This film is part of Free

The British Fascisti

The British Fascist movement holds a 10,000-strong rally in Trafalgar Square the day before Remembrance Sunday

Non-Fiction 1924 1 mins Silent


“Red flag not wanted at Trafalgar Square” reads a headline covering the largest mass gathering of the British Fascist movement. Modelled on Benito Mussolini’s successful Italian counterpart, the British Fascisti (as they then styled themselves) was a radical nationalist party aiming to influence the Conservative Party into becoming an overtly anti-Communist movement. Topical Budget’s camera missed the conclusion, a ceremonial laying of symbolic black and white wreaths on the then-new Cenotaph.

The British Fascisti, or British Fascists from 1924 (the original name was considered too foreign) was Britain’s first explicitly fascist political party, founded by Rotha Lintorn-Orman (1895-1935), a member of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve during WWI whose fiercely anti-Communist views and admiration for Mussolini led her to seek to follow his example. But the 1924 rally may have been the British Fascisti’s high point: riven by numerous schisms and the rise of more successful fascist organisations (notably Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists), the party was dissolved a decade later.