Every time we go on duty we have to parade at the guard room where the
Detail of Duties is checked and those on important jobs detailed off to draw a
Thompson Sub Machine Gun. We are then
called to attention, port. arms and charge our magazines with five rounds of
ammunition. Then according to the
officiousness of the Sargeant taking the parade we either straightway dismiss
to our duties or first Slope Arms and then Dismiss, turning smartly to the
right and marching off. As my guard
point is near the Billet no transport is provided and as at there is no-one to relieve we make our own way to
our posts. The Sector Sargeant usually
comes around to see us in accordance with his orders but he does this purely to
safe-guard himself. He signs our note
books and departs after a short chat. I
have not known him come around on the afternoon shift.
Although the weather was very poor today we all felt in much brighter
vains as we were paid this morning. I
have never been in more sorry straights financially as I was before today. I am now able to buy razor blades &
shaving soap, stamps, envelopes and other necessities of which I have been
short for a fortnight.
I wrote to Aunt Rosa today but fear my letter conveying my sympathies
for her and the whole family’s great loss in Uncle’s Death is not as I would
wish it to have been. In my heart I
think she and all others in such a position would rather not receive letters of
condolence which of necessity must add to her already heavy sadness. For she realises how we all feel but the act
of committing our feelings to writing is just another of those many acts which
would be far better left undone but which society or civilization or something
dictates will be done.
A bitterly cold morning, I spent this morning on guard. The Royal Artillery men who are doing a
twenty four hour check on the road which passes us are fortunate in only
working two hours on followed by four hours off. They thus have a chance to recover the heat
lost in the two hours on.
This week’s static is much less boring than was last week’s as there
is an almost continuous flow of traffic on the road & pavement. My friend and I chat to the soldier who is
checking pedestrians’ passes as they enter the zone. Occasionally he meets with an obstical (sic) for with his “muckers” he knows
next to nothing of the Arabic language, we are then able to sort out the
trouble for him.
One of my friends took quite seriously a comment I made at dinner to
the effect that he sponsored a trip to the cinema for my guard friend & I. He producing the necessary money was
surprising and very pleasing for with the greater number of chaps in camp I
have for a change reached the stage of being “broke.”
(He mentioned Mules - I can't resist posting this one again...)
The plans I had made for this morning had all to be cancelled when
workmen arrived to distemper the barrack room.
They did the walls and the ceiling and the greater part of the floor
with a pleasant yellow wash. It took us
the rest of the morning to remove that portion on the floor and windows.The doors have been painted green and
although bare of any wall adornments the room is now looking at least
I was working the evening shift today from to with a break for dinner. After
this break I went into the actual buildings of the Socony Vacuum for the first
time. I also entered the stables where
21 mules are housed. I had a long and
interesting chat with the Groom who was very pleased to find an Englishman who
could speak Arabic. He has been on night-work for about ten years so probably has not spoken to many Englishmen anyway
The beginning of another week and a new series of “Static Guards” of
“Stags” as the army call them. This week
I am guarding the filling station of the American “Socony Vacuum Co.” Alternating, one day I do from to the next from to . This post is in the zone in which our billet
is situated and as it is so near we are walked to and from duty accompanied by
a sergeant. Why I do not know.
There is a certain cult existing among the sergeants who try to make
all our live as regimental as possible.
Fortunately they do not succeed as they are balanced out by other more
sensible men. We are paraded by the
former type, a quarter of an hour before proceeding on duty. The roll is called. Certain men are detailed to draw Thompson
Machine Guns for which no less than three books now have to be signed. After this we are “fallen out onto the truck
or duty sergeants”
January, 1948 I made the most of my morning off this morning, the first for a week,
to lie in bed until . After
breakfast I had a few games of table tennis – a very popular game here – then I
dressed and took a walk to the Y.M.C.A. where my friend (a friend indeed) stood
me a cup of tea and two of the fancy cakes to be had at the counter there.
It was quite warm when we went on duty at and chatting with the army guards – a more
intelligent lot than was our lot last week – the two hours passed very
quickly. At four we were relieved so
that we could get our dinner. We
returned to our posts at . It was a full moon this
evening and there was a great deal of traffic on the road. I am actually guarding the Socony Vacuum
Petrol Co. while my friend is guarding
the Shell Petrol Co. between us is a French Co,
we were invited into the tent where the army guards sleep while off duty
and we were given a cup of tea & made as much at home as could be. Their only advantage over us lay in the fact
that they possess an oil stove.
