Union Movement London Area Headquarters

The following picture, taken from Mosley's Action newspaper for November 21st 1961, shows that by the early 1960s Union Movement was growing quite nicely. The East London branch in Newport Road, Leyton looked particularly impressive.


Below is a close up of the Union Movement Leyton Branch. The Bookshop and Headquarters was situated at 201A Newport Road, Leyton, not far from Leytonstone Tube Station.

 
Below is the Bethnal Green Branch Headquarters which was situated at 198 Roman Road. It was opened in early 1950, less than two years after Union Movement was founded. It was of particular interest to the former members of the pre-war B.U.F. as it was only a few yards from the bombed site on which stood the famous Bethnal Green Headquarters.


Inside the Bookshop

References:

Action, November 21, 1961

Union, March 18, 1950

The Arrival of the Nazi Princess

Gudrun Himmler with Hitler

Sidney Proud, was a leading member of Sir Oswald Mosley's post-war Union Movement. He owned a Holiday Travel Company which offered “affordable holidays in sunny Spain”. These vacations were particularly popular with Union Movement members who could wear their banned pre-war Blackshirt uniforms in public. Before the war, Proud had been a member of the British Union of Fascists. He claimed to have fought with the Falange during the Spanish Civil War. During WWII he was detained under regulation 18B.

In 1955, he utilised his links with the surviving families of Nazi leaders to invite Adolph von Ribbentrop (son of Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler's foreign minister) and Gudrun Himmler (daughter of Heinrich Himmler) to come to Britain.

At that time, Gudrun Himmler was heavily involved in Stille Hilfe (Silent Aid), an organisation set up to assist former members of the SS who had fallen on hard times. In his book on Stille Hilfe, Oliver Schröm had described her as a "flamboyant Nazi princess" ("schillernde Nazi-Prinzessin").

While in England, Gudrun Himmler stayed with ardent supporters of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement. She was escorted around London by Mosley’s private secretary Jeffrey Hamm and leading Union Movement member Robert Row.

In his book Memoir of a Fascist Childhood, Trevor Grundy recalls the day she visited his home at 40 Blandford Square, Marylebone:
Klaus lacked the charm of Gudrun Himmler. She appeared one day at 40 Blandford Square with Jeffrey Hamm and Robert Row, a tall open-faced Lancastrian who had been appointed editor of Union. Fraulein Himmler, as we'd been told to call her, was visiting London for the first time and Mosley had suggested she should be introduced to some leading Movement members, hence the visit to the Grundys.

As Bob and Jeffrey put their hands out to help Fraulein Himmler from the taxi, Mrs Adams and Timothy, in his Haberdashers Askes, blazer and cap walked past. My mother said, 'Oh Mrs Adams, may I introduce you to a German friend of ours, Fraulein Himmler. And this is Timothy, Mrs Adams son, Fraulein Himmler.'

Fraulein Himmler smiled but said nothing. She looked like a schoolteacher, with fair hair, National Health-style glasses, a tweed skirt and brown jacket. She obviously knew she was a very, very important person as far as we were concerned.

The adults disappeared into the house and I stayed outside, too young to converse with such an eminent person. After half an hour, Fraulein Himmler came out, smiled at me and touched my face with her left hand, before being driven off with Jeffrey and Bob Row in the taxi, which had waited for her.

During her stay, Gudrun spoke at Union Movement meetings and told those present that, her father was “a great man, a very misunderstood man whose reputation had been destroyed by the Jews”. She later remembered that “I got to know many fascists there”. 

In an event that received worldwide notoriety, Proud was photographed serving his guests sekt (sparkling wine) and leading Gudrun and von Ribbentrop in a rousing chorus of Horst Wessel Lied, the Nazi Party's anthem. Gudrun showed her appreciation by presenting Sidney Proud with a photograph album depicting her father and Hitler together. This album was acquired in the 1960s by Yad Vashem, the Jewish people’s memorial museum to the victims of the Holocaust in Jerusalem.

