Dec 1947-April 1948
Pages in Section 3
The Mandate becomes Official
i. Mandate becomes Official
In 1926 Commandant Mavrogordato disbanded the two Gendarmeries and dispersed the British section of the Port Police. Duff was promoted to Inspector and transferred to Jerusalem. Most British gendarmes transferred to a new British Section of the Palestine Police. Palestinian gendarmes were transferred either to the Palestinian section of the Palestine Police or to a new Corps, the Transjordan Frontier Force.(See Next page)
The British Palestine Police section consisted of five senior officers and 212 other ranks. The entire strength of the Police Force consisted of 114 officers and 1,334 other ranks. Numbers were issued to the British members of the Force as well as to Palestinians. Arabic symbols being worn on the right collar and English symbols on the left collar.(The British Police Officer bearing the number "1" was Sergeant Haman, an ex-Gendarmerie man.) British PPs wore flat caps to distinguish them from Palestinian PPs who wore kalpaks.
It seems that gazetted police officers above the rank of inspector could choose whether to wear a flat cap or a kalpak.
The two sections of police worked separately just as the two Gendarmeries had done.
The British section, planned as a mobile force, ready to come to the aid of local police units when riots threatened, was supplied with 'T' model Ford tenders. These carried mobile patrols consisting of an N.C.O. and six constables. Gradually patrols were extended to include foot patrols. One of the patrols' duties was to visit Jewish settlements, checking and sealing armouries provided by the government, which were only to be opened in the event of a settlement being attacked.
Training of the new section was designed with riots in mind. Most were barracked at Mount Scopus (the Mount of the Watch,) where the accommodation consisted of a collection of old Army Nissen Huts left over from WW which became the Depot and Headquarters of the British section. Small detachments of about thirty British PP were also stationed at Sarafand, Nablus and Haifa.
The Haifa Police were billeted at Bat Galim and dealt with emergencies throughout the Northern Division. Two British Police Officers from the Northern Division were attached to the port authority. With the use of only one motor launch, their attempts to battle off-shore crime met with little success.
Fortunately for the next two years there was comparatively little rebellion among the Arabs. The major incident that involved the police was a severe earthquake that occurred on 11th. July, 1927.
The Police who carried out rescue work during this catastrophe received much praise for their efforts.
The village of Renah in Galilee was completely obliterated. Many fine buildings in Jerusalem, including the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, were damaged but Nablus was worst hit,(See photo on right) hastening its decline. Haifa, a centre for a large number of Jewish settlements, overtook it in importance.
Next - 1926 Disbandment of the British GendarmerieText - copyright British Palestine Police Association
Text - Copyright British Palestine Police Association