Dec 1947-April 1948
Pages in Section 9
Creation of the The Palestine Police Mobile Force
i. Reformation of the Irgun
ii. Resurgence of LEHI
iii. Creation of the Palestine Police Mobile Force
iv. The Hunting Season
v. Reason for the Anglo-American Committee of enquiry
vi. Jewish United Resistance Movement
With the increase of sophisticated Jewish terrorism in Palestine, the then Inspector General of the Palestine Police, Captain J.M. Rymer Jones, revived the idea of a British paramilitary mobile section, such as had existed before 1932. His senior Staff officer,Michael Joseph McConnell had served in the force since 1920. He came up with a complete plan for the Police Mobile Force PMF) but the government of Palestine could not pay for its creation. Rymer flew to Britain to ask the War office for money and men. So desperate was the position in Palestine as he described it, that, despite the situation in France where the battle for Normandy was taking place, the War Office allocated him £2,000,000, and allowed 800 service men who had been on active wartime service in Italy, North Africa and Britain to transfer to the PMF,- created as a fully militarized strike unit under the command of the Palestine Police.
Members of the PMF wore 'battle dress' instead of police uniform. (The photo on the right shows PMF Sgt Butterworth in PMF uniform.) They were divided into four companies plus an administrative unit at Ramallah, (The PMF's HQ) and were organized, trained and equipped along military lines in a specially re-opened camp in Jenin.
The established British Police were wary of "Rymer's Babes", as they came to be called, and especially of those young officers who came in at ASP level with far less experience of policing than long-serving sergeants and inspectors in the regular force.
Before long all new British recruits to the Palestine Police were trained for paramilitary duties and had to serve in a PMF unit before they could ask for a transfer to the regular police. This meant an influx into the force of men with a very different outlook from the established police who had been trained as a civilian force.
The PMF was finally disbanded in 1947 when its members were integrated with the regular police.
Text - Copyright British Palestine Police Association