Whilst her visit to England boosted Proud's reputation within Union Movement, it caused Gudrun, 26 at the time, “terrible embarrassment” and she lost her job as a dressmaker’s apprentice. 

She never renounced Nazi ideology and repeatedly sought to justify the actions of her father.

References:

Memoir of a Fascist Childhood: A boy in Mosley's Britain, by Trevor Grundy. Published by William Heinemann Ltd; First edition, 20 Jan. 1998. 

Stille Hilfe für braune Kameraden: Das geheime Netzwerk der Alt- und Neonazis. Ein Inside-Report, Oliver Schröm/Andrea Röpke
 

The Arrival of Waltraut Skorzeny

An excerpt from Memoir of a Fascist Childhood by Trevor Grundy

Note

Trevor Grundy's book is an account of his experiences as a young member of Mosley's post-war Union Movement. Before the war, both his parents were members of the British Union of Fascists. His father was detained during the war under regulation 18B. When Mosley founded Union Movement in 1948, they became members along with their son Trevor and their daughter Lovene.

That summer, the secretary of Union Movement, Alf Flockhart, came to the house to ask my mother if she would do him a favour. Mosley was a friend of many of the surviving Nazi leaders and some of them wanted their sons and daughters to travel to London to meet people of their own age and study English. Would the Grundys put up some of the young Germans? Naturally, my mother would be paid for doing this. She willingly agreed and gave the impression that she would accommodate a division of the Waffen SS at 40 Blandford Square if the leader requested it.

After a beer with my father, Alf Flockart said that it was time I started doing something for Mosley and Union Movement. He said he'd been told that I'd had a wonderful singing voice before my voice broke. 'If you can sing for the church, surely you can speak for Mosley,' he said.

'Speak about what?' I asked.

'About the aspirations, the hopes and dreams of young people. You're young aren't you?'

I was beginning to wonder, for my life seemed much too sober, unexciting and cold-blooded. But then our first German house guest arrived and it suddenly became very clear that I was as hot-blooded a teenager as my classmates.

Waltraut Skorzeny was the daughter of Otto 'Scarface' Skorzeny, who rescued Benito Mussolini from the partisans towards the end of the war. Skorzeny was a master of guerrilla warfare and one of Hitler's most decorated soldiers.

 Skorzeny with his daughter Waltraut in 1950, image - WW2 Gravestones

Waltraut was seventeen, a honey blonde, athletically built and very tanned. She had beautiful blue eyes, strong white teeth and a firm jaw. She had large breasts.

I'd seen dozens of girls just like Waltraut in my father's Second World War books. Captions described them as 'Germany's mothers of the future.' Many of the pictures had been taken by Hitler's favourite photographer, Leni Riefenstahl. She specialised in pictures of Waltraut-type girls throwing their bodies and right arms out in the direction of Hitler as he passed by in a car. I asked Lovene, 'Why don't we have girls like that throwing their arms out at Mosley?' She looked at me in disgust.

Waltraut's English was reasonable but it was the way she said words such as 'please', 'thank you' and 'excuse me' that so excited me. She pursed her lips and pouted like Brigitte Bardot.

She was in London to try to find the right college to prepare her for the Cambridge English exam, so she could qualify for a job as a translater. Waltraut was also studying French, Spanish, Italian and Russian. She said that one day Germany would conquer the Soviet Union and interpreters would be required.

When Waltraut arrived I was so overawed all I could think of to say was, 'You're very brown.' I said the words slowly, mesmerised by her magnificent breasts.

'You don't speak any German?' she said, hardly acknowledging my presence. 'My father owns several large companies. He is a personal friend of President Franco and I live part of the year in Madrid and part of the year in Bavaria. That's why I am brown. I also ski, swim and walk a great deal in the hills and the mountains.'

