The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Tuesday 31 December 2013
29th & 30th January, 1948 - Ron describes procedures and becomes a little philosophical about letters of Condolence
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 seven am 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.