This film is part of Free
British Union of Fascists March October 3rd 1937
Led by Oswald Mosley, Britain’s Fascists march through south London
A year after the Battle of Cable Street, Oswald Mosley’s Fascists are again out in force, seeking to claim the streets of London for their own. Ostensibly marking five years of the British Union of Fascists, the march provocatively took place a year, almost to the day, after the Cable Street clashes (those were 4th October; this is 3rd October) and again ended in confrontation. This footage was shot earlier in the day.
There are no Blackshirts here - uniformed marching was banned earlier in 1937 - but the sheer size of the march is disturbing. So is the unsettling mixture of people - many grimacing, menacing young men but also many women, older men and even children who would seem utterly ordinary in another context devoid of the paraphernalia and salutes. As indicated by the opening title, these are rushes, i.e. unedited camera material - almost certainly professionally shot, probably by one of the newsreel companies. Norman’s Film Service was a footage library that seems to have acquired discarded footage from labs or other sources.