FASCISM IN BRITAIN DURING THE 1930’S-1940’S WITH SIR OSWALD MOSLEY AND THE BLACKSHIRTS BUF MOVEMENT ON DISPLAY HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

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British Fascist and Leader of the BUF Movement ( British Union of Fascist Movement ) , Oswald Mosley in his prime during the 1930’s

Below: Original oil painting of Oswald Mosley by Gloucestershire artist Paul Bridgman on display at The Crime Through Time Collection, Littledean jail , UK .IMG_4739

PLEASE DO BE AWARE THAT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL HAS 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”

POLITICALLY INCORRECT IT MAY BE… SO WHAT…… IT HAPPENED HERE IN BRITAIN

BELOW IS A VERY BRIEF PICTORIAL SLIDESHOW INSIGHT INTO JUST A FEW OF THE EXHIBIT ITEMS HERE ON DISPLAY IN OUR FASCISM IN BRITAIN EXHIBITION.TOUCHING UPON A TABOO SUBJECT MATTER THAT OUR UK GOVERNMENTS HAVE LONG SINCE WISHED TO BRUSH UNDER THE CARPETS AS NOT BEING WORTH REFLECTING UPON IN OUR BRITISH HISTORY SCHOOL AND COLLEGE CURRICULUM’S 

964064437-northumberland-avenue-british-union-of-fascists-faschist-aufmarschAbove and below: Rare images of Oswald Mosley’s BUF Movement parading with the original  BUF Standards/Banners…. one of which is here on display  at Littledean Jail in and amongst the Fascism in Britain Exhibition .

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Below: A rare original Oswald Mosley British Union Standard/Rally Banner being one of the so say 60 number of them that were carried and used by the movement during the 1930’s, along with other BUF related memorabilia

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Above and below: Oswald Mosley seen at various British Union rallies during the 1930’s …

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SURELY IT IS A PART OF HISTORY THAT WE SHOULD ALL REFLECT UPON IN EDUCATIONAL TERMS AS TO OUR PAST CONFLICTS ?

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PLEASE DO TAKE THE TIME IF INTERESTED IN OUR FASCISM IN  BRITAIN  HISTORY DURING THE 1930’S-1940’S  TO LOOK AT THE INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY FOOTAGE BELOW 

JSN_4621.jpgAbove : An exceptionally rare Arnold Leese (1878-1956) “Imperial Fascist League” banner which controversially depicted the Nazi Swastika emblem within the centre of the Untider Kingdom’s Union Jack  Flag.

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Oswald Mosley
Sir Oswald Mosley, Bt.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
7 June 1929 – 19 May 1930
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by Ronald John McNeill
Succeeded by Clement Attlee
Member of Parliament
for Harrow
In office
1918 – 1924
Preceded by Harry Mallaby-Deeley
Succeeded by Sir Isidore Salmon
Member of Parliament
for Smethwick
In office
1926 – 1931
Preceded by John Davison
Succeeded by Roy Wise
Personal details
Born Oswald Ernald Mosley
16 November 1896
Burton upon Trent, England
Died 3 December 1980 (aged 84)
Orsay, France
Nationality British
Political party Conservative (1918–1922)
Independent (1922–1924)
Labour / I.L.P (1924–1931)
New Party (1931–1932)
British Union (1932–1940)
Union Movement (1948–1973)
National Party of Europe(1962–1980)
Spouse(s) Lady Cynthia Mosley (1920–1933)
Diana Mitford (1936–1980)
Children Vivien Mosley (deceased)
Nicholas Mosley
Michael Mosley
(Oswald) Alexander Mosley
Max Mosley
Alma mater • Winchester
• Sandhurst
Military service
Allegiance Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British Empire
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
• 16th The Queen’s Lancers
• Royal Flying Corps
Years of service 1914–1918
Rank Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War I
• Second Battle of Ypres
• Battle of Loos
Awards Allied Victory Medal BAR.svg Victory Medal
British War Medal BAR.svg British War Medal
1914-15 Star ribbon.jpg 1914–15 Star

Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, (16 November 1896 – 3 December 1980) was an English politician, known principally as the founder of the British Union of Fascists. He was a Member of Parliament for Harrow from 1918 to 1924 and for Smethwick from 1926 to 1931, as well as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Labour Government of 1929–1931.