 The SOCONY Vacuum Oil Co (Standard Oil Company of New York) was later to become Mobil now a subsidiary of Exxon
A rather cold day, last night’s rains having turned the paths and
yards of the camp into a mud field.
Further rain held off until the evening when we commandeered the P.W.D.
Night Watchman’s hut while that person sat in the rear seat of a car parked in
the Workshop Garage. We realise now what
a “Hole watcher’s” life is like in England. Like that
fraternity we have a brazier which we feed at regular intervals and which makes
the army guards on the road block outside feel very jealous.
I received a parcel of papers from home today. They are always appreciated and are leaped
upon by all who see them. Reading forms my favourite “escape” from this life of
guards. Since I have been in the country
I have obtained quite a number of books and have formed a habit of reading
which I hope I shall never lose. A book
club to which I belong sends me a book every month and these are of the type I
Today being the Jewish Holy Day not one of them arrived for work
today. Therefore the only person on duty
at the P.W.D. with ourselves was an Arab Watchman who braves the ‘dangers’ and
therefore as he says, defies the Jews.
The Abyssinian Embassy, Jerusalem -1948
Just before when we were awaiting the arrival of our reliefs I was stood inside
the Work yards talking to the Arab Guard.
My fellow Guards had been outside the gate and I saw them move away up
the road to a corner which affords a view along a purely Jewish Street. I then saw some Abyssinian boys from their
Embassy nearby, go jabbering past the gate.
I managed to understand the words blood & stone & the watchmen
told me that something was amiss at the top of the road. I went up there where I saw one of my mates
who told me that the other had just taken an Arab to the P.W.D. offices
suffering form serious bleeding from a knife wound in the neck and from stones,
these being sustained from the Jews as he passed along their street alone. My mates arrived too late to prevent it. I heard later today that the Arab died.
How quickly one gets into a routine as my life at the moment is. Every day since we started the guards has
been veritably the same. In detail,
small incidents have been different but the order of things is very constant.
The plumbers started on the restoration of our sanitary installations today. The water is now so plentiful that the tank
is overflowing onto the washroom floor.
There was nothing in the way of firing or explosions during the
periods I was on guard today. This afternoon,
so I was told, two Arabs were shot dead on a road which runs parallel to our Static
Point, probably as a result of this tomorrow evening will be more active.
I had long conversations with the R.A.F. Regiment guards on the road
block outside the P.W.D. this evening.
This all helps to make the duties seem shorter, a thing I like very
As this working with Jews is new to me I find it at times rather
embarrassing. In the short time I have
been here I have talked with several Englishmen and several Jews whom I have
mistaken for Englishmen. This mistaken
identity could lead to misunderstandings if one did not guard ones
What pettiness exists between the Arabs and Jews. Arabs refuse to work with Jews because they
are Jews. The Lebanese Govt. announces
their delegation to the Olympic Games will not take part in the Games if the
Jewish Flag is flown.
It is all this dribble that is aggravating the already tense
atmosphere here in the Near
A commission has just arrived here from England to recruit men from the Force into the Police and
Prison Services at home.
I have no idea what I shall do but whatever it is I intend to settle
to it as my career. This is my principle
trouble I do not wish to take employment where I may leave after a year. The job I want, and what it is I do not know,
is one that I can set my heart & brain to.
The beginning of my duties in No 1 Guard Company started this
morning. Up at 5 in order to be ready by
of course there was not water turned on and we had
to wait for our breakfast. Eventually we
were paraded “in full webbing equipment” another source of complaint. Setting off in a 3 ton truck with no seats we
deposited the guards at their respective posts en route.
Works Dept’s Work
Shops in the Street of the Prophets.
Here apparently the Arabs have been in various degrees of on strick (sic) (strike) since the beginning of the year.
They do not trust the Jews and demand adequate guards before they will
come to work. The returned this morning
but finding only three guards went off on strick(sic) again at .
We were relieved at and were brought back at . We spent the evening around a
brazier and were relieved at . We have these shifts to do
all week as far as we know.
This morning was very disheartening.
I have never felt worse since I have been in the Force. Getting up at 5 again meant I was still tired,
breakfast was late which I find terribly annoying. Not being used to standing or walking slowly
for four hours my legs were aching in the calves & thighs by 10 when I
finished this morning. The relief came
and then we all had to walk the three kilos back to the Billet as the trucks
were all engaged.
