The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Friday, 21 February 2014
20th & 21st April, 1948 - The final leg complete but a frustrating wait before disembarking...
We are still moving North but no land has
been sighted since the Bishop’s Rock Light House which we sighted with a fog
belt inland behind it. This afternoon we
began to prepare for landing. Library
books were handed in and cases etc put ready for being taken off by crane if
they are too heavy to carry.
The majority of us are going off in uniform
as we do not want to get our civvies dirty in the expected scrabble and rush
through the customs.
We were given a railway voucher today made
out to our homes.
When I woke this morning I found we were
moving very slowly in a fog. On
enquiring I found out that we
were approaching the coast of England and the mouth of the Mersey. After breakfast we all crowded on deck hoping
to sight England but all we saw were a
few buoys which told us we were near the mouth.
We stopped once and it was given out that we could not dock tonight as
there was no room for us on a wharf.
Later, so I learned, the ship was ordered to anchor in the harbour where
we would be taken off by ferry. This was
done but as it was late only the compassionate leave and ordinary leave troops
were allowed off. Police and other
troops were told that they would be taken off the ship tomorrow morning.
The tug men who were to operate the tugs to
pull the ship to the wharf were on strike this was why we had to be taken off
This evening officials came on board. Posts & Telegrams accepted telegrams for
despatch to our homes. Railway people
exchanged travel warrants for a ticket and times of our trains. The Crown Agents gave us an advance of £10
and the address to which we should send our uniform.