[edit]Family and early life[edit]Biography

Mosley was the eldest of three sons of Sir Oswald Mosley, 5th Baronet, of Ancoats (29 December 1873 – 21 September 1928), and wife Katharine Maud Edwards-Heathcote (1874–1950), the second child of Captain Justinian Edwards-Heathcote of Market DraytonShropshire. Mosley’s family were Anglo-Irish. His branch were prosperous landowners in Staffordshire. Through the intermarriage common among the British upper classes, the 5th Baronet was the third cousin of the Earl of Strathmore, which would eventually make Oswald Mosley, the 6th baronet, fourth cousin to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who was the Earl of Strathmore’s daughter, and fourth cousin once removed to Queen Elizabeth II.

Mosley was born at Rolleston Hall, near Burton-on-Trent on November 16, 1896. When his parents separated he was brought up by his mother, who initially went to live at Betton Hall near Market Drayton, and his paternal grandfather, Sir Oswald Mosley, 4th Baronet. Within the family and among intimate friends, he was always called “Tom”. He lived for many years at Apedale Hall near Newcastle-under-Lyme.

[edit]Military service

He was educated at West Downs School and Winchester College. In January 1914 he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst but was expelled in June for a “riotous act of retaliation” against a fellow student.[1] During World War I he was commissioned in the 16th The Queen’s Lancers and fought on the Western Front. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an observer but while demonstrating in front of his mother and sister he crashed, which left him with a permanent limp. He returned to the trenches before the injury was fully healed and, at the Battle of Loos, he passed out at his post from the pain. He spent the remainder of the war at desk jobs in the Ministry of Munitions and in the Foreign Office.[1]

[edit]Personal life

Oswald Mosley and Lady Cynthia Curzon on their wedding day, 11 May 1920

On 11 May 1920 he married Lady Cynthia Curzon (known as ‘Cimmie’), (1898 – 1933), second daughter ofGeorge Curzon, Lord Curzon of Kedleston, (1859 – 1925), Viceroy of India, 1899 – 1905, Foreign Secretary, 1919 – 1924, and Lord Curzon’s first wife, the American mercantile heiress, the former Mary Victoria Leiter.

Lord Curzon had to be persuaded that Mosley was a suitable husband, as he suspected Mosley was largely motivated by social advancement in Conservative Party politics and her inheritance. The 1920 wedding took place in the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace in London. It was the social event of the year. The hundreds of guests included European royalty, including King George V and Queen Mary; and Leopold III and Astrid of Sweden, King and Queen of Belgium.[2]

He had three children by Cynthia: Vivien Elizabeth Mosley (25 February 1921 – 26 August 2002), who married on 15 January 1949 Desmond Francis Forbes Adam (27 January 1926 – 3 January 1958), educated at Eton College,EtonBerkshire, and at King’s CollegeUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeCambridgeshire, by whom she had two daughters and one son; Nicholas Mosley, 3rd Baron Ravensdale (born 25 June 1923), a successful novelist who wrote a biography of his father and edited his memoirs for publication; and Michael Mosley (born 25 April 1932), unmarried and without issue.

During this marriage he had an extended affair with his wife’s younger sister Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, and with their stepmother, Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston, the American-born, also, second wife and widow of Lord Curzon of Kedleston.

Cynthia died of peritonitis in 1933, after which Mosley married his mistress Diana Guinness, née Diana Mitford(1910 – 2003, one of the Mitford sisters). They married in secret in Germany on 6 October 1936, in the Berlin home of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph GoebbelsAdolf Hitler was one of the guests.

By Diana Mitford, he had two sons: Oswald Alexander Mosley (born 26 November 1938), married on 10 May 1975 to Charlotte Diana Marten (born 1952) and father of Louis Mosley (born 1983); and Max Rufus Mosley (born 13 April 1940), who was president of theFédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for 16 years.

