Category Archives: 1902-1945

The Lord Mayor of Cork and the Ten Shilling Note

The death of Terence MacSwiney was an international event that took place in the most private of places. The Lord Mayor of Cork was brought into Brixton prison on 18th August 1920.  He had been on hunger strike for almost … Continue reading

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A Doodlebug Hits Brixton

  The V1 rocket was Hitler’s revenge.  Between June and September 1944 around 9,500 of these flying bombs were launched on London – some 100 a day. Their characteristic high-pitched sound led to them being dubbed ‘buzz bombs’ or ‘doodlebugs’. … Continue reading

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Baked Beans and Air Raids – Brixton during World War II

Brixton remained a remand prison during the second world war.  Among its inmates were deportees, prisoners of war, conscientious objectors and debtors. The local magistrates still inspected the prison weekly.  Their duties included monitoring general cleanliness and the quality of … Continue reading

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The Death of the Lord Mayor of Cork

An amateurish ‘blue plaque’ has recently been painted on one of the exterior walls of Brixton prison.  It is in memory of Terence MacSwiney, whose death was one of the most drawn-out but dramatic events in the building’s history. In … Continue reading

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Never Knowingly Undersold – How John Lewis Ended Up in HMP Brixton

John Lewis is an institution almost as old as Brixton prison – celebrating its 150th birthday this year.  It has associations with comfort and luxury – but its eponymous founder once spent three weeks in the less salubrious surroundings of … Continue reading

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