concerts (Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof was reportedly knocked unconscious by a friend of Donaldson who, at a concert, felt Skrewdriver’s sound had been sabotaged as the backing band),[4] they did not openly support any political party.[5] The reformed Skrewdriver eventually became openly supportive of far rightwhite nationalist groups, after a lengthy period of denying such claims.[6] Although both Skrewdriver and the band Sham 69 had skinhead followings and racist fans early in their careers, Sham 69 denounced racism and performed at Rock Against Racism concerts.[7][8] Donaldson eventually aligned himself with neo-Nazism, saying: “I would describe myself as a British National Socialist, not aGerman one, and so don’t think I’m at odds with British patriots.”[9]

The band became associated with white nationalist groups such as the National Front and British National Party, raising funds for them (and affiliated organizations) through the White Noise record label. They also released records on Rock-O-Rama, a label that became known for far-right sympathies. Skrewdriver was instrumental in setting up Blood and Honour, a neo-Nazi music promotion network.

Some members of the original Skrewdriver objected strongly to the new direction in which Donaldson took the later band. Roger Armstrong of Chiswick Records said:

It is a shame that the name was dragged through the gutter like that. The other three guys in the band were really pissed off too. Grinny the drummer came from solid northern socialiststock… When they made records for us Ian Stuart showed no signs of fascism. The skinhead image was a — maybe in hindsight misconceived — fashion thing. It was cooked up by a bunch of us, including the band’s then-management and the photographer Peter Kodik.[10]

However, John “Grinny” Grinton later stated in an interview that he had no problem with the new Skrewdriver, and that he became a member of the National Front along with Donaldson.[11]

Donaldson died on 24 September 1993 following a car crash. His death catalyzed the demise of Skrewdriver, and had a strong impact in the white power rock scene.[12]

[edit]Members

[edit]Original line up

[edit]Other members

  • Glen Jones
  • Martin Cross
  • Mark French
  • Geoff Williams
  • Mark Neeson
  • Joseph Smith
  • Adam Douglas
  • Merv Shields
  • Murray Holmes
  • Dave Wane
  • Paul Swain[13]
  • Stiv “Iena” Roda
  • Stigger
  • John Burnley
  • Colin Smith
  • Mushy
  • Mike French
  • Mark Radcliffe[14][15][16][17]
  • Andrew Skinner
  • Ford Freemantle
  • Scott Sullivan
  • John Sharkey III
  • Ian Plummer
  • Steve Brown

[edit]Discography

[edit]Studio albums

[edit]12″ EPs

  • Back With A Bang /I Don’t Like You (1982) (SKREW1 label)
  • Boots & Braces (1987) (previously released tracks) (Rock-O-Rama)
  • Voice Of Britain (1987) (previously released tracks) (Rock-O-Rama)

[edit]Singles

  • “You’re So Dumb” / “Better Off Crazy” (1977) (Chiswick)
  • “Antisocial” / “Breakdown” (1977) (Chiswick)
  • “Street Fight” / “Unbeliever” (1977) (Chiswick – recorded but not released)
  • “Built Up, Knocked Down” / “Case of Pride” / “Breakout” (1979) (TJM label)
  • “White Power” / “Smash The IRA” / “Shove The Dove” (1983) (White Noise)
  • “Voice of Britain” / “Sick Society” (1984) (White Noise)
  • “Invasion” / “On The Streets” (1984) (Rock-O-Rama)
  • “After The Fire” / “Sweet Home Alabama” (1988) (Street Rock’n’Roll)
  • “Land of Ice” / “Retaliate” (1988) (Street Rock’n’Roll)
  • “Their Kingdom Will Fall” / “Simple Man” (1989) (Street Rock’n’Roll)
  • “The Evil Crept In” / “Glory” (1989) (Street Rock’n’Roll)
  • “The Showdown” / “Deep Inside” (1990) (White Pride Records)
  • “You’re So Dumb” / “The Only One” (1990) (Street Rock’n’Roll)
  • “Streetfight” / “Where’s It Gonna End” (1990) (Street Rock’n’Roll)
  • “Stand Proud” / “Backstabber” (1991) (Street Rock’n’Roll)
  • “Warzone” / “Shining Down” (1991) (Street Rock’n’Roll)

