An event with

Andrew Whitehead

A Devilish Kind of Courage : Anarchists, Aliens and the Siege of Sidney Street

Thursday 18th April 2024 at 6:30pm

Owl Bookshop

This event has passed

Join us at the Owl Bookshop in Kentish Town to celebrate the launch of local author Andrew Whitehead’s new book about the siege of Sidney Street. Entry is free but space is limited so please book a ticket or call us at the shop to reserve a place.


On 3 January 1911, in the heart of London’s mainly Jewish East End, police discovered Latvian revolutionaries wanted for the murder of three officers. A six-hour gunfight ensued, with a fire consuming the besieged building. Winston Churchill, then Home Secretary, arrived at the scene and ordered the blaze not to be extinguished.

Afterwards two charred bodies were found; the elusive Peter the Painter, believed to have been the ringleader, remained at large. This gripping episode, known as the ‘Siege of Sidney Street’, was a nationwide sensation and ignited fierce debates on immigration to Britain, political extremism and law enforcement. This book unravels the full story of the siege, the Latvian émigrés and their ties to the vibrant anarchist movement in London’s East End.

Event Details

This event took place on Thursday 18th April 2024 at Owl Bookshop

Lost property
If you think you may have left something behind while attending the event, please contact us on the number below:

Owl Bookshop
020 7485 7793

Venue address:

Owl Bookshop
207-209 Kentish Town Road,
Kentish Town,
London NW5 2JU

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