After lunch I felt really “browned off” as the expression puts
it. I could not help joining in withs
moans and groans to the Sarg. when he came in for a chat this afternoon. After the rest I was feeling in higher
spirits when I returned to the P.W.D. at . There were several heavy
explosions during the four hours we were on but not very near to us. I had a short talk with two Jews who unarmed,
patrol a section of the road near our guard post.
They are part of an official guard and as
they put it are “Home Guards” they were empowered to question anyone on the streets
at anytime and if they are not satisfied by their replies can take them to the
Police Station. The Arabs I believe have
a similar system which they back up with a little more force than do the Jews.
This morning I went to the “Y.M.C.A.” in the heart of the city. The building is a marvellous construction
with a tower in the centre and domed wings on the main building. I have been told that it was built by an
American millionaire and is the largest Y.M.C.A. building in the world.
I visited the library there and found it to be an excellent collection
of books. Also there is a swimming bath
and a gymnasium but I did not see these.
Also today I learn that we in this camp or billet are to be known as
“The 1st Guards Company.”
Such stupidity on the part of the powers that be must only go to show
that the days of the British as Police in this country are surely finished.
Sunday is never treated as a religious day of rest through the general
mass of the force here, but it is noticeable that a Sunday morning is very
different to any other morning in the week.
There is a general atmosphere of quiet and calm about a room or street
which is not present on a weekday.
For myself today I was very energetic in that I did some washing. I started by washing some handkerchiefs and a
pair of socks and later ventured upon a vest and a towel. I was very pleased with the results of this
labour and as the local laundry is exorbitantly dear I shall continue my
washing in fine weather, of small articles anyway.
A Detail was published this afternoon of the duties we shall all be
on during the coming week. I am with two
others on guard at the Public Works Department’s Workshops.
This morning my two friends and I were up at . We went
out in search of water for a wash and a shave.
We visited every washroom we knew of in our billet without success. In despair we decided to have breakfast first
then perhaps to obtain some form the cookhouse.
This also failed but the cook was able to direct us to a source of
supply which was a tap set out in an open place. We now needed something to convey it in to a
suitable place for a wash and shave. The
only container we could find was an empty tin for fifty cigarettes. Needless to say our ablutions were of a “lick
and promise” nature this morning.
Our first duty was allotted to us this morning. This took the form of an escort to
headquarters to bring back a lorry-load of barbed wire for strengthening the
camp defences. Fortunately before lunch
the water in the camp was turned on so that we could have a shave in comfort
The afternoon and evening were psent idly, the former in the
recreation room the latter at the cinema.
We met a friend who used to be with us in Nablus and is now employed in the “Records Office in
H.Q.” I have resolved to enquire into
the likelihoods of the granting of a transfer to this section.
A muster Parade was held this morning at nine and for about the twenty
fifth time since I have been in the force I gave my name, number and rifle
number to a sergeant who noted down similar particulars of all present.
The mess is a little better today than it was yesterday, the result no
doubt of removing the “cook” from office.
The “mess boys” were unwisely chosen by the powers that be but I think
with a little patience on the part of my fellow B/Cs we should be able to
organise the present chaos.
I with a few others we called upon this morning to utilise the wire we
had brought yesterday. We blocked up all
holes in the perimeter fence and greatly strengthened the whole.
Table tennis seems to be the principal form of recreation here and
today I spent a considerable amount of time on games.
We still have not been told what duties we are to perform.
All in my room were up at this morning to finish the packing started last evening. We have been expecting this move for a long
time but no date had been fixed.
At we moved all our kit down to the veranda, where it
was to stay until the lorries arrived.
For myself I had two suitcases a kit box and a bundle of blankets. Both the Urban and the Rural Foot Police are
moving out and their places being taken by Palestinians. We were supposed to start out at but as is usual in this force, unforeseen delays
were encountered so that the convoy did not move off until . the Rural
Station Officer was i/c the convoy and was in the lead in a G.M.C. Truck. Behind this came four three ton lorries with
all our kit on them and three 15cwt trucks with the 35 or so B/Cs in them. The rear was brought up by two Motor Cyclist
Police. We first went to MountScopus who knew nothing about us then we went on into the heart of Jerusalem to the Police H.Q. and about 100yds away a pistol
shot was fired from the roof of a building down onto the main road. This was all that happened and Police on
Patrol cocked their rifles and were ready for more. Our convoy carried on its journey entering
the so-called safe zone of the “German Colony.”