After I had walked her round Regents Park, shown her the ducks and swans, and received stares from several Jewish ladies who had seen a Waltraut or two during their days in Germany or Eastern Europe, she said to me, 'Please comb your hair. I am embarrassed to be in the middle of London with someone who is trying to look like a Hollywood actor.'

Each night I'd lie awake and think of the German Valkyrie who'd taken over my freshly decorated bedroom. 

I'd been relegated to a small, white-washed room next to my father's dark-room, but that was of no concern to a fifteen-year-old boy who found himself deeply in love. Waltraut was the best looking girl in the world and she was sleeping in my bed! I found it easy to follow The Leader's recommendations that we should love our European comrades, especially the Germans.

One evening, when my parents had gone out, Waltraut and I were left alone in my front room. My sister had lent me a long-playing record with Tchaikovsky's Italian Caprice on it. I put it on and Waltraut and I hummed the theme. At the end of the record, I tried to kiss her. She put her hand across her face and said, 'Trevor, please don't be a silly little boy. I have a very large boyfriend in Germany who is twenty two years old and he would not enjoy it if I tell him that an English Halbstarker had tried to kiss me.' I asked her what the German word meant and she said it referred to someone who was half-strong or half-grown-up.

The following week she left for Bavaria or Spain or wherever it was and I was delighted to get my room back and put my hair into a Tony Curtis again. At fifteen, it's amazing how fast you can fall out of love.

Memoir of a Fascist Childhood: A boy in Mosley's Britain, by Trevor Grundy. Published by William Heinemann Ltd; First edition, 20 Jan. 1998.

 

The Future of UKIP


When Gerard Batten inherited UKIP in April 2018, the party was on its knees. Stripped of a reason to exist by the U.K.’s vote to leave the EU, it was rapidly haemorrhaging members and heading toward bankruptcy. Only an emergency request for donations, after Batten became leader, saved it from going under. 

When Batten took over the party it had less than 18,000 members, membership is now thought to be approaching 27,000 according to senior UKIP officials.

In March 2018, UKIP was polling 1 percent  in an ICM/Guardian poll. Under Batten's leadership the party climbed to 7 percent in a poll in September.

Despite all the good work done by Batten, there are those who are unhappy with UKIP's move to the right and the appointment of Tommy Robinson as UKIP special adviser on Muslim rape gangs. A number of high profile members, including Nigel Farage, have left the party calling for Batten to be removed as leader. 

If Batten is forced out against his wishes, it's worth considering what the consequences might be for UKIP.

Most of the 9000 new members who joined the party since he became leader, joined because they supported the direction the party is now taking. If the party changes direction under a new leader, there is a risk that those new members would either resign or allow their memberships to lapse. That means UKIP could lose one third of its membership.

If Batten is removed, Tommy Robinson and his one million Facebook followers will walk away and so will UKIP's 3 youtube activists and their hundreds of thousands of followers. A vast pool of potential new members which UKIP has just started to tap into, will be lost. 

If Batten goes, the Veteran's Against Terrorism group who support both Gerard and Tommy Robinson may well decide to sever all ties with UKIP. Another group that could do the same is the "Justice for Women and Children" group. A group set up to raise awareness of Rape, Sexual Assault, Grooming and Child Abuse. One of their organisers, Sharon Binks, spoke at the UKIP conference last September in Birmingham at the invitation of Gerard Batten.
 
 
Sharon Binks - image, youtube

With the loss of this level of support, UKIP will quickly go bankrupt.

The DFLA, who organise the London Freedom marches, and have close ties with Gerard Batten, would no longer offer UKIP a platform. This has been a valuable asset for UKIP as it gives the party publicity and is a good way to recruit new members.

Under a new, less controversial leader, the media will soon lose interest in the party and UKIP will become starved of publicity.

With Batten gone, UKIP will revert to being a one issue, Brexit only party at a time when the public are starting to experience Brexit fatigue. Two years on from the referendum, the idea that UKIP can rebuild its support on a Brexit only platform is wishful thinking.

