Thursday, 19 December 2013

19th & 20th January, 1948 - Ron expresses a high degree of dissatisfaction in his new duties.

Monday, 19th January, 1948
The beginning of my duties in No 1 Guard Company started this morning.  Up at 5 in order to be ready by 5.45AM 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.
Myself & two others were deposited at the Public
The Street of Prophets, Jerusalem
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 8.30AM.
We were relieved at 10.15AM and were brought back at 6pm.  We spent the evening around a brazier and were relieved at 10.30pm.  We have these shifts to do all week as far as we know.

Tuesday, 20th January, 1948
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 6pm.  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.

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