Monday, 30 September 2013

3rd - 7th July, 1947 - One or two real cases for Ron to tackle...

Thursday, 3rd July, 1947
Sargeant Blanks took Ryan out for a Patrol this morning they went into unfrequented land towards Yasid village.  Up in the hills they found a small field of tobacco growing.  This illegal practice is not common so made a nice find for our gallants.  They may even bring in a small reward from the meagre customs.

Insert: small double negative of owl and person holding owl.

 [I've no idea why this was inserted into the diary at this point... Maybe Dad just wanted to keep it safe - Don't know who it's of either.] 

Friday, 4th July, 1947
My biggest case yet was reported this morning.

6 armed men attacked the two complainants who were coming from Trans Jordan with two horses laden with contraband.  The robbers took the horses & goods & made off with them.  We have caught one but not found the others yet.

Saturday, 5th July, 1947
I wrote up yesterday’s case today.
In a big station it is imperative to finish off a case file not let it drift for a day as is possible in a seven case a month station.

Sunday, 6th July, 1947
On the whole there has been plenty of work to occupy me during this last week.

This evening McShannon, Ryan, Blanks & I went on ambush patrol.  We just missed 5 contraband laden horses as the party had an advance guard who was challenged before it was realised a larger party followed.

Monday, 7th July, 1947
The real summer is here I should judge by the increased heat of late.  I perspire almost continuously.

Friday, 27 September 2013

28th June - 2nd July, 1947 - Ron's swotting eventually pays dividends.

Saturday, 28th June, 1947

I went to the office and finished the two case files this morning.

This afternoon Ryan, McShannon and I went for another of our walks.

In the evening we played cards to pass the time.

Sunday, 29th June, 1947
We were paid today & Inspector Coles told me I may shortly be transferred back to Nablus as B/C “I” as there is not enough work for me to gain experience on.

Monday, 30th June, 1947
I went with Ryan to Nablus today.  Nothing particular in view just took some snaps in to be developed.

Tuesday, 1st July, 1947
Plenty of swotting to be done today.  I realise only too well how weak my Arabic is.

I can get my meaning over to the Arabs but it must be pretty awful sounding

Wednesday, 2nd July, 1947
After a great deal of mental exertion the day of the Colloquial Arabic Exam has arrived.

Myself , Ryan and McShannon took the exam which was so easy we all walked through it.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

25th - 27th June, 1947 - Ron has dealings with daggers...

Wednesday,25th June, 1947
Nothing outstanding today just one or two cases to be written off.

The A.S.P. “destroyed” two valueless court exhibits today.  One for P/Sgt & one for Sgt Blanks.  Daggers used in a murder case. [1]

Thursday, 26th June, 1947
This morning I spent in the office in the afternoon I went for a walk with Ryan.  We went down the Waddi Ein Faria and found it to be some of the most fruitful country I have met.  Pomegranates, bananas, apples, plums etc are all coming into season now.

Friday, 27th June, 1947
From midnight to 6am this morning Ryan, McShannon & I went for a semi Patrol- Walk.  We only stopped one truck which was carrying cattle.  No pedestrians were met until 5am we searched one or two & found one with a dagger.  A paltry offence but we took it in to please Sargeant.  We later searched a bus and took another dagger misdemeanour.

We went to bed and I got up at lunchtime after which meal I went to the office and started preparing the case files for the two offences of this morning.

[1] These were two shibriya daggers.  Ron's inverted commas around the word "destroyed" indicate that Ron actually kept them and brought them home.  They lived wrapped in cloths in his treasure box and he would occasionally take them out and show us the "blood stains".  I think now that these stains were probably oxidation of the blade rather than blood but as children we were horrified and fascinated in equal measure!

Click here or here for more details on ornamental shibriya daggers.

Monday, 23 September 2013

21st - 24th June, 1947 - Ron gets a chill and then samples local hospitality

Saturday, 21st June, 1947
I woke early this morning & felt very ill.  For the following two hours I was continuously running to the bath room and being violently sick.  Diarrhoea
 also came on me.  I spent the day in bed on the Sargeant’s instruction.  I ate nothing all day & I felt much better in the evening & slept soundly in the night.
I put it down to reading for half an hour after return from patrol last night and lying on my bed with very little clothing on.

