Tuesday, 2 April 2013

24th - 26th March, 1947 - Pay roll escort duty, Arabic lunch, a gazelle and Ron's first impressions of the Sukh...

Monday, 24th March, 1947
I was up with “the lark” this morning & reported to the P.W.D at 7.30am.  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 9.30am & 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 6.30pm, in time for dinner.

Tuesday, 25th March, 1947
A lovely day.

I was not called upon for any duties until midnight 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 sweaty.

At 10am we were paid.  I have saved £10 out here so far.

In the afternoon Graham & I went into Nablus & down the Sukh.

Nablus Sukh then...

Ron wrote on the reverse of this picture:

"April. 1947.  
One of the main roads
 in the Sukh.  Nablus.  
Note the crowded 
shop space & the 
sacking hung up to 
give shade.  
This picture cannot unfortunately convey 
the true amount of 
filth & the smell."

...and now

A corner of the Sukh Nablus
- April 1947

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