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BRITISH FASCISM – Girl Guides from Hell, Fascist Vets, and the Blackshirt Baronet.


The early incarnations of British fascism had a decidedly upper-class flavour and attracted some extremely odd-ball characters. The first UK group to follow Mussolini’s lead was the succinctly named British Fascisti, founded in 1923 by a Miss Rotha Lintorn-Orman. This Field Marshall’s granddaughter (nicknamed the “Man-woman” by her detractors) combined a lifelong penchant for uniforms with a dread of all things left-wing (especially the growing popularity of the British Labour Party). She placed an ad in a right-wing journal calling for “Anti-Communists” and before long—with the help of a £50,000 donation from her mother—she claimed to have attracted over 150,000 members to her British Fascisti party (a figure that’s probably wildly exaggerated).

There was a large female contingent to the organization—even in the paramilitary wing, where the women trained alongside the men, learning martial arts and survival techniques (think Girl Guides from Hell). Their duties included stewarding at Conservative Party meetings, patrolling the streets in vigilante groups, and lending a bit of muscle to the anti-union contingent during the General Strike of 1926.

A Pathé News clip of Miss Rotha Lintorn-Orman (in one of a vast collection of uniforms) addressing her ‘Girl Guides from Hell’ - 1925

However, by the late 1920s support for the British Fascisti was starting to dwindle and Lintorn-Orman subsequently turned to drink and drugs for solace, with her mother complaining of the ‘drunken orgies and undesirable practices’ that took place at her London residence.

In the next post we’ll meet the fascist vet and a pipe-smoking, cross-dressing female member of the National Fascisti.

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