Author Topic: The Blackshirts  (Read 16318 times)

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Offline Jebb of Wessex

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2022, 22:48:28 pm »
I have 12 copies of a book titled 'Blackshirts-on-Sea - The Mosley Summer Camps in West Sussex 1933 to 1938.' It has dozens of interesting photos though the reproduction of many is not great and the text is based on very extensive research carried out in the 1980s and is fascinating.

The book has recently inspired two novels which the authors acknowledge: 'After the party' by Cressida Connolly and 'The Faithful' by Julia West.

I am willing to send a copy post-free to the first 12 requests sent to jeffhw@tiscali.co.uk with details of where to send them and to whom.

This is on the understanding that on receipt of the book you donate £10 to the fund for the maintenance of this forum. As honest men and women I know you can be completely trusted to carry out this condition.

Offline pomme homme

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #61 on: June 28, 2022, 08:59:00 am »
That is a very generous offer, Jebb. Thank you. Assuming that your offer is taken up, perhaps you'll send me a PM(s) to let me know the identity of those who do so and I can then confirm to you when they have kept their side of the deal.

Offline Elysia

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2022, 01:44:23 am »
Hello Jebb, I have only just spotted your kind offer above, and wondered if you still have any copies of the book available please?

Offline pomme homme

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2022, 18:10:12 pm »
Assuming that you haven't yet heard from him may I suggest that, Elysia, you send a PM to Jebb of Wessex.

Offline John

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2022, 05:32:42 am »
Surrey Mirror - Thursday 14 November 1996

Fascist leaflets cause an outcry

Armistice Day delivery "insensitive" - veteran


HORRIFIED residents woke up on Armistice Day to find their homes had been bombarded with literature supporting a wartime Hitler sympathiser. Supporters of Britain’s former fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley pushed replica copies of his newspaper Action through letter boxes in the borough on Monday morning.

A resident in Vogan Close, Woodhatch, whose husband fought against the Nazis said she was appalled to receive the material distributed in Redhill and Reigate by the East Surrey Mosley Centennial Committee.

Ex-servicemen taking part in the Armistice ceremony at Redhill’s Belfry Centre were outraged. Standard bearer Pat McCarthy said: "It’s very insensitive - especially on today of all days."

Andrew Howard, who represents Woodhatch on Reigate and Banstead Council, and Town Hall policy chairman Dr Mike Ormerod said they had reported the incident to the police on the grounds that the material contained anti-semitic and racist comments. Mr Howard said: "The people who produced and distributed this stuff are scum and I want them prosecuted. Distributing Mosleyite literature on the day that millions of people are remembering those who gave their lives in the war against Hitler is obscene."

Referring to the recent boroug-hwide rash of race-hate stickers supporting Hitler, Councillor Howard said: "I’m very concerned that Reigate appears to be being targeted by every right wing racist and xenophobic group in the country."

Mosley, founder of the 1930s British Union of Fascists which openly supported Mussolini and expressed sympathy for Hitler, was jailed during the war as a security risk after his Blackshirt followers organised anti-war activities. An unrepentant Mosleyite who admitted being involved in the local distribution of Action said: "Ex-servicemen shouldn’t feel offended. If Britain had listened to Mosley there wouldn’t have been a war."

The local Mosley Centennial Committee told the Mirror its members would be posting copies of Action through borough letter boxes and selling it on street corners tomorrow (Friday), Saturday and Sunday to mark the 100th birthday of Mosley this weekend.

"Today we rejoice in the rebirth of his philosophy and ideology," it said.

A spokesman for Reigate police said: "We’ll definitely look into this."
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline MichaelBully

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2023, 21:24:21 pm »
I have 12 copies of a book titled 'Blackshirts-on-Sea - The Mosley Summer Camps in West Sussex 1933 to 1938.' It has dozens of interesting photos though the reproduction of many is not great and the text is based on very extensive research carried out in the 1980s and is fascinating.

The book has recently inspired two novels which the authors acknowledge: 'After the party' by Cressida Connolly and 'The Faithful' by Julia West.

On reading the above I found 'The Faithful ' by Julia West available on Kindle Unlimited and started reading it. Got totally immersed in it...about halfway through. I am not a prolific novel generally. There is a lot about a Fascist holiday camp near Bognor Regis  1935  in the first part of the book, and how quite ordinary people got caught up in the Blackshirt cause from a whole range of backgrounds. Some more questioning than others ....I remember reading somewhere that the Blackshirts membership fluctuated . At least one character sees through all the glamour and rhetoric and quits. Very tempted to try 'After the party ' as well. Thank you for the heads up.

The Ancient sages said do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a dragon.

Offline pomme homme

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #66 on: December 09, 2023, 21:39:10 pm »
Cressida Connolly is the daughter of Cyril Connolly, the writer and critic, who was educated in Eastbourne (St Cyprian's School) and, in his latter years, returned to and died in the town, being buried in the graveyard of Berwick parish church. 

Offline PNK

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2023, 12:42:15 pm »
I now have "Eric the Half Bee" buzzing around in my head.