[edit]Live albums

  • Live Marquee (1977)
  • We’ve Got the Power (1987) (Viking) (live) (reissued on CD w. bonus live & demo tracks)
  • Live and Kicking (1991) (Rock-O-Rama) (double album)
  • Live at Waterloo (1995) (ISD/White Terror) (recorded 12 Sept. 1992)
  • This One’s For The Skinheads (live, recorded 23 April 1987)
  • The Last Gig in Germany (1996)

[edit]Radio

[edit]Songs on compilations

  • “When The Boat Comes In” on This Is White Noise (1983) – 7″ EP faturing three other bands
  • “Boots & Braces” and “Antisocial” on United Skins (1982) – LP by The Last Resort shop
  • “Don’t Let Them” and “Tearing Down The Wall” on No Surrender (1985) – LP by Rock-O-Rama
  • “Land Of Ice”, “Free Men” and “The New Boss” on Gods Of War 1 (1987) – LP by Street Rock & Roll
  • “Rising” and “We Can’t Be Beaten” on Gods Of War 2 (1989) – LP by Street Rock & Roll
  • “Antisocial” on The Ugly Truth About Blackpool (2005) – CD by Just Say No To Government Music
  • “Night Trains” on ‘Ballads of Blood and Honour’ (?) – CD by Unknown

FASCISM IN BRITAIN EXHIBITION WITH WILLIAM JOYCE ( aka LORD HAW HAW ) HANGED FOR TREASON DURING WW2 BY ALBERT PIERREPOINT

Here is some historically interesting documentary footage relating to the life and times of William Joyce (aka Lord Haw Haw )

 AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

ON DISPLAY VISITORS WILL SEE HANDWRITTEN  LETTERS FROM LORD HAW HAW FROM HIS CONDEMNED CELL AND OTHER ITEMS TOUCHING UPON THIS VERY TABOO SUBJECT MATTER CONTINUALLY SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET  BY BRITISH GOVERNMENTS SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO .

The Execution of Lord Haw Haw at Wandsworth Prison in 1946

William Joyce, the man with the famous nickname ‘Lord Haw Haw’, is Britain’s most well-known traitor, of relatively recent times anyway. He had a catchphrase as famous as any comedian’s and to cap it all he had a facial disfigurement in the form of a terrible scar that marked him as a villainous traitor as if the words themselves was tattooed across his forehead. Saying all that, a lot of people have argued that he shouldn’t have been convicted of treason at all, let alone be executed for the crime.

On the cold and damp morning of 3 January 1946 a large but orderly crowd had formed outside the grim Victorian prison in Wandsworth. The main gates of London’s largest gaol are situated not more than a few hundred feet from the far more salubrious surroundings of Wandsworth Common in South West London.

Some people had come to protest at what they considered an unjust conviction, while others, ghoulishly and morbidly, wanted to be as close as they could, to what would turn out to be, the execution of the last person to be convicted of treason in this country.

William Joyce had woken early that morning and although he ate no breakfast he drank a cup of tea. At one minute to nine, an hour later than initially planned, the Governor of Wandsworth Prison came to the condemned man’s cell to inform him that his time had come.

The walk to the adjacent execution chamber was but a few yards but there was just enough time for Joyce to look down at his badly trembling knees and smile. Albert Pierrepoint, the practiced and experienced hangman, said the last words that Joyce would ever hear: ‘I think we’d better have this on, you know’ and placed a hood over the condemned man’s head followed immediately by the noose of the hanging rope.

A few seconds later the executioner pulled a lever which automatically opened the trap door beneath Joyce’s feet. Almost instantaneously Joyce’s spinal cord was ripped apart between the second and third vertebrae and the man known throughout the country as Lord Haw-Haw, was dead.

At about the same time as the hangman pulled his deadly lever a group of smartly dressed men in winter coats stepped away from the main crowd outside the gates of the prison and behind some nearby bushes, almost surreptitiously, were seen to raise their right arms in the ‘Heil Hitler!’ salute.

