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 Oswald “Tom” Mosley

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Oswald “Tom” Mosley

  • Birth 16 Nov 1896
  • Death 3 Dec 1980
  • Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Ashes sprinkled on the gournds of his home near Paris
  • Memorial ID 7470997

British Nobility and Politician. He was born at 47 Hill Street in Mayfair in London, the eldest son of another Sir Oswald, the fifth baronet, of an old Staffordshire family. His parents separated when he was five, and he was educated at Winchester and Sandhurst. When the First World War broke out, he joined the 16th Lancers, but soon transferred to the Royal Flying Corps; however, he injured himself flying at Shoreham-on-Sea in Sussex, whilst showing off in front of his mother, and, for the rest of his life, he walked with a limp. In December 1918, he was elected to Parliament as the Conservative member for Harrow; but, two years later, he resigned from the party and sat as an Independent, because he was horrified by the Government having sent the Black and Tans into Ireland. In the same year (1920), he married Lady Cynthia Curzon, the daughter of the former Foreign Secretary and Viceroy of India. They had two sons and a daughter. He retained his seat in December 1923, but with a greatly reduced majority; and, in March 1924, he joined the Labour Party, which had just formed its first-ever Government, and was defeated narrowly at Birmingham Ladywood, by Neville Chamberlain. A General Election was held in November that year; Labour lost, but Mosley was elected at Smethwick, in his ancestral county. His father died in 1928 and Mosley inherited the baronetcy, becoming the sixth Sir Oswald. The following year, Labour won the General Election. Lady Cynthia joined her husband in the House, winning Stoke-on-Trent, and Sir Oswald was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. This is, in theory, a position which is far from onerous and is the equivalent of a Minister Without Portfolio. Mosley was given the responsibility of dealing with unemployment. At this time, he was a supporter of Keynes's theories, and he drew up a radical blueprint for dealing with the problem, proposing state intervention and a programme of public works. These suggestions were vetoed by the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, and another resignation ensued. In March 1931, Mosley left Labour and, along with Lady Cynthia and three other M.P.s, formed the New Party. This put up 24 candidates at the General Election that year, every one of whom was defeated. In view of Mosley's latter-day reputation, it must be emphasised that the New Party had nothing to do with Fascism; indeed, it had several prominent Jewish supporters, one of whom was the boxer, Ted "Kid" Lewis. In early 1932, however, Mosley visited Italy and was very impressed with Mussolini's system of government. On the 1st. October that year, he founded the British Union of Fascists. On the 16th. May the following year, Lady Cynthia died of peritonitis. At first, the B.U.F. was welcomed by some people who should have known better, such as Lord Nuffield, as something which would stop Great Britain from turning Communist. However, after Hitler came to power, the Union became far more anti-Semitic, and the meeting held in 1934 at the Kensington Olympia ended in violence, as did the marches which Mosley and his black shirts led down Cable Street and Brick Lane and other Jewish areas in London's East End. In October 1936, at a ceremony in Berlin at which Hitler was present, Mosley married Lady Diana Guinness (nee Mitford), former wife of Lord Moyne, daughter of Lord Redesdale, and one of the six famous sisters. They were to have two sons. In the same year, the B.U.F. changed its name to the British Union of Fascists and National Socialists. Mosley was opposed to British participation in the Second World War, denouncing the conflict as a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the economy. In May 1940, Sir Oswald and Lady Diana were interned under Regulation 18b. He was imprisoned, firstly at Brixton, and then at Holloway, until November 1943, when he was released on the grounds of ill-health. After the War, Mosley lived for a while in Ireland, but soon moved to France. He returned to England to form the Union Movement, but this had no success at all. Although he contested two more elections, at North Kensington in 1959 and at Shoreditch in 1966, he lost his deposit at both. In 1968, he published his memoirs, in which he claimed that he had never been an anti-Semite, although he had been an opponent of those British Jews who had wished to take the country into the War, and claimed, "I am not, never have been, and probably never will be a man of the right. My place was on the left and is now in the centre of British politics." Two decades after his death, Mosley was played by Jonathan Cake in a series on British television (Channel Four). He was travestied by P.G. Wodehouse as Roderick Spode, leader of the Black Shorts, and was the subject of Elvis Costello's song, "Less Than Zero" (1977) although many misunderstood the lyrics and thought it was about Lee Harvey Oswald. Sir Oswald Mosley died at his house, 1 Rue de Lacs, at Orsay. He was cremated in Paris and his ashes were scattered in the garden, which has now been sold and is no longer in the posession of his family.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 20 May 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7470997
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Oswald “Tom” Mosley (16 Nov 1896–3 Dec 1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7470997, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Ashes sprinkled on the gournds of his home near Paris.