Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fighting Fascists in Deptford, 1933

Lewisham Anti-Racist Action Group is currently planning a festival in August to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the anti-National Front 'Battle of Lewisham' in 1977. We will be putting more up about this soon, but for now here's a short account of some earlier local fascist-bashing in the 1930s.

On Sunday October 8th 1933, there was what The Times called ‘A clash between Communists and Fascists in Deptford Broadway’. A fascist meeting was being held and a crowd gathered to oppose them. When the anti-fascists began singing The Red Flag, fighting broke out. Several people were bound over to keep the peace at Greenwich Police Court the following week. The fascist who was charged, Geoffrey Clark (aged 22), turned up in court in a black shirt and fascist badge. He was from Westminster, unlike the two anti-fascists charged who were both from Deptford. Sydney Hickman (aged 49) a labourer from Church Street, ‘was alleged to have been one of the principal hecklers, continually shouting “Take those dirty black shirts off”’. Arthur Wright (aged 30), another Deptford labourer from Berthon Street was said to have fought off a fascist assault with a leather belt.

Source: The Times, October 10 1933


Anonymous said...

My Grandfather, Jimmy White used to take on a fascist or two around that era in Deptford and was pretty good at it according to my nan .lol. He also used to box and train with Maxi Bygraves.

Anonymous said...

My aunt Ann Bridgeman remembered going to Deptford Broadway to watch the punch ups between Mosleys Blackshirts and Kath Duncans Communists.