Monday, 29 July 2013

31st May - 3rd June, 1947 - Ron and comrades move to Tubas and Ron is put i/c the catering...

Saturday, 31st May, 1947
Convoy again today. 
The weather is very hot still.

Sunday, 1st June, 1947
At eight this morning Ryan & myself collected two prisoners from the lock-up & took all the kit down into the M.T. yard ready for our departure to Tubas.  We left Nablus in the afternoon perched on top of a lorry laden with everything from Beds to Basins.  Inspector Coles & Sgt Gregory & a DDT B/C came with us.  We wetted(?) the station & put our kit straight before going to bed.

Monday, 2nd June, 1947

The cook brought around tea for us at 5 o’clock this morning.
The station is spotless so we had to make the British Section, which has been shut up for two years, just as clean.

It meant a great deal of water carrying & scrubbing but by the evening most of it was done.
Tubas Police Station

This evening I was appointed mess Caterer.

I think when we get settled down the station could be made ideal.

Tuesday, 3rd June, 1947
Up at 5 o’clock this morning again.  The mornings and evenings are quite cool & in the daytime our billet is very cool but outside the station it is very hot.

Sgt Blanks introduced me to the investigation Branch this morning.  It will be a while before I master the work but in time I hope to.

As a corollary I hope to improve my Arabic.

The Spinney’s manager arrived today with a few supplies so we wetted ourselves this evening.
Modern Tubas - well, 2006

Sunday, 28 July 2013

29th & 30th May, 1947 - Ron gets some welcome news...

Thursday, 29th May, 1947
I went as I.C. the Convoy today.  Even though sitting beside the driver in comparative comfort the heat was terrific.

After the duty we all went swimming & when we came back I joined a road check.
I want to get in a few contraventions so that I can go to court & get the court procedure off better.

Friday, 30th May, 1947
I was on convoy again today.

I heard on returning to the station that I have been posted as B/C. “I” at Tubas Police Post.  4 mounted and2 foot police are also going with me with Sergeant Blanks and Station Sergeant.

This came as a very pleasant surprise & I hope I shall be able to carry out the new duties I shall encounter.

I went to the cinema this evening to see “The Great Mr Ziegfield.”   It was very good.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

27th & 28th May, 1947 - Ron's on a charge...!

Tuesday, 27th May, 1947
Sergeant "Blanks"
Sergeant Blanks came over this morning to tell us Inspector Pattle wanted to see the 5 people on a charge.

We trooped over & hung about in the station for about half an hour, then we were called upon.  I was the first.
As is the fashion I believe the accused is marched in without headdress or arms.  I came to a smart halt before the station Officer’s desk.  He said “ you are charge with leaving your rifle unattended in your locker”  “Yes, sir.”  “Do you wish to be tried by me?”  “Yes, sir.”  “Have you any excuse?”  I offered as reason my going to the wash room to fulfil its construction.  He said this was reason but no excuse.  Then followed a brief lecture through which I swear he was smiling, then he told me he did not want to spoil my record on such a petty charge.  The same happened to the others.

Wednesday, 28th May, 1947
This morning I relieved Barclay on the Gate Guard from 9am to 12am as he had to go to court.

Swimming occupied the afternoon.  I read in the very hot barrack room this evening.  My book is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Wilde.

Inspector Pattel wanted me to take over the job of Sports Groundsman for the pending Sports meeting.    I however declined the offer as another chap I know wanted it more than I did.

This fellow was on Convoy duties so I took his place.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

24th - 26th May, 1947 - Chatting with the locals, a crash, a court case and Haifa...

Saturday, 24th May, 1947
This is my last day on Gate Guards.  I have talked a great deal with the various T.A.C.s [1] on with me & have both increased my knowledge of the language & the country.

Sunday, 25th May, 1947
I was called on this afternoon to escort Mr Proud to Tulkarm and beyond to the scene of a road accident of the day before involving a police truck & an army truck.  The wreck of the 15cwt was at Lajjun.  The engine and rear axle were all right the rest was not.  The driver was scratch less, the sergeant beside him had two ribs and an arm broken & of the four in the back 1 broken arm & a cut eye.

[1]TACs were Temporary Additional Constables drawn largely, but not exclusively from the Jewish community.

Monday, 26th May, 1947
I was up at 4 o’clock this morning with B.C. Ryan to go as escort to the military camp at Haifa.  We left Nablus at 5am.  We took two mounted police, the witnesses in the case, to the court and then went to Acre to collect the two brothers.  We took them to court where they both pleaded guilty.
Of course the judge was not interested in what they had done with the weapons so after hearing the “learned council” he sent them each to prison for 9 months.  They were both very happy about it.

The examining Magistrate’s court for their civil charges will be set up on Thursday.

After the court we spent 3 hours walking around Haifa.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

20th - 23rd, May 1947 - Only one comfort for Ron in this hot weather...