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Mosley spent large amounts of his private fortune on the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and tried to establish it on a firm financial footing by negotiating, through Diana, with Adolf Hitler for permission to broadcast commercial radio to Britain from Germany.

Mosley also reportedly struck a deal in 1937 with Francis William Lionel Collings Beaumont, the heir to the Seigneur of Sark, to set up a privately owned radio station on Sark.[3][4]

[edit]Elected Member of Parliament

By the end of World War I Mosley decided to go into politics as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), although he was only 21 years old and had not fully developed his politics. He was driven by a passionate conviction to avoid any future war and this motivated his career. Largely because of his family background, he was considered by several constituencies; a vacancy near the family estates seemed to be the best prospect.

Unexpectedly, he was selected for Harrow first. In the general election of 1918 he faced no serious opposition and was elected easily. He was the youngest member of the House of Commons to take his seat (Joseph Sweeney, an abstentionist Sinn Féin MP was younger). He soon distinguished himself as an orator and political player, one marked by extreme self-confidence. He made a point of speaking in the House of Commons without notes.[citation needed]

[edit]Crossing the floor

Mosley was at this time falling out with the Conservatives over Irish policy, objecting to the use of the Black and Tans to suppress the Irish population. Eventually he ‘crossed the floor‘ and sat as an Independent MP on the opposition side of the House of Commons. Having built up a following in his constituency, he retained it against a Conservative challenge in the 1922 and 1923 general elections.

The liberal Westminster Gazette wrote that he was “the most polished literary speaker in the Commons, words flow from him in graceful epigrammatic phrases that have a sting in them for the government and the conservatives. To listen to him is an education in the English language, also in the art of delicate but deadly repartee. He has human sympathies, courage and brains.”[5] By 1924 he was growing increasingly attracted to the Labour Party, which had just formed a government, and in March he joined. He immediately joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP) as well and allied himself with the left.

When the government fell in October, Mosley had to choose a new seat as he believed that Harrow would not re-elect him as a Labour candidate. He therefore decided to oppose Neville Chamberlain in Birmingham Ladywood. An energetic campaign led to a knife-edge result but Mosley was defeated by 77 votes. His period outside Parliament was used to develop a new economic policy for the ILP, which eventually became known as the Birmingham Proposals; they continued to form the basis of Mosley’s economics until the end of his political career.

In 1926, the Labour-held seat of Smethwick fell vacant and Mosley returned to Parliament after winning the resulting by-election on 21 December. Mosley felt the campaign was dominated by Conservative attacks on him for being too rich and claims he was covering up his wealth.[6]

Mosley and his wife Cynthia were ardent Fabians in the 1920s and 1930s. Mosley appears in a list of names of Fabians from Fabian News and Fabian Society Annual Report 1929–31. He wasKingsway Hall lecturer in 1924 and Livingstone Hall lecturer in 1931.

[edit]Office

Mosley then made a bold bid for political advancement within the Labour Party. He was close to Ramsay MacDonald and hoped for one of the great offices of state, but when Labour won the 1929 general election he was appointed only to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, de facto Minister without Portfolio, outside the Cabinet. He was given responsibility for solving the unemployment problem, but found that his radical proposals were blocked either by his superior James Henry Thomas or by the Cabinet.[citation needed]

Mosley was always impatient and eventually put forward a whole scheme in the ‘Mosley Memorandum’ to find it rejected by the Cabinet; he then resigned in May 1930. At the time, the weekly liberal paper The Nation described his move: “The resignation of Sir Oswald Mosley is an event of capital importance in domestic politics… We feel that Sir Oswald has acted rightly—as he has certainly acted courageously—in declining to share any longer in the responsibility for inertia.”[5] He attempted to persuade the Labour Party Conference in October, but was defeated again.

