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retrieve as much as possible an enclave was set up at the port of Haifa through which the troops and equipment would be withdrawn.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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