Dec 1947-April 1948
Pages in Section 3
Reformation of the Port Police
i. Mandate becomes Official
Wainwright decided to beef up the existing Palestinian Port Police by seconding four British Gendarmes, all with maritime experience. This British team was headed by flambuoyant Sergeant Douglas Valder Duff.
Duff,( Photo on left) had been a midshipman during WW1. Post-war, he had led boat raids against groups of IRA members seeking sanctuary in Irish coastal villages inaccessible by road
The British foursome drove to Haifa in a T model Ford tender, with written orders to requisition the two launches used by the Haifa harbourmaster and the Superintendent of Customs, Progress and Welcome.
On arrival in Haifa, however, the harbour master and the Superintendent of Customs refused to hand over the launches. On the plus side, Duff found a fellow spirit in Bash Shawish Redwan Zaroubi, head of the existing Palestinian Port Police and got on well with his team.
However, he received another setback when the British Gendarmerie, based by the Kaisersee at the tip of the German Colony, refused to accommodate colleagues integrated with a Palestinian unit.
Sergeant Duff overcame all problems with imaginative, unorthodox methods. He set up his HQ in a disused army hospital hut without official rations for his men or petrol for the Ford.
Together with the Palestinian Port Police, Duff and the British team members commandeered the two launches and used the boats' petrol supplies to run the Ford.
The reformed port police used the launches to intercept smugglers of tobacco and hashish. On one occasion Duff even went undercover in French -controlled Beirut to entrap a drug smuggling ring.
Before long the team were arresting smugglers on a regular basis, and fishery laws were being obeyed.
The Port Police also had the task of supervising the tented quarantine camp beside the River Kishon where conditions were harsh for the many Zionist immigrants detained when they arrived in Haifa.
The powers-that-be in Jerusalem were so satisfied with Duff's work that they gave him a new hut as his HQ, and promoted him to assistant inspector. They allocated him a British Sergeant to undertake clerical duties ashore.
(Most of the Material for the articles on the early Port Police came from "Bailing with a Teaspoon" by Douglas V. Duff) This work can now be found online at https://archive.org/stream/.../bailingwithateas012270mbp_djvu.tx
Next - 1926 Disbandment of the British Gendarmerie
Text - Copyright British Palestine Police Association