The memorandum called for high tariffs to protect British industries from international finance, for state nationalisation of industry and a programme of public works to solve unemployment. Thirty years later, in 1961, R. H. S. Crossman described the memorandum: “… this brilliant memorandum was a whole generation ahead of Labour thinking.”[5]

[edit]New Party

Determined that the Labour Party was no longer suitable, Mosley quickly founded the New Party. Its early parliamentary contests, in the 1931 Ashton-under-Lyne by-election and subsequent by-elections, were successful only in splitting the vote and allowing the Conservative candidate to win. Despite this, the organisation gained support among many Labour and Conservative MPs, who agreed with his corporatist economic policy—among those who agreed were Aneurin Bevan and Harold Macmillan. It also gained the endorsement of the Daily Mail newspaper, headed at the time byAlfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe.[citation needed]

The New Party increasingly inclined to fascist policies, but Mosley was denied the opportunity to get his party established when the 1931 election was suddenly called. All its candidates, including Mosley, lost their seats. As the New Party gradually became more radical and authoritarian, many previous supporters defected from it. Shortly after the election, he was described by the Manchester Guardian:

When Sir Oswald Mosley sat down after his Free Trade Hall speech in Manchester and the audience, stirred as an audience rarely is, rose and swept a storm of applause towards the platform—who could doubt that here was one of those root-and-branch men who have been thrown up from time to time in the religious, political and business story of England. First that gripping audience is arrested, then stirred and finally, as we have said, swept off its feet by a tornado of peroration yelled at the defiant high pitch of a tremendous voice.[5]

[edit]Fascism

After his failure in 1931 Mosley went on a study tour of the ‘new movements’ of Italy’s Benito Mussolini and other fascists, and returned convinced that it was the way forward for him and for Britain. He determined to unite the existing fascist movements and created the British Union of Fascists (BUF) in 1932. The BUF was anti-communist and protectionist. It claimed membership as high as 50,000, and had the Daily Mail[7] and Daily Mirror[8] among its earliest (if, in the case of theMail, short-lived) supporters.[9]

Among his followers were the novelist Henry Williamson, military theorist J. F. C. Fuller and the future “Lord Haw Haw“, William Joyce.

Mosley had found problems with disruption of New Party meetings, and instituted a corps of black-uniformed paramilitary stewards, nicknamed blackshirts. The party was frequently involved in violent confrontations, particularly with Communist and Jewish groups and especially in London.[10] At a large Mosley rally at Olympia on 7 June 1934 mass brawling broke out when hecklers were removed by blackshirts, resulting in bad publicity. This and the Night of the Long Knives in Germany led to the loss of most of the BUF’s mass support. The party was unable to fight the 1935 general election.

Plaque commemorating the Battle of Cable Street

In October 1936 Mosley and the BUF attempted to march through an area with a high proportion of Jewish residents, and violence resulted between local and nationally organised protesters trying to block the march and police trying to force it through, since called the Battle of Cable Street. At length Sir Philip Gamethe Police Commissioner disallowed the march from going ahead and the BUF abandoned it.

Mosley continued to organise marches policed by the blackshirts, and the government was sufficiently concerned to pass the Public Order Act 1936, which, amongst other things, banned political uniforms and quasi-military style organisations and came into effect on 1 January 1937.

In the London County Council elections in 1937 the BUF stood in three of its East London strongholds, polling up to a quarter of the vote. Mosley then made most of the employees redundant, some of whom then defected from the party with William Joyce. As the European situation moved towards war, the BUF began nominating Parliamentary candidates and launched campaigns on the theme of Mind Britain’s Business. After the outbreak of war he led the campaign for a negotiated peace. He was at first received well but, after the invasion of Norway, public opinion of him gave way to hostility and Mosley was nearly assaulted. [11]

[edit]Internment

On 23 May 1940 Mosley, who had continued his peace campaign, was interned under Defence Regulation 18B, along with most active fascists in Britain, and the BUF was later proscribed. His wife Diana Mitford was also interned,[12] shortly after the birth of their son Max; they lived together for most of the war in a house in the grounds of Holloway prison.

