Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Siege of Sidney Street

Sometime in December 1910 three policemen were shot dead by rifle fire during the investigation of a burglary. Some have suggested the burglars were anarchists.  By January 1911 two suspects were holed up in 100 Sidney Street, and surrounded by unarmed policemen.  Home Secretary Winston Churchill ordered in military units from the Scots Guards, and made the terrible mistake of himself going down to Sidney Street so that he could both watch and interfere and generally make a fool of himself. 

 Churchill's secretary, reprimanded him for leaving the Office of the Home Secretary, thus opening himself up to criticism from every quarter including the popular press and songsters everywhere. And in all the excitement, Churchill, in his reply to his secretary, forgot to disguise his lisp. "Now Charlth, don't be croth.  It wath thuch fun." 100 Sidney Street gutted by fire, the two suspects and one fireman were dead.  And though I have not fully checked to make certain, I do not believe the Scots Guards ever considered  "The Siege of Sidney Street"  a battle honor.

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