The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Thursday, 19 December 2013
19th & 20th January, 1948 - Ron expresses a high degree of dissatisfaction in his new duties.
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.