Mosley used the time to read extensively on classical civilisations. Mosley refused visits from most BUF members, but on 18 March 1943 Dudley and Norah Elam (who had been released by then) accompanied Unity Mitford to see her sister Diana. Mosley agreed to be present because he mistakenly believed Diana and Unity’s mother Lady Redesdale was accompanying Unity.[13]

The Mosleys were released in November 1943, when Mosley was suffering with phlebitis, and spent the rest of the war under house arrest. On his release from prison he stayed with his sister-in-lawPamela Mitford, followed shortly by a stay at the Shaven Crown Hotel in Shipton-under-Wychwood. He then purchased Crux Easton, near Newbury, with Diana. He and his wife were the subject of much media attention.[14] The war ended what remained of his political reputation.

[edit]Post-war politics

After the war Mosley was contacted by his former supporters and persuaded to rejoin active politics. He formed the Union Movement, calling for a single nation-state covering the continent of Europe (known as Europe a Nation), and later attempted to launch a National Party of Europe to this end. The Union Movement’s meetings were often physically disrupted, as Mosley’s meetings had been before the war, and largely by the same opponents.

This led to Mosley’s decision, in 1951, to leave Britain and live in Ireland. He later moved to Paris. Of his decision to leave, he said, “You don’t clear up a dungheap from underneath it.”[citation needed]

Mosley briefly returned to Britain in order to fight the 1959 general election at Kensington North, shortly after the 1958 Notting Hill race riots. Concerns over immigration were beginning to come into the spotlight for the first time and Mosley led his campaign on this issue. When Mosley’s final share of the vote was less than he expected, he launched a legal challenge to the election on the basis that the result had been rigged. The result was upheld.

In 1961 he took part in a debate at University College London about Commonwealth immigration, seconded by a young David Irving.[15] He contested the 1966 general election at Shoreditch and Finsbury, where he fared even worse than he had in 1959. He wrote his autobiography, My Life (1968), and made a number of television appearances before retiring. In 1977, by which time he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he was nominated for the post of Rector of the University of Glasgow. In the subsequent election he polled over 100 votes but finished bottom of the poll.

[edit]Death

Mosley died of natural causes on 3 December 1980 in his Orsay home, aged 84. He was cremated in Paris and his ashes were scattered on the pond at Orsay. His papers are housed at the University of Birmingham Special Collections.

[edit]In popular culture

This “In popular culture” section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject’s impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references. (October 2011)

Mosley’s rising influence before the Second World War provoked alarm and reaction against would-be populist dictators by major cultural figures of the time:

  • A character in the novel The Holy Terror (1939) by H. G. Wells is a bombastic British fascist with an aristocratic background, strikingly similar to Mosley.
  • “Sir Roderick Spode” in P.G. Wodehouse‘s novels parodies Mosley. Spode, a blustering bully who is described as an “amateur dictator”, heads a British fascist “Black Shorts” organization.

Mosley’s attempts to promote his views after the war resulted in continued critical reaction:

  • In the 1986 film version of Colin MacInnes‘s book Absolute BeginnersSteven Berkoff appears as a Mosley-esque character billed as “The Fanatic”, who delivers a (rhyming) hate speech at a fascist election rally; it is generally assumed this is meant to be Mosley during his brief resurgence in 1958.
  • A semi-fictionalized depiction of Mosley, the BUF, and Battle of Cable Street appears in the 2010 BBC Wales revival of Upstairs, Downstairs, which is set in 1936.
  • The original version of the Elvis Costello song “Less Than Zero” is an attack on Mosley and his politics, but US listeners assumed that the “Mr Oswald” referred to was Lee Harvey Oswald and Costello obligingly wrote an alternative lyric in which it was.[18]:74,84

Mosley appears in alternative history stories:

  • In the film It Happened Here, Mosley is implied to be the puppet leader of German-occupied Britain.
  • In Guy Walters‘s alternative history novel The Leader, Mosley has taken power as “The Leader” of Great Britain in 1937. King Edward VIII is still on the throne, Winston Churchill is a prisoner on theIsle of Man, and Prime Minister Mosley is conspiring with Adolf Hitler about the fate of Britain’s Jewish population.
  • In Philip Roth‘s alternative history novel The Plot Against America, a secret pact between President Charles Lindbergh and Hitler is said to include an agreement to impose Mosley as the ruler of a German-occupied Britain with America’s blessing after a sham attempt by Lindbergh to convince Churchill to negotiate peace with Hitler would fail.
  • In Kim Newman‘s alternative history novel The Bloody Red Baron, Mosley is shot down and killed in 1918 by Erich von Stalhein (from the Biggles series by W. E. Johns), with a character later commenting that “a career has been ended before it was begun.”