Last evening a party of us decided a visit to the nearby cinema would
be very pleasant after our lack of entertainment of this type in Nablus. It was a
very good programme in a quite pleasant cinema.
All today we have been establishing ourselves. When we look around and see how the army left
this small camp we are very thankful that we are not numbered among their
ranks. A £P1,000 is the estimated cost of
repairing the sanitary facilities alone.
I doubt not that more money than this will not be spent on or other
badly needed necessities. We have
literally nothing in the room other than what we brought with us. We have been forced to drive nails into the
walls on which to hang our uniforms. We
all fear to hang up our civilian clothes as the fence around the camp is so
weak that any thief could enter or escape via it in comfort. Our mess has not yet been established so we
are using the mess of those Police in the camp proper. Late last night Police from Hebron arrived in the camp but I have not come into
contact with them yet. We still have
received no information as to what form our duties will take.
This morning I went to Acre on an
escort duty. We had first to take a boy
to the remand home there. The boy had
been convicted some time ago and had been granted ten days leave over the
recent Moslem feast period. He had
failed to return to the school and in the meantime committed a further
offence. He has now been sentenced to
two periods of two years to run concurrently.
At the school the principle told me he is a bad lad and fears that two
years will not improve him a great deal even under the training he will receive
there. At the school they are only punished
in as much as they are under supervision and away from home. For a boy who has committed only a minor offence
the school is good institution as there he will receive much better food and
treatment than in the majority of cases he would receive at home. Also he is taught a trade, a thing he could
not hope for under the normal course of affairs. His schooling is more intensified and the
discipline though it probably seems hard to him now will be of untold value to
him when he goes out into the world to earn his living. Short periods in such a school are of little
avail as it is only with constant care and attention over a long period can he
Yesterday morning, while I was on escort to Acre, a case of Armed Robbery was reported to the Station from Tubas
Police Station. Four men in a lorry had
been stopped by two armed men and property of total value £P47 was stolen from
them. Only one accuse actually came near
to the complainants but the other shouted to a witness. On the evidence of the witness two men have
been arrested. On searching the houses
of the accused persons a packet of tea was recovered, adding to the evidence
arraigned against them.
Today a case of Attempted Murder occurred in a nearby village. The complainant
apparently owes the accused a
considerable sum of money & refuses to pay his debt. The accused had an argument with the
complainant and fired a rifle at him wounding him seriously in the shoulder, at
the base of his neck.
At five this evening I was in the throws (sic) of reports to be
submitted on these cases when the Sergeant came rushing into the office. He informed me that the whole of the single
foot men in Nablus had to be packed ready to transfer to Jerusalem at tomorrow. Inspector Josef Amer
came in and I handed over my section of the “I” Branch in a quarter of an hour
so the chaos which will follow, I dare not think about.
There was veritably no work at the office this morning so when a crime
was reported at about I seized the opportunity and decided to visit the scene of the
crime. Bribery & corruption, though
very rarely heard of in public is very rife here among Government
Officials. One of the few magistrates who
are not open to this interference is one who has his home in a village near Nablus and his vocation in another city. An accused person in a case some time ago
approached the Mag. with a substantial bribe, but as usual he refused it. This annoyed the accused who came from the
same village as the Mag. To get his
revenge he cut off Olive trees belonging to the Mag. and transplanted them in
his own lands. Myself & a Police
Party first visited the Mag’s. Land where we saw two freshly planted trees of
the same age & type as those stolen.
Two others were found in the Accused’s yard, and another planted in his
land some distance away with a further patch of
ground where a tree had
obviously been replanted and dug up again.
Thus two trees of the seven were missing. Usually in a case of revenge or “Fassad” the
accused is content with damaging a number of trees, leaving them on the
complainants lands. Petty “Fassad” of
this nature is one of the commonest crimes I encounter and one of the most
difficult to prove. We often do not know
the accused in such an offence for if the complainant has many potential
enemies any one of them is capable of committing the act. The punishment is of course light(?) but
fails to deter further crimes of this nature.
