Thursday 28 March 2013

19th & 20th March, 1947 - Ron's first Lock Up guard duty...

Wednesday, 19th March, 1947
A fine morning.  I spent it playing draughts in the recreation room.  In the afternoon I played tennis on the hard court at the rear of our club.

My Pal and I enjoyed our far from expert play.  The only inconvenience of having a tennis court attached to the Police Station is that the Sergeant has only to put his head out of the window & you are on the job.  He nabbed us two for night guard duties in the Lock-Up.  This guard is only on such occasions as this when two brothers were being held charged with treble murder & armed robbery.  Our duty was to take the form of 4 hour shifts so that the hours of darkness were split up among the three of us.  My lot fell from 2am – 6am in the morning.
I spent the evening at the Club playing ‘snooker’ and table-tennis & listening [to] the radiogram.

Thursday, 20th March, 1947
this is an article on sir Charles Tegart who designed the Police Forts,
 subsequently known as 'Taggarts' within which Ron lived
and served during his time in Palestine

I was called at 1.30 this morning to go on duty as Guard at the Lock Up.  I had never been in a Lock Up before so it held quite a deal of interest for me.  There were eight cells holding 68 prisoners so it can be guessed some of them were very large.  There were only three small cells built to hold two prisoners each.  My wards had a cell each.  Fortunately they were quiet and slept most of the four hours.
I slept during the remainder of the morning.  I answered letters in the afternoon prior to attending an Arabic lecture at 3.

In the evening I was on Special Guard in the Lock Up.  I cannot think of anything more disconcerting that to stand guard outside a cell & have the prisoner, accused of triple murder, triple manslaughter, attempted murder etc staring out of the murky interior at every move one makes.

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