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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BRITISH FREIKORPS (FORMERLY LEGION OF ST GEORGE)

FASCISM IN BRITAIN 

HITLER’S BRITISH SS UNIT

A SUBJECT MATTER  THAT HAS BEEN SWEPT UNDER THE CARPET IN BRITISH HISTORY LESSONS BY ALL BRITISH GOVERNMENTS SINCE THE WAR .IN REALITY A VERY INTERESTING , INTRIGUING, EDUCATIONAL AND OF HISTORIC INTEREST THAT SHOULD BE KEPT AS PART OF THE HISTORY THE BRITISH INVOLVEMENT WITH HITLER DURING  WORLD WAR 2 .

AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION HOUSED AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL YOU CAN SEE VARIOUS EXHIBIT ITEMS ….. TOUCHING UPON THE BRITISH FREIKORPS , JOHN AMERY , ARNOLD LEESE, LORD HAW HAW , SIR OSWALD MOSLEY AND THE BLACK SHIRTS …. COME  VISIT  AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES.

REPRODUCTION BRITISH FREIKORPS AND NAZI SS INSIGNIA .

COME TO LITTLEDEAN JAIL AND SEE OUR COLLECTION OF AUTHENTIC INSIGNIA ,A RARE ORIGINAL  BRITISH FRIEKORP TUNIC, REGALIA ETC.

OSWALD MOSLEY’S BLACKSHIRTS UNIFORMS, HANDWRITTEN LETTERS FROM MOSLEY , LORD HAW HAW (WILLIAM JOYCE) AND MANY OTHER INTERESTING HISTORICAL ITEMS ….

The British Free Corps was formed in January of 1944 from a group of British and Commonwealth volunteers under German control known as the Legion of St. George. Technically this formation had been a part of the Waffen-SS ever since its original creation, but it was formally accepted into the Waffen-SS upon being named the British Free Corps.

Upon acceptance into the Waffen-SS, the BFC was given German uniforms and a number of unique and colorful insignia. The insignia included a Union Jack shield that was worn on the left arm, a Lion of St. George collar patch, and later towards the end of the war, a British Free Corps cuff title. Without a doubt such elaborate insignia was designed and issued to the BFC for propaganda purposes.

The first commander of the BFK was Hauptsturmführer Johannes Roggenfeld, formerly of the 5.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking and a decorated veteran of the Eastern Front. It is reported that he had lived in the United States before WWII and spoke fluent English. Another English speaking German SS-Hauptsturmührer named Roepke apparently shared administrative duties with the BFC at this time also.

In September of 1944, the BFC was moved to Dresden to the Pioneer Barracks located in the city which was the home of an SS Combat Engineer Training School and Replacement Battalion. While there it began its first real combat drill and training.

In October of 1944 the BFC was slated to be assigned to the III.SS-Panzer-Korps (Germanic) upon completion of its training. In February of 1945 it was deemed finished and began preperation for combat assignments within the III.SS-Panzer-Korps. Soon after the BFC had finished training, an Allied firebomb attack on Dresden took place in which tens of thousands of Germans were killed. It was felt that the BFC presented a burden to the local population who knew of the units location at the Pioneer Barracks, so it was therefore transfered from Dresden and sent north to the Stettin area to meet up with the 11.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Nordland. At Stettin the unit was finally attached to the III.SS-Germanische Panzerkorps.

