The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Thursday, 16 January 2014
22nd and 23rd February, 1948 - More guard duties and more explosions
We started yet another week’s duty on the
Public Works Departments Workshops today.
We started our duties at . A sergeant is now on duty with three B/Cs on
this Static. Two B/S stay on the Haganah
Road Block while the other B/C stays at the entrance to the P.W.D. itself. The sergeant wanders between the two positions.
The Sergeant on with us this morning is knew
(sic) and so I showed him which
workshops were which. He said to me “You
can sit down now until the workers begin to arrive.” I was half was into the act of sitting down
when there was a terrific explosion. It
shook the whole building, breaking panes of glass. It flashed into my mind that the Arabs had
blown up the Haganah road block the explosion seemed so near. In fact the explosion was in Ben Yahudi Street a short distance
away. It almost demolished the street
killing about 50 Jews. I saw the initial
cloud rise up when the explosion occurred and the smoke drift up afterwards
when fire broke out.
This morning we decided to abandon the Haganah
road block after the deeds of the last evening.
The Jews having found out that Britishers were involved in the blowing
up of the shopping centre announced that in future all British Personnel found
in Jewish Areas would be shot. They
immediately put this policy into practice last evening. They opened fire on British Police who after
handing over Mutashpha Police Station  to the Jews were moving out of that
Station. They killed seven troops and
wounded a Padre. There was intense
firing in the H.Q. quarter last evening also.
This morning at about all the Arabs and Jews except four office staff walked out of the P.W.D.
Workshops. The watchmen handed us the
keys and said they would not be back for two days. They are all frightened of the recent events
and intend to wait for two days to see how things turn.
 I cannot find any reference to a Mutashpha Street Police Station so I imagine Dad must have the spelling wrong.