Ridley Road plaque honours The 43 Group’s anti-Fascist triumph

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Ridley Road plaque honours The 43 Group’s anti-Fascist triumph

A lasting testament to the first Jewish group to physically fight fascists in Britain

Ridley-Road-Plaque-Honouring-The-43-Group-Anti-Fascist-Triumph. Pic: AJEX
Ridley-Road-Plaque-Honouring-The-43-Group-Anti-Fascist-Triumph. Pic: AJEX

A historical plaque was unveiled this month at the corner of Ridley Road and Kingsland near Dalston Junction in tribute to the courageous efforts of the 43 Group in confronting the resurgence of fascism in post-World War II Britain.

The plaque was organised by Martin Sugarman, archivist of The Jewish Military Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX) and generously funded by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation UK Branch.

It pays tribute to the courageous efforts of the 43 Group in confronting the resurgence of fascism in post-World War II Britain.

In 1946, amidst growing concerns over the re-emergence of fascist ideology, 43 Jewish veterans and their non-Jewish allies gathered in London.

Organising themselves out of a nondescript building on Panton Street, the 43 Group emerged as a formidable force, rapidly expanding in numbers as they rallied to confront Sir Oswald Mosley and his Union Movement. Mosley, a notorious figure associated with far-right politics, was known for his confrontational and violent tactics.

The 43 Group, dedicated to upholding principles of justice and equality, actively disrupted Mosley’s meetings and rallies, particularly in the Dalston – Ridley Road area of Hackney, a historically Jewish community.

The physical confrontations culminated in the defeat of Mosley and his followers by 1950, marking a significant victory against fascism and anti-Semitism in Britain.


Sugarman was a teenager at the Ridley Road fight in 1962.  He recounted, “we were throwing pennies at the Fascists as they tried to speak and my older brother and I– just as my dad had been at (The Battle of) Cable Street in 1936.

“He ironically warned us NOT to go to Ridley Road – but we did anyway and bunked off school. As Mosley arrived, we all rushed him and his platform and he was taken away by his Blackshirt guards to his limousine and never again returned. Soon after he left the UK”.

The plaque, strategically placed high on the corner building’s side serves as a lasting testament to the resilience of those who stood against hatred and intolerance. The location itself holds historical significance, as Ridley Road was once known as “Yiddley Road” by fascists due to its dense Jewish population before World War II.

National Chair of AJEX Dan Fox said: “The plaque honours the courage of those who, against the backdrop of post-war uncertainty, confronted the menace of fascism on Ridley Road. The 43 Group’s unwavering commitment to justice and unity stands as a beacon of inspiration. May this plaque remind us of our shared responsibility to safeguard the values that triumphed on these streets.”

Jerry Klinger of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation U.K Branch said: “Over the decades, Hackney and the Dalston – Ridley Road area had been heavily Jewish. At Ridley Road, the Jews won.  Great Britain won.  The new immigrants had won. Time decays memory. Complacency replaces vigilance”.

This commemorative plaque serves as a reminder that, through collective resistance, communities can overcome the shadows of the past.

Over the past 25 years Sugarman has made it his mission to ensure that any Jewish war grave errors that are discovered or reported are corrected.

To date he has corrected 350 graves, listed casualties as Jews on memorials (which have no religion specified) and in addition organised over 20 memorial plaques that have been placed in iconic locations.

For more information or to report a war grave error, please contact AJEX here.

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