It was a lovely morning this morning as I made my way over to the
station. After the recent rains the
atmosphere tastes clear & clean and free from the summer dusts. All the fields and mountain sides are now
covered in a mantle of fresh young green.
The journeys by truck are much more pleasant through such country under
a clear blue sky and today’s bright, but not hot sun, than in summer under a
scorching sun and in clouds of dust.
The animals are beginning to cover their skeleton like summer selves
with a more meaty body and no longer rush when they near water. With plenty of food in them the cows
content and have time to see to the sleeking of their coats so that they look
quite respectable animals now.One never
sees Arab cows with heavy udders for they are not bred for milk as the Arabs
drink only goat milk.Cows are bread to
draw ploughs and for their meat which owing to their hard lives is never very
tasty.Sheep are more or less treated as
one with goats here the milk of both being drunk in large quantities.They are driven in flock by boys to graze on
the mountain sides or off growing crops when the farmer is not near, for there
are no hedges built, the land of one man carrying on into the next man’s
land.This often is the cause of Fassads
In preparation for anything that is likely to happen within the next
few days, my friends & I decided to visit the “Suq” for our last
purchasings. The attitude of the local
Arabs to us is markedly different since they have learned we are soon to leave
this area. All the shopkeepers who have
catered especially for the English are worrying about whether they will be able
to sell their remaining stocks while the other shop owners do not press their
wares for sale as they used when we first came here. A sight never seen in the “Suq” before the
recent disturbances is the now common firearms display. Every type of firearm can be seen from
pistols to Thompson Sub machine guns of various ages. I have seen 1902 Enfield Rifles & the very modern Thompson. In the tailors shop today when trying on a
pair of trousers I saw a .303 rifle behind the counter. On examining it I found it to be serviceable
but the barrel was very dirty. The majority
of the weapons are the same. Their
owners treat them as playthings and take very little care of them. I gave the tailor a lecture on the care of
firearms for which he cordially thanked me.
1946 - Allenby Bridge also known as King Hussein Bridge. The bridge was first constructed in 1918 but destroyed in the Civil War in 1948, eventually rebuilt and reopened in 1994 as the sole entry/ exit point between Israel and the West Bank
At about this morning the
Garage Foreman made the startling discovery that two of his 15cwt trucks were
missing. At once the cry went out that
they had been stolen. But how could they
have been taken past the English Guard on the M.T. Gate? was the question all
asked. All drivers were accounted for
but on further checking it was found that two mounted B/Cs were missing. The Station Sergeant said he thought they
were on the rifle range with a party firing this morning. A truck was sent to the range to check
up. On the way there one of the trucks
was found abandoned at the side of the road.
The two B/Cs were not on the range & their civilian clothes had gone
with them. One had been on a road block
a mile from the station. He had gone
sick and come back to the station telling the gate guard he had come in for a
cup of tea. He later returned sitting
beside a driver whom the Gate Guard did not recognise in one of the
trucks. The guard thought the duty
driver was driving him back to his post.
The truck was cruising to start as it reached the road block and was let
through when it was seen to be a Police truck.
They went to DamiyaBridge across the Jordan but the Arab Legion would not let them cross. They then went to AllanbyBridge & tried to bribe a B/C on duty there with Nil Result. The B/C raised the alarm and they were
eventually caught and lodged in Gaza Lock-Up having reached a point between Gaza & Beersheba. I know the
two chaps well and would never have thought they had such a daring plan
hatching in the last few days. The B/C
i/c Road Blocks is on open arrest as he is a suspected accomplice
What a beastly night it was last night. From early in the evening when the heavy rain
and cold set in it became gradually worse.
At about I was
awakened by a most terrific explosion which, if I had not known of the thunder
storm raging outside, I should probably have attributed to Jewish origin. I learned this morning, from one of the
unfortunates who had to static guard in the storm that the explosion had been
caused by a thunderbolt which, he said, had landed about three hundred yards
away up the mountain. Now the rains have
started I expect they will continue through the winter. It is only on rare occasions in England that I have seen rain fall as heavily as it did
last night and this morning flooding the fields in just that period of time.
