While largely confined to New South Wales and indeed to the city of Sydney, the New Guard was Australia’s most successful manifestation of inter-war fascism. Even though the New Guard has received its fair share of historical investigation, this article sheds new light on both the movement’s social profile and the reasons for its ultimate decline by the mid-1930s. First, the article examines whether Eric Campbell successfully attracted a working-class following to the New Guard. This directly affected the movement’s fortunes in the street fights of 1931 and 1932. Second, after shedding fresh light on the Workers Defence Corps and other left-wing militias, the article interrogates anti-fascist memory of the Great Depression. In this respect the article revises the prevailing view that opposition from the labour movement contributed to the New Guard’s ultimate demise.