Ref: MS 338
Title: Peroni Scrapbooks
Scope: Two scrapbooks compiled by Douglas Peroni, an active member of the British Union of Fascists, in 1935-1938 and 1949-1950.
Extent: 1 box
Name of creators: Douglas Peroni
Administrative / biographical history
The scrapbooks were placed on permanent deposit in the University of Sheffield Library by Mr. Richard Peroni, son of Douglas Peroni. The first was compiled between 1935 and 1938 and comprises mainly news cuttings about Oswald Mosley and Fascist activities in the London area; the second dates from 1949 to 1950 and consists principally of news cuttings documenting the post-war activities of Mosley and his supporters. Also included is a remand card for Douglas Peroni´s internment under Defence Regulation 18B in 1940, and a telegram to Peroni from Oswald Mosley dated May 1949.
Douglas Peroni was an active member of the British Union of Fascists from the middle of the 1930s until the early 1950s. During the 1930s, Peroni was treasurer of the Hampstead branch of the BUF, and during World War II, he was detained, along with many other supporters of Mosley, in Brixton and the Isle of Man under Defence Regulation 18B. After the war, like many of Mosley´s supporters, he remained active, and ran the Hampstead Literary Society, intended as the nucleus of a future party branch. At that time, Peroni was working as an accounts supervisor with a firm of London bookmakers. In February 1948, Mosley announced the formation of the Union Movement, and the Hampstead Literary Society reconstituted itself as the Hampstead branch of the UM, meetings of which were regularly disrupted by members of anti-fascist groups. Peroni stood in several local council elections in Hampstead (London), but generally support for fascism was negligible (in 1949, Peroni stood in Hampstead´s town ward and polled a derisory 81 votes out of the 24,799 cast). Peroni stated that the Hampstead branch was "going ahead by leaps and bounds" and claimed "the record for street sales" of the Union, but his wife´s opinion was that he had to go out "selling papers in person five nights a week otherwise the others don´t turn out". In the 1950s, it became apparent that the UM was a spent force, particularly when Mosley moved to Ireland in 1951. After further poor showings at elections, Peroni resigned, and the local UM branch closed.
Douglas Peroni died in 1987.
(Notes compiled partly from " `A quite natural and moderate defensive feeling´? The 1945 Hampstead `anti-alien´ petition" by Graham D. Macklin in Patterns of Prejudice, 37(3), 2003)
- Related collections: John Beckett Collection; Blackshirts in Kingston Project; British Union Collection; Cooper Collection; Fascism in Great Britain Collection; Joyce Papers; Robert Saunders Papers
- Source: By deposit in March 2005
- System of arrangement: As received
- Subjects: Fascism – Great Britain
- Names: Peroni, Douglas (1918?-1987); British Union of Fascists; Mosley, Sir, Oswald (1896-1980); Union Movement
- Conditions of access: Available to all researchers, by appointment
- Restrictions: None
- Copyright: According to document
- Finding aids: Listed