London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......

My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London


The Battle of Cable Street 4th October 1936 remembered

Battle of Cable St mural, Cable StPlaque commemorating the Battle of Cable Street, Dock Street junction with Cable StreetMy father was a participant against (obviously) the Fascists: his name was Isaac (Phil) Finklestein. He and his brother Alfred were members of the "gang" of young Jewish men who called themselves the Aldgate Boys, which combated - literally - anti-Semitic actions and individuals in the East End and protected many Jews and their houses from attacks. My father was also a local boxing champion who fought under the name of Phil Clay, displayed the Star of David on his shorts, and had a lot of success in stifling the anti-Semitic slogans and cat-calls which dominated East End and other London areas' Boxing events.  One 'juicy' bit of information I recall was how on the day of the Battle of Cable Street the police were 'neutralised' by the "gang". In order to neutralise the mounted and foot-police who were protecting the Sir Oswald Mosley's Fascist marchers, the Aldgate Boys brought barrels of glass marbles and scattered them in front of the police horses as well as before and on the marchers. Not only was this done in the street itself but also marbles were emptied out from residents' windows along the route. Unable to maintain their footholds, both horses, police and marchers were for a short while out of action which allowed the 'gang" to enter the march's ranks and beat up the marchers.....chaos ensued..... and the march disrupted.

Dr Harold Fenton, November 2005

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