In pictures: The Siege of Sidney Street

Matilda Battersby
Wednesday 15 December 2010 13:27

An exhibition of artefacts and photographs from the notorious ‘Siege of Sidney Street,’ a gun fight between police and burglars which took place on 2nd January 1911, goes on show at the Museum of London Docklands on Saturday.

The siege, sometimes referred to as the ‘Battle of Stepney, had been preceded two weeks earlier by the Houndsditch murders, a raid on a jewellery shop which resulted in the shooting of four policemen by a gang of Latvian revolutionaries led by Peter Piatkow aka Peter the Painter.

When officers were tipped off that members of the gang and possibly even Peter himself were hiding out at 100 Sidney Street two hundred police officers cordoned the area off and the siege began.

The resulting standoff lasted six hours and was witnessed first hand by the Home Secretary William Churchill. When a fire started Churchill is thought to have refused entry to the fire brigade and the charred remains of two members of the gang were later found, although there was no sign of Peter the Painter.

The exhibition commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the incident.

Click here or on the image to preview pictures from the Siege of Sidney Street exhibition

Read more from on the subject from Andy McSmith here.

London under siege: Churchill and the anarchists, 1911 opens on 18 December 2010 and runs until April 2011 at the Museum of London Docklands, entry is free,

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in