On March 22, 1945 the 11.SS-Pz.Gr.Div Nordland was given a respite from the Russian Front and Oder River and sent to regroup at Schwedt-Angermunde. It was there that the BFC joined the 11.SS-Pz.Aufklärungs-Abteilung under command of SS-Sturmbannführer Rudolf Saalbach. Half of the Britons were attached to the 1.Kompanie of the Aufklärungs-Abteilung in Schoenberg, Brandenburg, just north of Berlin, and the others were attached near Angermunde to the newly deployed 3.Kompanie – the Schwedenzug or Swedish Platoon, under command of Swedish SS-Hauptstrumführer Hans-Gosta Pehrsson. With the advent of the last battle on the Oder on April 16, 1945, Nordland was called into action to stem the Soviet offensive. At the last minute, before their OKW ordered deployment into the Berlin salient, Divisional commander SS-Gruppenführer Ziegler decided to leave the Britons in Angermunde camp while Nordland headed toward Berlin. It is not known for certain if members entered Berlin with Nordland or not, as some accounts claim yes, others claim no.

Like the Volkssturm Battalions and HJ units assigned by OKW to his weak Panzerkorps for last-ditch offensives in late April 1945 – Korps Commander Steiner also felt that the BFC was of very negligible combat value at best, and wanted nothing to do with their haphazard deployment and sure destruction in the Berlin Kessel. He left them to retreat westward to Templin, in Mecklenburg in late April 1945, where British forces were waiting on the other side of the Elbe.

Because of the BFC’s brief association with the SS-Nordland division on the Oder front in late March 1945, it is commonly assumed that they went into Berlin and fought a last-gasp defensive battle against the Russians. The fact is that there is no conclusive proof that any Englishman fought the Russians in Berlin wearing a German SS uniform, and there seem to be no Russian accounts of the Battle that detail such accounts, so this fact can not be readily accepted or denied at this time.

A BRITISH FREIKORPS PROPAGANDA  POSTER

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John Amery

John Amery (14 March 1912 ChelseaLondon [1] – 19 December 1945) was a British fascist who proposed to the Wehrmacht the formation of a British volunteer force (that subsequently became the British Free Corps) and made recruitment efforts and propaganda broadcasts for Nazi Germany. He was executed for treason after the war having pleaded guilty.

Early life

John Amery was the son of Leo Amery and brother of Julian Amery, both Members of Parliament and Conservative cabinet ministers.

Amery was a problem child who ran through a succession of private tutors.[2] Like his father, he was sent to Harrow, but left after only a year, being described by his housemaster as “without doubt, the most difficult boy I have ever tried to manage”. Living in his father’s shadow, he strove to make his own way by embarking on a career in film production. Over a period, he set up a number of independent companies, all of which failed; these endeavours rapidly led to bankruptcy.

At the age of 21, Amery married Una Wing, a former prostitute, but was never able to earn enough to keep her or himself, and was constantly appealing to his father for money.[2] A staunch anti-Communist, he came to embrace the fascist National Socialist doctrines of Nazi Germany on the grounds that they were the only alternative to Bolshevism. He left Britain permanently to live in France after being declared bankrupt in 1936. In Paris, he met the Frenchfascist leader Jacques Doriot, with whom he travelled to AustriaItaly, and Germany to witness the effects of fascism in those countries.

Amery claimed to his family that he joined Francisco Franco‘s Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and was awarded a medal of honour while serving as an intelligence officer with Italian volunteer forces. This was untrue although the lie achieved wide circulation. In fact Amery first visited Spain in 1939 after the civil war had ended and only stayed for a few weeks before returning to France, where he remained even after the German invasion and the creation of Vichy rule.

In Europe during World War II

Amery soon fell foul of the Vichy government and made several attempts to leave the area but was rebuffed. German armistice commissioner Graf Ceschi offered Amery the chance to leave France and go to Germany to work in the political arena, but Ceschi was unable to get Amery out of France.

In September 1942, Hauptmann Werner Plack got Amery what he wanted and in October, Plack and Amery went to Berlin to speak to the German English Committee. It was at this time that Amery suggested that the Germans consider forming a British anti-Bolshevik legion. Adolf Hitler was impressed by Amery and allowed him to remain in Germany as a guest of the Reich. In this period, Amery made a series of pro-German propaganda broadcasts over the radio, attempting to appeal to Britons.

