The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
5th & 6th January, 1948 - Heavy rain and future plans for the evacuation of Palestine..
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