Sunday, 22nd June, 1947
I felt much better today so resumed my duties which as usual are very few.

Monday, 23rd June, 1947
I went to the office this morning but as there was very little to do I swotted a bit of badly needed Arabic.

I have learnt quite a deal of new Arabic but I am rather afraid it will not be enough for the exam next week. 

Tuesday, 24th June, 1947
Ryan and I went out for a walk this afternoon – we visited to Arab homes upon their invitation of “Fodul” as we passed.

They are very hospitable people these Arabs.  One family temporarily living in tents on land away from their village saw us coming a long way off & by the time we reached them they had brought mattresses to a shaded spot under a tree & had begun to brew coffee.  They consider it very bad if you refuse their invitation.  I think it would start a blood feud if we refused one & accepted his neighbour.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

19th & 20th June, 1947 - Ron works hard and has an encounter with local wildlife.

Thursday, 19th June, 1947

This morning I went to the office and worked continuously until lunch time.  This was the most work I have done since I arrived here.

All the old case files which were due for destruction had to be checked and listed.  Also the result of the A.D.C. Court in Nablus yesterday had to be entered up.  The Tax Avoider was tried at the Ass District Commissioners office and fined £P.8.

Friday, 20th June, 1947
I went to the office as usual and did what little work there was to be done.

In the evening I accompanied Masoud Affendi the P/I in charge of the station on a so called Patrol.  The Corporal & another B/C & P/C went with us.  We walked about 1kilo when I stepped over a snake with a casual remark on its existence.  The Palestinians leapt out of the road to return to the scene with stones which brought death to the prisoner.  I little realised the black snake about the size of our Grass Snake was a deadly poisonous one.  We stopped a lorry and rode to our destination passing nothing en route.  We took tea in a cafĂ©, searched one lorry load of corn then took another lorry & rode back to the station.

Friday, 13 September 2013

16th - 18th June, 1947 - Rough terrain training and Ron is surprised at local mores.

Monday 16th June, 1947
Nothing exciting happened this morning.
Our temperatures were however excited this afternoon by a cross country walk under that Jebal Basher Sargeant Blanks.
He kept us at a steady pace over valley and hill.  We had no water bottles so felt rather the worse for the heat when on the move.
We thought we were going to enjoy a lemon given to us by a villager but after taking off the peel we found the inside dried out.

Tuesday, 17th June, 1947
I went to court today with Masoud Shehadeh.
All the proceedings are given in Arabic and as the accused & witnesses were “fellahs” their Arabic was not as I had learned it.

What contrasting views on decency are held by the English and the Arabs.
A young woman appears in court, carrying her baby, to support her accused husband.  Her face of course is partially covered but apparently she is allowed to feed her child in public without any attempt at concealing her breast.

Wednesday, 18th June, 1947
The wireless was fixed up today by the wireless operator & I must admit most of us spent most of the day in the rather empty recreation room enjoying the music which we have not been able to have until now.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

12th - 15th June, 1947 - Jebal bashing, a run in with a horseman, and a bit of paperwork...

Thursday, 12th June, 1947
I spent my time this morning in the office learning a little Arabic in preparation for the examination I intend to take at the beginning of next month.

This afternoon Sergeant Blanks, Ryan, McShannon & I went for a “jebal” bash.  We covered about 9 kilos over mountain & waddi by teatime.  The heat was annoying and thirst it caused.

Friday, 13th June, 1947
I had nothing in particular to do today after I helped the “enbachĂ©” to make out the weekly returns.

In the evening Ryan, McShannon & myself went out on a road check.
We took our positions at 9pm & saw no-one until 9.40 when a lone rider came galloping out of a lane onto the cross roads we were checking.  We called upon him to halt but he only turned his horse & galloped in the direction from which he had come.  Ryan fired two shots over his head but he still refused to stop therefore we soon lost him.

Saturday, 14th June, 1947
I went to Nablus on the truck this morning to get supplies for the mess.  After I had settled this I joined the Inspector & his men in the court.

Sunday, 15th June, 1947
This morning I wrote up the results of the trials yesterday in their respective case files.
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