A new, more moderate leader may well decide to rewrite Gerard's manifesto and remove the policy to ban Religious Slaughter. It's known that Farage didn't support the policy and it's quite possible a new leader may feel the same. This policy is supported by the vast majority of the membership and a large percentage of the British population.

If Batten is removed and UKIP backs away from confronting the issue of Muslim rape gangs after all the publicity this has been given by the media, the lower working class who live on the council estates where the grooming gangs operate, will feel betrayed. Any hope of gaining their support will be lost forever.

With the Snowflakes back in control, UKIP will be condemned to a slow death on the fringe of British politics, starved of publicity, irrelevant and soon forgotten.

Batten maintains that Tommy Robinson represents “ordinary, decent working-class people … who were the backbone of the Brexit vote in 2016.”

According to Batten, “To get anywhere under Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system, you have to be a mass movement. Sometimes you have to take risks to do that.”

Tommy Robinson has hinted about where he sees his future. Speaking at the December 9 "Brexit Betrayal” rally, he said: “Let this be the start of a political mass movement in this country.”

As part of the emergency agreement which saw Batten take over as leader unopposed in the spring of 2018, he promised to hold another election after a year in the job. With Farage’s departure, alongside a dozen other senior figures, the party is devoid of big names to challenge Batten.
 
Batten himself has not decided whether he wants to continue leading UKIP and even said he might give up on politics entirely if Brexit is overturned.
 
“I’ll be 65 next year,” he said. “Do I really want to work seven days a week until I’m 70 years old?”



Mosley's Blackshirts: The Riot at Corporation Fields, Hull

An excerpt from Blackshirts and Roses by John Charnley

It was eventually agreed that we were to have a Mosley meeting in Hull. The local authority refused us the use of the Guildhall and the management of the Astoria Cinema pulled out of a verbal agreement following threats of violence and possible damage to the cinema.

The only alternative was an open-air meeting. I have been at Olympia, Holbeck Moor, Leeds, and Royal Mint Street, London, all of which were rough, but none was so rough and tough throughout the whole of my seven years in the pre-war movement than at Corporation Fields, Hull, in July 1936.

The trouble which developed, and the size of the opposition that had assembled there before our arrival, was absolutely beyond my comprehension. It was obvious before the meeting started that there was going to be very serious trouble. But the opposition was so vicious that it is difficult to make people who weren’t there understand and appreciate the reality.

At this meeting every type of weapon was used, and the fight went on for over an hour. It was alleged that an attempt had been made on O. M.’s life, and a bullet hole was certainly found in the windscreen of his car.

At the height of the battle, Yorkshire National Inspector, Peter Whittam yelled out at the top of his voice, “This can’t go on. Get your bloody belts off!” We did, and using them in self-defence, kept our frenzied assailants at bay.

The press later alleged that we had attacked the crowd with steel-buckled belts. We did not attack the crowd. I was in charge of that meeting. I wanted new members, and to get them I had organised that meeting so that the audience could listen to Mosley explaining our policy. How I wish I could dispel the lies that were so often told about us!

The Chief Constable eventually arrived at the meeting, and advised Mosley, Francis-Hawkins as the administrative organiser, and myself as the local organiser, to call the meeting off otherwise he would use his powers to read ‘The Riot Act.’ Mosley got down from the coal cart which we had been using as a platform and asked me to arrange for a departure from the field.

The crowd was still very hostile, and I had to try to arrange an orderly withdrawal. We formed up into a column three abreast ready to move off. It fell to me to lead it since I was in charge and had to take the visiting stewards back to the garage where their coaches were stationed.

