Friday 14 February 2014

6th and 7th April, 1948 - The end of "statics" at the Palace; the end of Ron's Police career... and nearly the end of Ron!

Tuesday, 6th April, 1948
Back on duty at the Palace Hotel this morning at 6a.m.  A Sergeant was on with us three B/Cs.  The offices were open and being emptied of their contents all morning.  This block is expected to be closed in the next two days.  One B/C took up a position on a veranda while the other two searched people who came through the barrier leading to the heavily barbed wired off Hotel.  We relieve and are relieved by the “Arab National Guard.”
The Palace Hotel, c. 1930 - It later became the Waldorf
and is currently being rebuilt as the Waldorf Astoria
We took over guard from six of these and were relieved by one of their ranks armed with a Sten.

I thought I would have a good look at Jerusalem this afternoon so got out the binoculars and climbed up the tower.  The view in bright sunshine was beautiful but petered out on the mountains due to a haze rising from the valley.

Wednesday, 7th April, 1948
The last of my static duties in the Palestine Police was completed at 1pm on the Palace Hotel.  If there had been a few more B/Cs around I should have felt like firing a 21 gun salute or something.
This afternoon we loaded our cases which are not wanted on voyage onto lorries which will go to Scopus for the night. 
We have been told that we start out at 7.30 tomorrow morning so all that is left is last minute packing.

My room mates and I thought it fitting to have a farewell drink in the Canteen so we all went up to the canteen for a gold star beer each. Then after a long chat the type which always ensues on such occasions we retired for the night.

An incident happened at the Palace this morning which might have changed all my plans. The sergeant and I were waiting by a gate into the Jewish area to let the Jewish workers in.  These did not come but a burst of Bren fire from that area just passed over our heads and was obviously aimed at us.  I saw visions of my boat in glorious technicolour.

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