The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Monday 6 January 2014
8th and 9th February, 1948 - Ron makes the best of his evening guard duties and wonders about the logic of some decisions.
For this week’s duty I have returned to the
Public Works Department’s Work Shops.
Since I was last on guard there the hours of duty have changed. Now there are four shifts of six hours each
over the 24 hr. day. The shift I am on
is from 6pm until midnight. This means that all my evenings this week
will be occupied by my labourings as a static guard. I am not sorry that I shall be away every
evening, for here in Jerusalem at the present time it is very chilly in the
evenings and as our rooms in the billet are not heated no pleasure can be
gained by staying in them. Recreation
outside the Billet in the evening is almost out of the question for all there
is to occupy the mind is a cinema while those that desire such can pay
extortionate prices for drinks etc. at a café.
Therefore work in the evening does not come so hard.
Directly in front of the P.W.D. Work Shops
is a road block manned by R.A.F. Regiment personnel. About a hundred yards in front of this on the
same road is another road check manned by Jewish Civilian Guards. Why they chose to construct a road check so
near to the Army block is beyond me. The
only reason we can find for it is that they do not trust our personnel. As they have this superfluous road check two
of the Police Guards have to stay with them to make it official as cases have
been known where armoured cars have burst through the check just to show their
contempt for the Jews. It is believed
that the trucks used to blow up the Palestine Post passed along this road and
must have passed through the Army block.
This may be the reason for the Jews distrust of our road checks.