Saturday, 12 January 2013

6th December, 1946 - In which Ron comes up against "Army Discipline" and learns a little about Palestine...

Friday, 6th December, 1946
This morning I walked around the camp and had my photograph taken in uniform by a French civilian.  When I returned to the barrack room I found that the others had collected their kit bags from the hut where they had been deposited on our arrival at camp.  I was under the erroneous impression that these kit bags were to remain in the hut until we were ready to leave the camp.  Several others with me had held this opinion and like me had not been informed otherwise by our I/C the hut as he had been instructed to tell us by the camp officer.  Consequently we did not collect our kit at the correct time.

Not one of Dad's photos
We all had to go before one of the camp officers who in typical military fashion could not listen to reason and gave us all “Fatigues” as a punishment.  I had to go to the N.A.A.F.I. kitchen to peel potatoes for an hour and a half, and the worst part of it, in the company of French and German workmen.
After this little incident everything ran smoothly again.  In the evening a batch of two thousand troops arrived at the camp from Port Said on the way home to be demobilised.  I talked with some of them about Palestine where they had been stationed.  Their opinions of that country were many and varied according to the degree of optimism or pessimism in their characters.  They were all in agreement on two points: one, that the Arabs were tolerable to a much higher degree than were the Jews; and two, that the life out there was what one made it.

We were informed that we should be sailing tomorrow and would be called early in the morning, so some of us decided an early night was in order.  Others however thought otherwise thinking a celebration was called for as this type usually do at the slightest possible provocation.  We were therefore disturbed by these and could not settle down until after midnight.

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