Mugshot of Benito Mussolini

Mugshot of Benito Mussolini, 1903

Young Benito Mussolini mugshot from when he was arrested by Swiss police for supporting a violent general strike in 1903. In June 1902, in an attempt to avoid conscription, Mussolini moved to Switzerland and became attached to a group of Italian socialists. He worked as a bricklayer, dabbled in journalism and joined a trade union. His agitation and calls for civil unrest got him arrested and deported back to Italy, officially he was arrested for lack of identification papers. In 1905, he returned to Italy for good and despite having previously avoided conscription, now voluntarily joined the Italian army, serving for two years.

Benito Mussolini was born on July 29th 1883 near Predappio, in north-east Italy. His father, Alessandro, was a blacksmith while his mother, Rosa, was a school teacher. Mussolini had a younger brother and younger sister. Despite having two incomes coming in to the house, the Mussolini’s were poor, as were many families in Italy at this time.