We were completely surrounded by a howling mob literally screaming for our blood, and I was frightened. If I said otherwise I would be a liar. I was scared, and Mosley knew it. He tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Which direction do we have to go?” And I pointed the way. “Right,” he said, “start marching in that direction and I promise you, that provided you show no fear, that crowd will open up and let us through. I know that you can do it, and don’t forget that I am right behind you.” He looked at me, nodded his head and said “Now,” and I moved.

How I did it I don’t know, there were a few scuffles, and once we had to stop to re-form. We got off that field carrying our wounded and marched back to our headquarters, half a mile away. We had over twenty hospital cases for the out-patients department, but fortunately no one was kept in. The Reds, however, had over a hundred. We had given a good account of ourselves!

When we left the field the police collected the opposition’s weapons from the battle ground. They included brush staves with six-inch nails in the end, bicycle chains, lengths of ship’s steel hawser, knuckledusters, raw potatoes studded with razor blades and thick woollen stockings with broken glass in the heel and foot.

Subsequent official reports completely exonerated the Blackshirts, placing the blame fairly and squarely on the Communist opposition. You will read little or nothing of this in the “histories” and “social documentaries” written and broadcast by their supporters and apologists within the media and British Establishment.

I quote from a report made by Inspector J. Holmes (HO 144/21060 92242/20, folio 154):
“The Fascists were not to blame as nothing was said or done to provoke the crowd. They did not interfere with anyone until bricks and other missiles were thrown, and one of the party seriously injured. Several others received minor injuries.”
Another officer, Sgt. T. A. Sawdon reported (folio 160/161):
“owing to the violence of the crowd it was impossible to take anyone into custody for these assaults, as we had our work cut out to protect ourselves. At no time did I see any action on the part of the Blackshirts that was likely to provoke the crowd into the way they acted.”
The Blackshirt “seriously injured” had been hit in the face with a half-brick, and when he fell to the ground, received a second brick on the head. Another Blackshirt, B. H. Taylor from Doncaster, suffered “severe head and face injuries,” while W. A. Milligan from Sheffield sustained “serious head and facial injuries, front teeth split from edge upwards to the roots, inner pulp being damaged, crushed tooth nerves. Teeth will eventually have to be removed.” In all, 8 of the 21 Blackshirts injured had head wounds, one of them being John Charnley.

We always come back

In December 1936, Parliament passed the Public Order Act making it illegal to wear political uniforms in public which left me feeling very incensed. It was a political act, pure and simple, directed exclusively against our Movement in the hope of putting a break on its appeal.

I was most pleased to wear my uniform for the last time on a very special personal occasion. The BUF had not contested seats in the 1935 General Election but decided to choose candidates for the next, which could not be expected before 1940, and much to my surprise I was asked to stand in the Hull East Constituency. We already had a sub-branch there under the leadership of Frank Danby, a devoted and indefatigable worker and I agreed to be adopted, and we had a celebration on December 22nd at the Metropole, a large meeting room.

Mosley and other Blackshirt leaders at the Hull Metropole, December 1936 

Mosley and Director General Francis-Hawkins attended as guests and it was a very proud moment when Oswald Mosley made the after dinner announcement. I don’t remember much of my reply except the closing words. “When Mosley leads, what is there for me but follow?” I am still following him and shall continue to do so until the end of my life.

In his speech Mosley also referred to the meeting at Corporation Fields saying “Always we come back and always we win, and always in the end we achieve our objectives... as in the end the Blackshirt Movement will achieve power and save this country.”

And back he came in June to Corporation Fields, almost a year after our 1936 battle, and spoke to a police estimated crowd of 10,000. A small bunch of Reds were no more than a nuisance value and Mosley led a march from District Headquarters and back again afterwards. He promised he would be back. He always kept his promise.

Sir Oswald Mosley pictured in Hull in 1937

Reference: Blackshirts and Roses, Black House Publishing Ltd, Updated edition (30 September, 2012)


Collectable Gramophone Records of the British Union of Fascists


Released in the 1930s, the first record consists of two talks by Sir Oswald Mosley.

