The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Sunday, 3 November 2013
3rd - 6th October, 1947 - International politics lead to a sense of uncertainty, while local politics lead to a sleepless night...
Friday, 3rd October, 1947
The “I.G.” came to the station today and men from all over the
District came to hear him say he knew nothing of the future for us but advised
us to carry on with our long term plans and not jump to conclusions read from
The cinema in the club tonight showed “ The Hidden Eye” which I have
seen on two occasions before.
At this time the Inspector General was a former Royal Marine Commander, Colonel William Nicol Gray
Saturday, 4th October, 1947
Sunday, 5th October, 1947
Monday, 6th October, 1947
Modern day Balata-al-Balad - literally "Balata the Village"
At half past one in the middle of the night myself and all the station
were awakened by the sounds of rifle & automatic fire from very nearby.
We thought the prisoners were giving more trouble so went back to
sleep only to be wakened by the Sarg. who was very inebriated, and told to get
dressed. The shooting had been in BalataVillage  about a mile away. After four
hours in the village in which time the A.S.P. who had been in the prison
wine-ing and the Palestinian Inspector and others arrived on the scene. Questioning revealed that the Mukhtar (on his
way to Mecca) and an Elder had been recently deprived of their
black marketing control of the village rations by a majority vote led by
another elder. It was the house of this
latter on which the shots had been fired.
Balata became the site of a large refugee camp housing up to 30,000 Palestinian refugees displaced from the Jaffa region during the troubles that followed the British withdrawal in early 1948.