Offline MichaelBully

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #68 on: December 12, 2023, 20:49:02 pm »
I have come across reference to Cyril Connolly when looking at George Orwell's volumes of correspondence & essays. Also when I was researching 1940's poetry. Didn't realise the Sussex connection or that his daughter was an author. Perhaps he needs his own thread.

Cressida Connolly is the daughter of Cyril Connolly, the writer and critic, who was educated in Eastbourne (St Cyprian's School) and, in his latter years, returned to and died in the town, being buried in the graveyard of Berwick parish church.
The Ancient sages said do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a dragon.

Offline pomme homme

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #69 on: December 12, 2023, 21:31:47 pm »
Connolly also was an Oxford contemporary and an acquaintance of Evelyn Waugh. But now, I'm afraid, I'm getting away from the blackshirts.

Offline PNK

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #70 on: December 13, 2023, 21:19:29 pm »
Sadly all the internet based hate, and the resulting resurgence of long dead ideas just reinforces my theory that were are in a period in our history I call 'The Rise of the Moron'. America has always been afflicted by this phenomenon (doo doo doodoo doo).




Offline MichaelBully

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #71 on: December 26, 2023, 10:21:30 am »
Been away for a few days and treated myself to reading 'After the Party' by Cressida Connolly. It's beautifully written. But found the main characters seemed to be gullible Middle Class twits who didn't really grasp that the Blackshirts used intimidation and street fighting as political tactics. The characters thought that Mosley and his cronies were going to order, stability and peace. But the violence at the Fascists '1934 Olympia rally was covered widely by the media and local papers would report how the Blackshirts were acting. I appreciate that this is fiction not history but just  that the naivety of some leading figures was overdone. On the plus side I thought that the story improved when the focus moved away from West Sussex....and looked at the treatment of internees in London and the Isle of Man once World War 2 got going.  The role of women in British Fascism and the women's peace movement of early 1940 which more or less evaporated by the time of Dunkirk are built into the story which made interesting reading.
The Ancient sages said do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a dragon.

Offline PNK

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #72 on: December 26, 2023, 17:12:50 pm »
I think the same naivety applied to the popularity of communism, particularly the Russia version, in the 1930s. I don't know if the brutality and failure of Stalinism was known at that time though. Could the same be true of religious cults or were the Blackshirts becoming like a religious cult to some?  I haver never fully understood how educated people can be seduced by any extremist organisations or cult.

Offline MichaelBully

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2023, 19:55:09 pm »
Yes I think that there was a very naive view of Communism amongst its own adherents in Britain in the 1930's. Both the Blackshirts and the Reds were quite modernist and revolutionary . Part of their appeal was that society was corrupt, the optimistic imperialism of the latter 19th century had mutated into the slaughter of the trenches, the old order was on the way out. Then of course there was the fallout of the the Wall Street crash.
Both appear to have revered action, as opposed to working within a more consensus model of democracy.
But what is interesting is that though both Communists and Fascists made a lot of noise in the 1930's their actual support at the ballot box was not that high in Britain.
Another connection to our region was the Mosley trained at Shoreham Airport whilst in the Royal Flying Corps during World War one .
MODIFY . Forgot to add that the source for Mosley at Shoreham airport was Stephen Dorrill's 'Blackshirt-Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism'.
The Ancient sages said do not despise the snake for having no horns for who is to say it will not become a dragon.

Offline Jebb of Wessex

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Re: The Blackshirts
« Reply #74 on: February 27, 2024, 19:46:13 pm »
'After the Party' by Cressida Connolly is not in fact a novel, it I the biography of a family. Only the names have been changed...
Many tried to make out that Mosley and Co were traitors. This has to be squared with the fact that the first two official casualties of WW2, RAf Aircraftsmen Ken Day and George Brocking, were both Blackshirts. They died on the second day of war when the bomber they served on as volunteer gunners was shot down whilst attacking the German fleet in the Elbe Estuary. Also the first of the little ships to arrive at Dunkirk to rescue British troops from the beaches in May 1940 was the 'Advance' crewed by two Blackshirts Eric Pierce and a Mr Dick. They managed to rescue 500 British soldiers by ferrying them to larger British ships anchored off shore though 50 died when a larger ship was sunk by the Luftwaffe. On their return to Dover the two Blackshirts were detained by Special Branch as 'their loyalty to this country is in question.'
If Mosley had behaved himself and stayed in the Conservative and then the Labour Parties he could well have become Leader of those parties and eventually Prime Minister. I heard him speak in the early 1960s at Kensington Town Hall where at question time someone asked him if he would have become the Quisling of Great Britain had Hitler successfully invaded us. Mosley replied:" Do you seriously suggest that I gave up the chance to become Primi Minister of Britain so I could become the underling of some foreigner? Even my worst enemies have never accused me of having small ambitions!" Mosley's answer had the ring of truth about it, he considered himself far superior to Hitler, Musso and Stalin to ever want to pay second fiddle to anyone.