Tuesday, 20th May, 1947
You too can have a body like this... if you're not careful
This afternoon I went to our tank for a dip.  It was very refreshing.

In this hot climate swimming is the only occupation I like.  The days are terrificially hot and the nights very cold.

Wednesday, 21st May, 1947
Night Gates & Swimming.

Thursday, 22nd May, 1947
Swimming after sleeping off the effects of night shift.

Friday, 23rd May, 1947
Gate Guard and swimming again filled my day.

17th -19th May, 1947 - Ron's not enjoying the hot weather or the flies

Saturday, 17th May, 1947
I was not called on for duty by the S.P. today so I had to spend the time reading in the recreation room.

It was very hot today as it has been for the last two days as a result of the Kamseen wind.
Khamsin Wind, carrying sand and smothering the landscape...
Special thanks to Jim Wright for permission to use this phorotgraph.

Sunday, 18th May, 1947
Hot and stuffy this morning I was awakened not by a sergeant shouting H.O.P. or an alarm bell but by the damned flies crawling over my face.  I did not think it necessary to put up my net before.
“Bull shit” was the order of the day before the Quarterly inspection.  As I am on gate guard from 6pm – 9pm & 12 midnight to 3am, I hope to get off it.

Monday, 19th May, 1947
On the Gate Guards my duty is to take up my position in the Sanger at the gate to inspect any vehicles arriving at the gate before letting them enter or if civilian refusing them entry.
The constant watch carried out by the T.A.C. should also be carried out by the B.C. but it is frequently interrupted with the usage of an improvised seat in the Sanger.

The duty is rather dull & the rest of the day one feels very tired as owing to the heat it is almost impossible to sleep.

Monday, 8 July 2013

13th - 16th May, 1947 - More escorts, some rough cricket and a trip to the flicks...

Wednesday, 14th May, 1947
Today the S.P. & I went to Tulkarm & Jenin & back to Nablus by lunch time.  After lunch I watched the cricket match “on the ménage before the Police Station.”

Eric Carter played but the pitch was in so bad a condition the play was very poor.

Thursday, 15th May, 1947
I was not called upon for duty until 7pm to escort the SP to a house in the Ballad.  I returned to collect him at 9.15pm & got a puncture in the tyre so we had to change the wheel.

Friday, 16th May, 1947
Tulkarm & Camp 22 again occupied out time this morning but I was free of duty from 2pm.

In the evening I went to a cinema show in the club.  The film starred Fred Astaire in “Yolanda & the Thief”
The story was very peculiar but we all enjoyed it.

Monday, 1 July 2013

12th &13th May, 1947 - Ron's escort duties continue and a local has his car searched...

Monday, 12th May, 1947
This morning I went with the SP to Tulkarm & from there to Camp 22 to see the Brigadier.  From there we went to Jenin where I had lunch while I waited.

The escort duty is not too bad except when I am called upon to wait for any length of time.

I am supposed to report in the morning at 7.30 but he is never there until 8.30.  I then have to wait in the recreation room until he requires me.  This may be half an hour or all day.

When we arrive at our destination I have to wait by the car until he returns.
The waiting is the worse part of the job.

Tuesday, 13th May 1947
This morning I was called upon to escort Mr Proud the D.S.P.[1] to Tulkarm.
Mr Proud is a very efficient policeman & a strict disciplinarian.  On the latter point everyone thinks he goes too far but on the other hand he is admired for his first quality.

He made the trip very interesting by explaining all manner of things we passed from plants to ruins.

We lunched “native” in Jenin, then returned to Nablus.  In the later afternoon the S.P. called me out to go to Tulkarm.  On the way we met a super streamline car, an unusual sight on this track.  It was a Transjordan car.  The S.P. questioned the driver as to where he had been: “Jiftlich” What was he doing there?  Lunching.  Who with?  He did not know so we searched the car & found £200 worth of artificial silk, contraband.

[1]I have also found a reference to District Superintendent Proud in the following first hand account of the end of the mandate, by Howard Mansfield, a contemporary of Ron's.  Mansfield was also stationed at Nablus but I haven't yet managed to link the two of them directly...

"It was not possible for the British army and all its equipment to leave the country in the short time before the end of the mandate, and so to retrieve as much as possible an enclave was set up at the port of Haifa through which the troops and equipment would be withdrawn. Volunteers were called for from the Palestine Police to stay on after the end of the mandate to provide traffic control and security, and I volunteered to stay. Even at that, a large quantity of warlike stores was simply disposed of by driving it over a cliff into the sea. A month before the mandate ended, we received word that we were to withdraw from Jerusalem to Haifa. The briefing was given by the normally taciturn Superintendent, Ian Proud, who was not given to exaggeration. This time his briefing was nothing short of dramatic: the Jews were already taking action to secure the main road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, even before the partition date, and roadblocks had been set up by both Jews and Arabs on the route we would be taking. We would be travelling in the usual soft-skinned 3-ton trucks but there would be an armoured car escort and we must be prepared to fight our way through...."

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