The British Free Corps

The idea of a British force to fight the communists languished until Amery encountered Jacques Doriot during a visit to France in January 1943. Doriot was part of the LVF (Légion des Volontaires Français), a French volunteer force fighting with the Germans on the eastern front. Amery rekindled his idea of a British unit and aimed to recruit 50 to 100 men for propaganda purposes, and also to establish a core of men with which to attract additional members from British prisoners of war. He also suggested that such a unit could provide more recruits for the other military units made up of foreign nationals.

John Amery shortly after his arrest by Italian partisans at Milan

Amery’s first recruiting drive for what was initially to be called the British Legion of St. George took him to the Saint-Denis POW camp outside Paris. Amery addressed between 40 and 50 inmates from various British Commonwealth countries and handed out recruiting material. This first effort at recruitment was a complete failure, but he persisted. Amery ended up with two men, of whom only one, Kenneth Berry, joined what was later called the BFC. Amery’s link to the unit ended in October 1943, when the Waffen SS decided Amery’s services were no longer needed and it was officially renamed the British Free Corps. Amery continued to broadcast and write propaganda in Berlin until late 1944 when he travelled to Northern Italy to lend support to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini‘s Salò Republic. Amery was captured by Italian partisans in the last weeks of the war, who handed him over to the British authorities. The British army officer sent to take him into custody was Captain Alan Whicker.

Trial

After the war, Amery was tried for treason; in a preliminary hearing, he argued that he had never attacked Britain and was an anti-Communist, not a Nazi. At the same time, his brother Julian Amery attempted (by producing fraudulent documents) to show that he had become a Spanish citizen, and therefore would have been technically incapable of committing treason against the UK. His counsel, meanwhile, tried to show that the accused wasmentally ill.

However, these attempts at a defence were suddenly abandoned on the first day of his trial, 28 November 1945, when to general astonishment Amery pleaded guilty to eight charges of treason and was immediately sentenced to death. The entire proceedings lasted just eight minutes.

Before accepting Amery’s guilty plea the judge, Mr Justice Humphreys, made certain that Amery realised what the consequences would be, i.e. it guaranteed that he would immediately be sentenced to death by hanging, because there was no other permissible penalty. After satisfying himself that Amery fully understood the consequences of pleading guilty, the judge announced this verdict:

John Amery …, I am satisfied that you knew what you did and that you did it intentionally and deliberately after you had received warning from … your fellow countrymen that the course you were pursuing amounted to high treason. They called you a traitor and you heard them; but in spite of that you continued in that course. You now stand a self-confessed traitor to your King and country, and you have forfeited your right to live.

This is believed to be one of only two cases of a man pleading guilty to a charge of treason in the UK, the other being Summerset Fox in May 1654. After the discovery of fresh documentary evidence, the playwright Ronald Harwood concluded that Amery’s family would have been embarrassed because his father had hidden the fact that Leo Amery’s mother was Jewish (antisemitism was strong in Britain during the 1930s) in order to advance in the Conservative Party.[3]

Execution

Amery was hanged by Albert Pierrepoint, assisted by Henry Critchell, in Wandsworth Prison on 19 December 1945. In an article which was to be published in the Empire News and Sunday Chronicle, but which was suppressed as the result of pressure from the Home Office, Pierrepoint described him as “the bravest man I ever hanged”. Greeting the hangman at the appointed hour, Amery reportedly quipped: “Mr Pierrepoint, I’ve always wanted to meet you, but not, of course, under these circumstances…”. A proof copy of this article is in the Prison Commission files at the United Kingdom National Archives, but it is contradicted by another archive file: the Prison Commission official who wrote this stated that “Amery did extend his hand and said ‘Oh! Pierrepoint.’ Upon which Pierrepoint took his hand and placed it behind his back for pinioning and that the conversation was entirely limited to that remark”.[4] However Albert Pierrepoint himself described the meeting in a filmed interview he gave and admitted that he did shake Amery’s hand and did indeed like him; in fact, he said he spoke to Amery at length and felt “as if I had known him all my life”.[citation needed]

An epitaph written by his father appears The Empire At Bay (Barnes and Nicholson):

At end of wayward days he found a cause
“Twas not his Country’s” – Only time can tell
If that defiance of our ancient laws
Was treason or foreknowledge. He sleeps well. “