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British Union of Fascists

Article about: Would appreciate thoughts on the authenticity of this British Union of Fascists pin-back badge? These are unfamiliar territory for me so any information will be gratefully received.

  1. #51

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Quote by EddyR;
    Thanks guys I'm learning at lot.RE the piece from the Fascist Bulletin dated March 1925, I've looked at the web site of Mircoform the company which sells CD's (or used to, you now have to buy a licence) of some of the publications held by the British Newspaper Library. I note they are advertising the Fascist Bulletin (The Bulletin) from June 1925, so I assume the newspaper library haven't got earlier copies. Incidentally, the publication isn't mine and is in a private collection.Sorry I seem to be going off at a tangent, I'm just looking through my memory sticks and finding stuff I saved years ago.Firstly a stewards ticket for the Earls Court Rally, and a letter from the BUF Trust.
    Eddy, I checked the British Library newspaper catalogue, which supports your surmise that it doesn't have the earliest copies of the BF paper. However, Copac National, Academic and Specialist Library Catalogue, which searches most of the main academic libraries and the BL, shows that it is in the Bodleian at Oxford. I don't own all of the things that I have shown in this thread, they have often been things that I have had access to for research or for other reasons. I love the digital camera as a research tool as it means you can have a big archive at your fingertips whilst the rare or unique and irreplaceable originals are kept safe for posterity in archival conditions.

    I especially like that steward’s pass – note the stern injunction against wearing any find of uniform, including a normal shirt in black ‘the undress Blackshirt’. My understanding is that even after the Public Order Act many members got away with wearing a black shirt with their jacket and tie. Mosley was shown wearing a shirt like this. However, I guess that on this occasion BU wanted to avoid any hint of trouble with the Police. Returning to the black shirts as a garment, once they were no longer available from Abbey Supplies, the BU company which issued uniforms etc, they were hard to get – inevitably the demand for such shirts among the normal population was quite limited. In response, members sometimes used to dye an ordinary shirt.

    I will have a look on my hard drive and other records for some other interesting things to post. If anyone has any suggestions of what they would be interested it seeing just say – I might have it!


  2. #52

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Super interesting info and pics in this thread - thanks to those who contributed so far.
    Id never have thought that there at that time would be a lack of black shirts, but it goes without saying, that a lack of demand will have an impact on the supply.
    So off to the vat for the dyed-in-the-wool Blackshirts (sooooorry for the pun! I couldnt help myself)

  3. #53

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Thoroughly enjoyed this informative thread.

    Although primarily covering UM, Jeffrey Hamm´s papers are housed at Birmingham University.

  4. #54

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Here we have an especially fascinating fascist item - a menu card for the 4th annual dinner of the Oxford University National Socialist Club, held in February 1939 and signed by the guest of honour, Sir Oswald Mosley. Both Oxford and Cambridge had lively fascist clubs and there were smaller outposts in some of the other British universities. University of London had a similarly active group but it seems to have been wrecked when William Joyce broke with BU in 1937. Joyce had studied for a degree part-time at Birkbeck College, part of the University of London in the 1920s and was sometimes referred to as 'Professor Joyce'. Possibly because he had a degree and had worked as a tutor it was Joyce that wrote the BUF's education policy pamphlet. As colleagues will know, he was later notorious for his propaganda broadcasts from Germany and known as 'Lord Haw Haw'.

    Returning to the OUNSC menu card, the reverse is significant for showing some of the interesting and notable people who supported British Union. These included Major General JFC 'Boney' Fuller CB CBE DSO, who was a fine military historian and probably Britain's leading theorist of armoured warfare between the wars. Also notable is Sir Alliot Verdon-Roe (misspelled in the original), who is credited with being the first Britain to fly and was the man behind the AVRO aircraft company. Another guest speaker was Francis Yeats-Brown, whose memoirs of his time as an officer in the Bengal Lancers was a big seller that became a Hollywood film.


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  5. #55

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    I agree Philip, the speakers list on the menu card is fascinating! Thank you for posting

    I had not heard of the Australian New Guard before.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  6. #56

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Something I've never seen Philip, I've seen the earlier versions of the menu cards for the years 1934 and 1936, but nothing as late as this. Interesting names mentioned including the man from the MI5 P.G.Taylor. I didn't know that William Joyce wrecked the BU student group at the University of London, although I believe the NSL had student group of its own.

    Re Jeffrey Hamm papers being housed at Birmingham University, I guess this is what was left in their Tooting office when it was closed down. I know the Mosley family papers are there.

    Thanks also for the info on the IWM armband, I've always wondered about it, as it seemed so poor quality.

  7. #57

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Here are some more bits, some of the pictures are not too clear I'm afraid. I forgot having a photo of this 1938 menu !

    The Australian New Guard I don't think amounted to much, I think I read that it had sister organisations in other Commonwealth countries. Others might know more.
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  8. #58

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    In case anyone is tempted to buy one of these so-called BUF armbands on Ebay, I understand they are fake !!!

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  9. #59

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    Yes, as Eddy says, these should be deemed fake. What I know of the origins of these makes me quite confident that they are not originals.

    Besides this knowledge of their provenance, it might also be observed how incredibly clean they are for items more than seventy years old. I have an original which also differs significantly from this item by being elasticated at the back - I don't know if any of the original brassards were made with press studs.

    The original source of these fake brassards also produced a replica of the famous BUF 'fencing jacket' style black shirt. I'm afraid that these are pretty much indistinguishable from the original - so if anyone is ever contemplating buying such a shirt they need to be VERY careful, especially as these are rare and go for a lot of money.


  10. #60

    Default Re: British Union of Fascists badge?

    I've just noticed this on the eBay 'BUF' armband advert. Not only is the item fake, but it seems they have created a fake provenance
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