The cold has persisted though the rain has eased. I sat in the recreation room this evening
with about eight other chaps. We all
crowded around the fireplace competing with one another when a nearer chair
This morning the Assistant Superintendent of Police held a meeting attended
by all the Inspectors & Sergeants in the Sub-District. I learned afterwards that it was to discuss
the approaching evacuation of the country in as much as it would affect Nablus
Division. Apparently all, except a few
H.Q. Staff, are moving to a Depot at Haifa or Jerusalem where they will await transport to take them home. The Administration and Crime branches are all
to be taken over by Arabs and a company or so of an Army Battalion are to
defend the area until such time as the country is properly evacuated. The Mayor is going to act as the Liaison
Officer between the Police & the Army.
We have all been left very much in the dark over the whole affair and
no-one yet knows any dates at which the handing over is likely to take
place. We rather think it will be in the
very near future, and I for , in a way, looking forward to the move as it means one more step
towards England and the beginning of a new job, a thing forced
The days are becoming colder now with gale force winds blowing through
the valley in which Nablus lies. As
yet there is no form of heating in our offices but we hope shortly to get a
stove of some description. The barrack
rooms are not heated in any way so in the evenings evidence of their desertion
can be seen around the crowded fireplaces in the canteen and Club. I am very glad I am off the normal foot
duties which mean, in this station, an endless series of night and day static
guards with a few escort duties as a variant.
I notice the sangers as used by the guards have been amended in
construction so that they would now be of little use in case of attack as the
loop holes, so appealing to draughts, have been blocked up. All this goes to make the sanger a cosier
place in which to spend a night.
When our particular friend is on guard we take a sadistical pleasure
in educating him as to the number of seconds in a minute and minutes in an
hour. When he makes as if to cock his
rifle we bid hurried farewells and return to the warmth of our beds.
We always have made a habit of rising late on Sunday mornings but
since the cold weather has set in the day is becoming even brighter when we
brave the keen air.
This morning I rose just in time to dash down to the mess before
breakfast finished. After breakfast I
had my fortnightly haircut administered by a short tubby Arab who always wears
a “Fez” as if he were selling a hair restorer of which
his hair was no capable advertiser. This
barber comes from the town every second Sunday morning with his portable
shop. The portable is a marvellous
combination of drawers, shelves, mirrors etc. and has so many compartments I
often wonder how he knows which drawer contains which. As all barbers out here he does not consider
that his customer will be pleased unless he finishes by half drowning the poor unfortunate in about six varieties of hair oil. His face can be seen to drop quite plainly
when I refuse to have more than a small quantity of type 1. The tip usually restores his confidence in
After the welcoming party given for the New Year in the club last
night I retired at about half after one.
The next thing I knew was that the sergeant was waking me and trying
to impress on me that everyone was wanted downstairs on the veranda for a rifle
inspection. This does not sound a very
impressive opening to the year and was caused as two rifles were stolen during
the festivities of last night. The inspection
was of no avail the rifles not having come to light. Unfortunately we have a B/C in the “Humara”
who is a known thief and although he is under open arrest on a charge of
selling his own pistol and a force rifle he is suspected of having something to
do with last night’s thefts.
At the office this morning I closed all the registers & files for
1947. Why, I don’t know, but I hated
this work as there was such an air of finality with it. The Assistant Superintendent went through my
court Exhibits and destroyed about thirty.
After all this work I found that today was supposed to be a holiday.
Friday, 2nd January,
Modern Jiftlich; an impoverished Palestinian village
I was rather annoyed at not being told that I was on holiday
yesterday. I did not bother to rush to
work this morning. I was only about half
an hour later than usual but enough to put me right for the day.
A road accident was reported last evening so I had to pass the
information on it to Divisional H.Q. A
boy was knocked down and seriously injured in Jiftlich Area when a lorry tried
to turn after unloading oranges at a Bedouin Camp near the Jordan.
I handed 10 of my arms and ammunition court exhibits into the stores
today and later put the court exhibit room in order. I can now find exactly what I want at once, a
definite asset in court exhibits which are always on the move to and from the
This evening Bicknell, Mountford, Moore & I went to the Club where
we played table tennis and snooker.
The B/C suspected of the theft has been subjected to a grilling today
and has admitted many minor things to some other B/Cs who are taking the law
into their own hands with the aid of “Fil-fil.”  Not knowing the meaning of "fil-fil" I asked Graham Jenkins of the Palestine Police Old Comrades Association if he had any ideas as to its meaning. His reply: "I seem to recall that the phrase fil fil literally means “hot pepper” but was used as a sort of slang. In the context in which it was used it would appear to refer to “pressure” of some sort."