Wednesday 4 December 2013

24th - 26th December, 1947 - Christmas in the Holy Land although the spirits are not particularly holy!

Wednesday, 24th December, 1947
It was bitterly cold last night with a terrific wind blowing through the valley.  I was in the Sanger[1] on the M.T. Gate and the wind whistled through it continuously for the whole of the 6 hours.

I got to work at the station earlier this morning as I wanted today to get everything ready for tomorrow and Boxing Day so that it would not necessitate my coming in for any reason.
I finished off the case file I had to leave last night, cleared up outstanding correspondence and typed the return of case files for destruction this month.

Several people started to prepare for the celebrations by drinks this afternoon.  There was a party in the Club this afternoon for the children.  There are about 20 English children in Nablus now.

In the evening all and sundry including the Stand-by Guard and one of the gate guards went to the Club where supplies of beer & spirits have been mounting up.  They diminished rapidly this evening.  The S.P. bought seven of us beers.  The “I.G.” arrived at about 9pm and stayed for a few drinks.  The Station Officer not knowing the I.G. was in a good mood but [put?] the gate guard on a charge.

[1] The Sangar was a sandbagged post at the entry to the station compound.

Dad didn't see it then... but this
was the Christmas film of 1947 -
Miracle on 34th Street

Thursday, 25th December, 1947
In the general jubilations many glasses were broken but no other damage.  The wives all joined in to help out with the dancing.  Every room in the Club was heavily and skilfully decorated but no one had bothered to get in some of the red berried mistletoe tha grows around here.
25th.  I was up at 8.30 this morning and spent the morning very quietly.  At 12.30pm Room 44 went En Masse to the mess to see how things were progressing.  Both the Dining Hall & the recreation rooms were being prepared for the Dinner.  As things were not quite ready we all helped to put nuts, oranges, pies, biscuits etc and beers (the cook retained several for his staff) whisky, gins, port, brandy etc. etc.  When we had finished the tables were well and truly laden.  All the civilians (English) in Nablus had been invited and many accepted including the A.D.C.  The dinner was a great success with all that could be required.  The sergeants waited on us (some objected.)  After the eats we all moved into the Dining Room for speeches and toasts.  We had a speech by the traffic tester who told us how the “I.G.” had yesterday been asked what qualifications were required for his position?  “Had he his Pro-Pay?” and told that his silver braid was scrambled egg.

Friday, 26th December, 1947
25th In the afternoon after dinner Room 44 went to get Bicknell’s suit from the tailor who supplied a boy to carry it back for us.  In the evening we all went to the Club which we found to be almost empty.  It livened up a bit at about 10.30pm when the C.I.D. arrived in force.  We were all in bed by 12pm though I understand that several B/Cs tried to gate crash a party in progress in the Sergeants’ Mess.

26th I stayed in bed all this morning the first rest of the Christmas Holiday.  Getting up for lunch I went to the Station to see that all was in order and found that the A.S.P. had paid a visit and had gone through everything and had been quite pleased.
The S.P. has apparently received information that all Police Armouries in the country are to be attacked tonight by Arabs as they have no arms supplies.  We have brought all the arms from the Station down to the Billet Armouries to reduce the number of extra guards required.
I spent a quiet evening in my room with the rest of the chaps tonight.  We finished the lovely Christmas Cake sent to me from home under the guise of “Books”.  Dickens could not have written a better Christmas Story

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