At eight minutes past nine a prison officer came out and pinned an official announcement that the hanging of the traitor William Joyce had taken place. At 1pm the BBC Home Service reported the execution and read out the last, unrepentant pronouncement from the dead man;

In death, as in this life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the power of darkness which they represent. I warn the British people against the crushing imperialism of the Soviet Union. May Britain be great once again and in the hour of the greatest danger in the west may the Swastika be raised from the dust, crowned with the historic words ‘You have conquered nevertheless’. I am proud to die for my ideals; and I am sorry for the sons of Britain who have died without knowing why.

William Joyce had actually been born in Brooklyn, New York forty years previously to an English Protestant mother and an Irish Catholic father who had taken United States citizenship. A few years after the birth the family returned to Galway where William attended the Jesuit St Ignatius College from 1915 to 1921. William had always been precociously politically aware but both he and his father, rather unusually for Irish Catholics at the time, were both Unionists and openly supported British rule.

In fact Joyce later said that he had aided and ran with the infamous Black and Tans, the notoriously indisciplined and brutal British auxiliary force sent to Ireland after the First World War in an attempt to help put down Irish nationalism. Joyce actually became the target of an IRA assassination attempt in 1921 when he was just sixteen.

For his own safety William immediately left for England, and after a short stint in the British army (he was discharged when it was found he had lied about his age) he enrolled at Birkbeck College of the University of London where he gained a first but also developed an initial interest in Fascism.

In 1924, while stewarding a Conservative Party meeting at the Lambeth Baths in Battersea, a seventeen year old Joyce was attacked by an unprovoked gang in an adjacent alley-way and received a vicious and deep cut from a razor that sliced across his right cheek from behind the earlobe all the way to the corner of his mouth. After two weeks in hospital he was left with a terrible and disfiguring facial scar. Joyce was convinced that his attackers were ‘Jewish communists’ and the incident became a massive influence on the rest of his life.

In 1932 Joyce joined Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists and within a couple of years he was promoted to the BUF’s director of propaganda and not long after appointed deputy leader. Joyce was a gifted speaker and for a while became the star of the British fascist movement. He was instrumental in moving the union towards overt anti-semitism — something of which Mosley had always been relatively uncomfortable.

Joyce’s career with the British Union of Fascists only lasted five years when, with membership plummeting, a devastated Joyce was sacked from his paid position in the party by Mosley in 1937.

In late August 1939, shortly before war was declared and probably tipped off by a friend in MI5 that he was about to be arrested, Joyce and his wife Margaret fled to Germany. Joyce struggled to find employment until he met fellow former-Mosleyite Dorothy Eckersley who got him recruited immediately for radio announcements and script writing at German radio’s English service in Berlin.

Crucially this was at a time when his British passport was still valid (although born in New York and brought up in Ireland Joyce had lied about his nationality to obtain a British passport — complications and niceties such as proving one’s identity with a birth certificate weren’t needed at the time) ostensibly to accompany Mosley abroad in 1935.

The infamous nickname of ‘Lord Haw Haw’, associated with William Joyce to this day, was coined by a Daily Express journalist called Jonah Barrington. It’s not widely known but the title was actually meant for someone else completely — almost certainly a man called Norman Baillie-Stewart who had been broadcasting in Germany from just before the war. The nickname referenced Baillie-Stewart’s exaggeratedly aristocratic way of speaking. Barrington had written:

A gent I’d like to meet is moaning periodically from Zeesen [the site in Germany of the English transmitter]. He speaks English of the haw-haw, dammit-get-out-of-my-way variety, and his strong suit is gentlemanly indignation.

Baillie-Stewart had already been convicted as a traitor by the United Kingdom for selling military secrets to Germany in the early thirties. He had the dubious distinction of being the last person in a long line of infamous people to have been imprisoned in the Tower of London for treason.

Late in 1939 when William Joyce had become the more prominent of the Nazi propaganda broadcasters, although at the time no one knew who he was, Barrington swapped the title over to Joyce.

Listening to Lord Haw Haw’s broadcasts (which famously always began with the words “Germany Calling, Germany Calling”) was officially discouraged, although incredibly about 60% of the population tuned in after the BBC news every night. The BBC’s output at the beginning of the war was said to have been exceedingly dreary (plus ca change) and the British public seemed to prefer being shocked rather than bored.

