Wednesday, 11 December 2013

7th & 8th January, 1948 - Another uncomfortable visit to the Souk and a couple of renegade policemen...

Wednesday, 7th January, 1948
In preparation for anything that is likely to happen within the next few days, my friends & I decided to visit the “Suq” for our last purchasings.  The attitude of the local Arabs to us is markedly different since they have learned we are soon to leave this area.  All the shopkeepers who have catered especially for the English are worrying about whether they will be able to sell their remaining stocks while the other shop owners do not press their wares for sale as they used when we first came here.  A sight never seen in the “Suq” before the recent disturbances is the now common firearms display.  Every type of firearm can be seen from pistols to Thompson Sub machine guns of various ages.  I have seen 1902 Enfield Rifles & the very modern Thompson.  In the tailors shop today when trying on a pair of trousers I saw a .303 rifle behind the counter.  On examining it I found it to be serviceable but the barrel was very dirty.  The majority of the weapons are the same.  Their owners treat them as playthings and take very little care of them.  I gave the tailor a lecture on the care of firearms for which he cordially thanked me.

1946 - Allenby Bridge also known as King Hussein Bridge.
The bridge was first constructed in 1918 but destroyed in the
Civil War in 1948, eventually rebuilt and reopened in 1994 as the sole entry/
exit point between Israel and the West Bank
Thursday, 8th January, 1948
At about 9am this morning the Garage Foreman made the startling discovery that two of his 15cwt trucks were missing.  At once the cry went out that they had been stolen.  But how could they have been taken past the English Guard on the M.T. Gate? was the question all asked.  All drivers were accounted for but on further checking it was found that two mounted B/Cs were missing.  The Station Sergeant said he thought they were on the rifle range with a party firing this morning.  A truck was sent to the range to check up.  On the way there one of the trucks was found abandoned at the side of the road.  The two B/Cs were not on the range & their civilian clothes had gone with them.  One had been on a road block a mile from the station.  He had gone sick and come back to the station telling the gate guard he had come in for a cup of tea.  He later returned sitting beside a driver whom the Gate Guard did not recognise in one of the trucks.  The guard thought the duty
driver was driving him back to his post.  The truck was cruising to start as it reached the road block and was let through when it was seen to be a Police truck.  They went to Damiya Bridge across the Jordan but the Arab Legion would not let them cross.  They then went to Allanby Bridge & tried to bribe a B/C on duty there with Nil Result.  The B/C raised the alarm and they were eventually caught and lodged in Gaza Lock-Up having reached a point between Gaza & Beersheba.  I know the two chaps well and would never have thought they had such a daring plan hatching in the last few days.  The B/C i/c Road Blocks is on open arrest as he is a suspected accomplice

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