Thursday 13 February 2014

4th & 5th April, 1948 - On duty at the Palace and kit checking and packing...

Sunday, 4th April, 1948

I was on duty at the Palace Hotel this morning from 6a.m. to 2p.m.
The “Palace” used to be a very large Hotel, one of the biggest in Jerusalem, but it has been taken over by the Government and used for many departments’ offices.
from Howard Mansfield's account of his time in Nablus
Outside is a demobilised “Pig”; our name for a peculiar type of armoured car.  In this we can take cover from flying bullets or, as we did this morning, from the wind and rain.  The offices were closed this morning so our tour of duty was very dull.  The Palace is beside the Mamilla Road Cemetery which used to be a favourite site for Jewish snipers but the army have moved into a building overlooking this and so of late the dead have been left in piece (sic).

Monday, 5th April, 1948
Those who are on the boat with me handed in all their issue kit, except that which they need on the voyage, to the stores this morning.  In the camp we were ready for the transferring of our kit by 8a.m.
Attached to the camp is one 3 ton truck and one 15cwt truck; as usual the 3 tonner was out of service so we had to use the 15cwt which made several journeys to the central stores.
There, much to our surprise we encountered no hitches.  We made a chain so that six of us could carry five boxes.  These we took up two flights of stairs and in turn had our kit checked.  I was found to be deficient of two pillow cases, theses were charged against me and the money will be deducted from my gratuities (4s).  After completing this kit hand in I made a purchase of a collection of photographs [1] which will make a nice souvenir of Palestine.  I then insured my kit with “Cook’s Agency.”
In the evening I went to the cinema to see “State Fair” a very good musical comedy film in technicolour.

[1] I remember seeing these when I was a boy but they seem to have been separated from the rest of Dad's photos... I'll keep looking!

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