The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Friday 7 February 2014
25th and 26th March, 1948 - A touch of decorating and Easter celebrations commence with extreme consequences.
More of the bright sunshine we want greeted
us this morning.
There were bodies strewn all over the waste
ground at the back of the camp all endeavouring to get as brown as their owners
are “browned off.”
The bullets still whistle over head at the
P.W.D. Today we heard several land nearby, but as yet we have not seen them
land, thank goodness.
Tonight one of my room mates has had the
bright idea of brightening our rather plain walls by drawing & painting murals
on them. The first one he has done is a
Disney Cat complete with dustbin and glass topped wall.
March, 1948 – Good
Today sees the beginnings of the extensive
Easter celebrations. The whole of the
Religious course of today and the coming days is repeated by processions led by
the Patriarch and the leaders of every Christian sect there is. The people go nearly mad as the pitch of the
ceremonies rise. B/Cs & the Army
stand by and some years have been called in to restore order.
The sects even on such a solemn occasion
fight between each other.
One B/C I talked to was on duty at the Holy
Sepulchre last year he told me some of the incidents. The people all surge forward to touch the
Holy Fire when it bursts from the tomb. They go crazy and cannot feel the blows of
the Police Batons used in an effort to keep a semblance of order. People touching the Fire naturally burn
themselves & they faint in dozens.
The Army forms a chain passing these out over their heads to ambulances
outside. The B/C said that last year his
uniform and the first 8 inches of his baton was covered in blood.