I was up at this morning & went to the rifle range on the Jiftlich track. I did not do very well on the firing.
It became terrifically hot there at when ot came time for us to go. We had to walk the two miles back & I cannot
remember any two miles that so taxed our energy.
At twelve, , we had an arms inspection which was rather foolish I thought as the barrels
had by no means fully contracted to their normal size.
This evening a cinema show “They were expendable” about the American
Motor Torpedo Boats was put on in the club.
If it pays it is to be a regular thing.
Saturday, 12th April, 1947
I was on Prowler Guard today from to . Nothing untoward happened.
Graham & Reilly left this morning to attend a wireless operators
course in Jerusalem.
I packed parcel (2 films) to Aunt Daisy.
This evening I went on Road Patrol again principally to give me
something to do. Bicknell & I had
another pleasant evening & chat at the Balata Café. We received an invitation to attend a wedding
in the village tomorrow.
Sunday, 13th April, 1947 On his inspection of the station a few days ago the I.G. was
displeased with the state of the garden so all availables were asked this
morning to join in weeding the plots.We
all did a share & revealed gravel paths which I did not know existed.
Just a picture of a 1940's birthday card I found online - not one of Ron's - but couldn't resist the coincidence!
Wednesday, 9th April, 1947
This is my birthday which I already feel will be unlike any I have so
The day was very warm & for want of anything else to do I stayed
in the billet & read.
In the evening I was on road patrol with Barclay.
We walked up and down several times over the set beat then about we decided to take a coffee at Balata. We found one of the very hospitable café men
spoke English. We conversed with him on
many subjects including weddings as one was taking place in the village. He explained to us all the proceedings in an
Arab courtship & Marriage.
The lad fancies a lass puts the question to her father if he says yes
they drop the question for a couple of months then the lad calls with gifts for
the girl & they become engaged a ring is used as in England. He went on to tell us the wedding day
procedure which interested.
Thursday, 10th April, 1947
Today was very warm but as I was not called upon for duty I did not have occasion
to exert myself very much but lay beneath my mosquito free from the torments of
multitudes of flies which for all the gauze windows & doors seemed to get
into the room.
After the trial Barclay & myself wandered around the city. The New Part is quite pleasant except for
Barbed Wire everywhere. After lunch in an
Arab restaurant we met one of the three Palestinian Inspectors we had come
with. We went with him into the old city
in the Sukh. Here we paid a visit to the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, The
chapels in it are most resplendent in ornament and jewels. On the right of the place where Christ’s
Cross stood is a statue of St Mary & its ornaments are
£2,000,000. The entrance to the Holy
Sepulchre is so low anyone entering must bow low. Although still partially in ruins from 1927’s
earthquake the church which embodies 4 sects of religion is magnificent.
This morning at Jock woke me to watch Mountford.
He got up & washed and as usual dawdled about so that he had to
hurry to get to the M/T yard by 5.30.
After he had been there about a quarter of an hour he went to look for
the sergeant who unknown to him was in Lyda.
He came back to the billet in a thoughtful mood which was soon dispelled
when he was confronted by our grins and laughter.
This evening I was on a road patrol with Graham from to . We took a wog in thinking we
had a drunkard but he turned out to be the local mad man.
Wednesday, 2nd April, 1947
This morning I went to Sarona to bring back some recruits. " went
to Urban Station
It is very hot at now & I hope we soon go into K.D.[Khaki Drill] shorts & discard our battle
Thursday, 3rd April, 1947
I was on duty at seven this morning as escort to an armoured car going
to Acre to bring back the two murdered brothers whose 15
days remand has now expired.
We passed near Haifa
and saw the oil still burning sending up a 50 feet thick column of
now married, but she was only a little girl then. Three of us sat through the Arab film which
followed. This film was typical of the
Arab made, mechanical acting around a poor story.
Sunday, 30th March
This morning Mountford & I went on escort to a truck going to
Jiftlich with a T.A.C.[Temporary Additional Constable] on transfer. The
68 kilos of road is not made up so the dust curled up into the rear of the
truck covering us all with a coat of dust.
The post is about 1000’ below sea level & is therefore hot. There are no British personnel there &
the Palestinians can only stand the temperature two months.
Monday, 31st March, 1947
Today I went with Graham as escort to the P.W.D. [Police Works Department(?)] pay truck.
We paid labourers in the Jenin Sub District.
While we were there we noticed a considerable darkening of the sky.
We were later told that the Jews had blown up an oil refinery in Haifa. The
burning oil caused this cloud of smoke travelling 10 to 15 miles inland.
Tonight the rest of my room mates & I decided to play an April
Fools trick on Mountford tomorrow.
Before dinner we battoned him.
After dinner we told him he had to report for duty at 5.30 in the
morning. He believed us and booked an
early call with the Prowler.
In the morning Montford and I were called out as escort for the D.C.
but when we reached his office we found he had gone to the Urban Station &
took an escort from there, so we went to the club & played snooker there. The afternoon & evening we spent in the
The last couple of nights a hot wind has been blowing making everyone
feel muggy & making sleep difficult.
Friday, 28th March, 1947
From to I was on a road patrol outside the station. With Graham.
I did not see anybody until about when a few shepherds & cowherds passed us. We stopped and searched each one but they
were not carrying any offensive weapons or any contraband. I went to bed after breakfast and slept until
In the evening I was called out on an escort to a truck going down the
Jiftlich track to pick up a government truck with two punctures.
It was nearly dark & the deep gorge draped in shadows was an even
more majestic thing than in daytime when the excessive heat and brightness show
up the barrenness.
I was up with “the lark” this morning & reported to the P.W.D at . Myself
& another B/C & a truck with a Palestinian driver were to act as escort
to the P.W.D pay truck. We left Nablus at & went tearing over the country paying all the labourers. For each job a labourer does he receives a
card on which his payment is recorded.
He gets paid every fortnight or at the end of the job. 99 out of every 100 sign for their pay with a
red ink thumb print. For lunch we were
given chicken with a dish or Arabic bread spread with fried onions. It was very nice even though eaten with our
fingers in a field. As the Arabic
foreman said “This is how Henry VII liked
to eat chicken” he had seen the film in Cairo. I saw my
first gazelle this afternoon bounding up the mountain side. No spare rounds. We were given coffee & cigs at almost
every stop we made. We got back at , in time for dinner.
Tuesday, 25th March, 1947
A lovely day.
I was not called upon for any duties until when I went on guard.
This duty from 12 to 6 was quickly passed, I do not remember it
passing quite so quickly before.
Wednesday, 26th March, 1947
I came off guard & went to bed but I could not sleep as I felt
At we were
paid. I have saved £10 out here so far.
In the afternoon Graham & I went into Nablus & down the Sukh.