Side 1, Comrades in Struggle, discusses "the true Blackshirt revolutionary" and side 2, British Union, discusses the British Union policy on international finance.


The second record has two songs on it, The Marching Song (Comrades the Voices) and Britain Awake, sung by members of the British Union Male Voice Choir and Orchestra. The Marching Song is an Anglicized version of the Horst Wessel Lied.

These shellac 78 r.p.m. records usually sell for about £100 each on ebay.

They may have been released on the Decca record label as well. This advert from 1938 advertises the records as Decca records.

 

Even more desirable are the Picture Disc Record Set. 

These are 78 r.p.m. records of Mosley's Royal Albert Hall Speech, with marching songs and cheering etc.

Released in 1934, these records were made of thin printed cardboard with a durium acetate surface in which the groove was pressed. They were flexible, unbreakable, and the sound quality was reasonable, at least for 1934.

There were no catalogue numbers and they were issued in grey covers. The covers were inscribed in black - B.U.F. Official records of Albert Hall speeches, copyright Studio Sound Service Ltd, 89 Wardour Street, W1.  They were first advertised in The Fascist Week, 1934. 





Annabel Lee

Image - RandellaVortex on Facebook

The poem "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe is an example of Gothic Romanticism in that it combines elements of horror and romance. The narrator of the poem, who fell in love with Annabel Lee when they were young, has a love for her so strong that even angels are envious. It is for that reason that the narrator believes the angels caused her death. Even so, their love is strong enough that it extends beyond the grave and the narrator believes their two souls are still entwined. Every night, he dreams of Annabel Lee and sees the brightness of her eyes in the stars. Every night he lies down by her side in her tomb by the sea.

It's thought that the poem was written in remembrance of Poe's wife Virginia, who died of tuberculosis two years before its publication. Edgar Allan Poe married Virginia Clemm in Richmond, Virginia on May 16th, 1836. The marriage was unconventional in that they were first cousins, he was twice her age and she was only 13 years old when he married her.

Virginia Eliza Clemm, 1823 - 1847

Autobiographical interpretations of the poem have been used to support the theory that Virginia and Poe never consummated their marriage, as Annabel Lee was a "maiden." However, by all accounts, they adored each other to an almost obsessive degree. Poe’s one-time employer George Rex Graham wrote of their relationship: “His love for his wife was a sort of rapturous worship of the spirit of beauty.”

Virginia’s official cause of death was tuberculosis, which was called “consumption” at the time. In January of 1842, while singing and playing the piano, Clemm began to bleed from her mouth. Poe had believed it was just a ruptured blood-vessel, but it was in fact the first sign of tuberculosis. 

Even before her passing, Poe became inconsolable; his literary works, which had always drifted towards the macabre, became almost exclusively about loss and death. Unable to cope with Clemm’s illness, Poe began drinking heavily. For years, his wife’s health wavered between near death and more promising days of garden-tending and harp-playing. On January 30, 1847, Clemm died, aged 24, following 11 years of marriage to Poe.

Poe regularly visited Virginia's grave. As his friend Charles Chauncey Burr wrote, "Many times, after the death of his beloved wife, was he found at the dead hour of a winter night, sitting beside her tomb almost frozen in the snow"

Annabel Lee was the last full poem he ever completed. When Poe met his own demise in 1849, at the early age of 40, he was destitute, penniless, and most likely insane.

Poe and Clemm were reunited in death, figuratively and literally. 10 years after the erection of Poe’s Memorial in Baltimore, Maryland, Virginia’s bones were laid to rest by her husband’s side.

In 1944, the band leader Sammy Kaye recited the poem on his "Sunday Serenade" weekly radio broadcast.

The first verse of the poem reads:  

    It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
    By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
    And this maiden she lived with no other thought
    Than to love and be loved by me.


Below - From "Sunday Serenade," Sammy Kaye recites Annabel Lee.

Image - youtube