Fascist anniversary

Police summary on Fascist 5th Anniversary March, 27th October 1937 (MEPO 2/3117)



1. Fascist “5th Anniversary Demonstration” held 3rd October, 1937, by the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists who marched in procession from Millbank to Rotherhithe where a meeting was addressed by Sir Oswald Mosley, and marched back to Upper Thames Street for dispersal.

2. About 3,400 fascists, including 630 women and 220 youths and girls, left Millbank 3.55 p.m. (page 4) and arrived at the Triangle, junction of Southwark Park Road and Slipper Place, Rotherhithe, at 5.33 (pages 1 & 4 to 6) and after a meeting marched back to Upper Thames Street, E.C. where they dispersed at 8.15 p.m. (pages 7 & 8).

3. Sir Oswald Mosley, the only speaker, dealt with political matters from a fascist viewpoint. He made no inflammatory utterances and did not attack Jews (pages 6 & 7). Only the marchers were within hearing of the speech.

4. No resolution was read or put.

5. Widespread and violent organised opposition by communists and Independent Labour Party. Three street barricades built.

6. 113 arrests (37 for assault on police).

7. Considerable damage to property; broken fences and railings, paving stones torn up. (page 3).

8. Several police officers received injuries – 2 treated at St. Thomas’ Hospital – not detained. Twenty-eight civilians known to have been treated in two hospitals.

9. Estimated that over 50,000 persons took part in the counter demonstrations.

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