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Just enjoyed reading this fascinating account of the pre-second world war activities of a Sir Charles Augustus Tegart, an Irish policeman tasked by the British government to tackle the then many problems in Palestine.
A hard, no nonsense taskmaster himself, he would recommend and oversee the construction of a total of 69 near impregnable forts built strategically throughout the country. The article linked to above explains much more of this remarkable man's story. TC.
Brings back memories to me, I served in Palestine in 1947-48 until we left Haifa. We were the last troops to leave. I then served in Cyprus guarding illegal Jewish immigrants who had been imprisoned in what I can only describe as concentration camps. Although we treated them much better than the Germans had treated them, some of the inmates had been in the well known German ones. They were well supplied with food etc, and even found their way out of the camp and in to the local town of Larnaca for some whoopie. We found that they had very ingeniously made gates in the barbed wire fences and these were able to be re-hooked on after they had left, but after their nights out in Larnaca they always came back in again. Sometimes we caught them and sometimes we didn't. They were never punished in any way.
Some of our lads joined the Palestine Police when they finished their time. Later after serving in Hong-Kong some of our lads joined the police force there too. The same in Singapore and Malaya. It seemed to be a favourite occupation to move to after de-mob.
But I can't remember seeing any of the forts mentioned in the article.
My memories as well. I was evacuated to Jerusalem from Cairo in 1940 and accommodated in the Austrian Hospice on the Via Doloroza in the heart of the Old City.
One evening a party from the Hospice had been out to a function and, returning late, we arrived at the Damascus Gate to find it closed. A smaller door was set in the Gate and after a couple of knocks a British Palestinian Policeman let us in. I well remember the walk though the darkened lanes to the Hospice. How things have changed in the world although the Austrian Hospice is still the same as it was.
Cannot remember any forts although two immigrant ships were beached at Tel Aviv which was a small holiday resort at the time.
One thing the police had then was the respect they deserved and the knowledge that giving a young kid a slap across the back of the head did more good than arresting them for a minor offence.
Strange world we have now where criminals have more rights than an innocent person and you get a bigger penalty for speeding than shoplifting.
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