Lord Haw Haw’s over-the-top and sneering attacks on the British establishment were really enjoyed, but in an era of state censorship and restricted information, there was also a desire by listeners to hear what the other side was saying. At the start of the war, simply because there was more to brag about, the German news reports were considered, by some people, to contain slightly more truth than those of the BBC.

As the tide turned in the latter stages of the war Joyce and his wife moved to Hamburg. On the 22nd April 1945 he wrote in his diary:

Has it all been worthwhile? I think not. National Socialism is a fine cause, but most of the Germans, not all, are bloody fools.

Eight days later, and on the very day that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in their Berlin Bunker, Joyce made his last drunken broadcast — the remains of his Irish accent can be heard through his slurring voice.

At the end of the war William and his wife Margaret fled to a town called Flensburg near the German/Denmark border and it was there, in a nearby wood, that Joyce was captured by two soldiers. They, like Joyce, were out looking for firewood. Joyce stopped to say hello and one of the soldiers asked “You wouldn’t by any chance be William Joyce, would you?”. To ‘prove’ otherwise, Joyce reached for his false passport and one of the soldiers, thinking he was reaching for a gun, shot him through the buttocks, leaving four wounds.

The arrest was utter poetic justice. The soldier who had shot the infamous broadcaster was called Geoffrey Perry, however, he had been born into a German jewish family as Hourst Pinschewer and had only arrived in England to escape from Hitler’s persecutions. So in the end a German Jew, who had become English had arrested an Irish/American who pretended to be English but had become German.

Back in London, he was charged at Bow Street Magistrates court and in the dock he quietly stated “I have heard the charge and take cognisance of it.” He was subsequently driven to Brixton Prison in a Black Maria and on arrival, he said “So this is Brixton.” “Yes,” retorted his guard, “not Belsen.”

The trial of William Joyce began on 17 september 1945 and for a short period of time, when his American nationality came to light, it seemed that he might be acquitted. “How could anyone be convicted of betraying a country that wasn’t his own?” It was argued. However, the Attorney General, Sir Hartley Shawcross, successfully argued that Joyce’s possession of a British passport (even if he had misrepresented himself to get it) entitled him to diplomatic protection in Germany and therefore he owed allegiance to the King at the time he started working for the Germans.

It was on this contrived technicality that Joyce was convicted of treason on 19th September 1945. The penalty of which, of course, was death.

A sizeable minority of the population were uncomfortable with the verdict mainly because of the nationality issue but also because he was alway seen as a bit of a joke-figure rather than someone trying to bring the country down. On Christmas day 1945 an accountant named Edgar Bray wrote to the King:

I know nothing about Joyce, and nothing about his Politics. I don’t know much about Law either, but I do know enough to be firmly convinced that we are proposing to hang Joyce for the crime of pretending to be an Englishman which crime, so far as I am aware, in no possible case carries a Capital penalty. It happens to be just our bad luck, that Joyce actually WAS an American, (and now IS a German subject), but that is no reason to hang him, because we are annoyed at our bad luck.

The historian AJP Taylor made the point that Joyce was essentially hanged for making a false statement on a passport — the usual penalty for which was a paltry fine of just two pounds.

Not long after Albert Pierrepoint’s expert execution and with the blood from Joyce’s scar, that had burst open during the hanging, still dripping onto a spreading red stain on the canvas floor, the body was taken to the prison mortuary. A coroner pronounced that the death was due to “injury to the brain and spinal cord, consequent upon judicial hanging”.

There were specific rules pertaining to the burial of executed prisoners at the time, and William Joyce’s body was treated as any other. True to the normal rules he was buried within the Wandsworth Prison walls, in an unmarked grave, and was allowed no mourners. The body was dumped in the middle of the night, literally unceremoniously, on top of the remains of another man, a murderer called Robert Blaine who had been hanged five days previously.

In total 135 people were hanged at Wandsworth Prison during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with the final execution taking place when Henryk Niemasz was hanged on 8 September 1961 for murder of Mr and Mrs Buxton in Brixton.

Incidentally the gallows at Wandsworth were not dismantled until 1993, 29 years after the last execution in this country and 24 years after the death penalty was abolished for murder. Incidentally the death penalty still existed for treason until 1998.

The condemned cell is now used as a television room for prison officers.

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