MECA Palestine Police Oral History

MECA Palestine Police Oral History

British Mandate Palestine Police Oral History Project

The Middle East Centre Archive carried out an oral history project in 2006-2007 interviewing former members of the British Mandate Palestine Police.

Palestine Police Beersheba 1937

The purpose of the project was to record the memories of former Palestine Policemen covering recruitment, training, the journey out and experiences of service in the Police as a research resource to compliment and add to the written records of the Palestine Police.

An article on the Palestine Police Oral History Project has been written by Dr Eugene Rogan for the Council for British Research in the Levant Bulletin and can be viewed here as PDF file. The Palestine Police Oral History Project (PDF File).

The Middle East Centre Archive wishes to thank the Palestine Police Old Comrades Association for its support in this project and also the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum for help in training for oral history interviewing and the many students at the Middle East Centre who volunteered to serve as interviewers and the many former Palestine Policemen who have given of their time to be interviewed.

Special thanks are also due to the Council for British Research in the Levant which awarded the Middle East Centre a grant to enable oral history interviews of former Arab and Jewish members of the British Mandate Palestine Police who still live in the Middle East.

Researchers who are interested in the history of the Palestine Police should note that a Source sheet on the Palestine Police is available online which gives details of the holdings at The National Archives (Kew) relating to the Palestine Police. However please note that this resource is part of a Wiki and therefore the information may not be accurate.

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Why interview former Palestine Policemen?

Palestine Police Career Advert Recruitment Booklet

During the British Mandate (1920-1948) the Palestine Police formed a crucial institution in which British and Palestinian Jewish and Arab Policemen worked together. The success and challenges faced by the Palestine Police are key to a proper understanding of the history of the Palestine Mandate. For example how did the Police relate to the local population, enforce law and manage crisis situations?

 

Most of the former Palestine Policemen interviewed for this project served at the end of the Palestine Mandate, typically from 1945-1948 and were 18 or 19 when they joined. Consequently the interviews provide insight into a very troubled era when the Police were having to deal with terrorism, communal violence, political uncertainty and the lead up to British withdrawal.

Although each interview will be unique, with former Palestine Policemen giving an account of their individual service, a framework of questions was devised to cover a broad range of subjects. Please see our Palestine Police Oral History Questions (pdf file) for further details.

The Palestine Police Interviews

Researchers are welcome to come and visit the Archive to freely listen to the interviews and read the interview transcripts.

Copyright in the oral history interviews was assigned to the Archive, so that the Archive can make copies for researchers. Sound files cost £5.00 per interview plus VAT. Please note that the sounds files are too large to email and are thus available only via DVD which can be collected or posted.

Transcripts of the interviews cost 12p per page (including VAT). The existence of a transcript and its length is noted in the list of interviews below.

Please contact the Archivist Debbie Usher if you wish to order transcripts or sound files.

Interview List

Palestine Police Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More catalogues will be added to this webpage in due course.

GB165-0394 Bertie Braddick

Served in Palestine Police 1947-1948

Interviewed by William Ward 7 May 2006

Interview 76 minutes in length

Transcript available: 15 pages long

GB165-0386 Victor Cannings Collection Catalogue (pdf file)

Served in Palestine Police 1939-1946

Interviewed by John Knight 27 Feb 2006

Interview 87 minutes in length

Transcript available: 29 pages long

The Victor Cannings Collection also includes a Police identity card, Criminal Code Ordinance for 1936, Palestine Police Magazines 1939-1947, 3 photographs of the Palestine Police Cricket Team, Certificate of Discharge from the Police, a booklet on Jerusalem promoting the work of the Jewish Agency and press cuttings covering bombings and deteriorating security in Palestine 1944-1946 and an essay on Canning's later Cricket Career, 1958.

GB165-0391 John Card

Served in Palestine Police 1945-1948

Interviewed by Jordan Toone 31 Mar 2006

Interview 68 minutes in length

Transcript available: 24 pages long

GB165-0390 Martin Duchesne

Served in Palestine Police 1946-1948

Interviewed by Nick Kardahji 23 Mar 2006 and a talk at a seminar on the Palestine Police with a question and answer session on 23 Nov 2006

Interview 108 minutes, Talk 24 minutes

Interview transcript available: 20 pages long

GB165-0388 William Gibbons

Served in Palestine Police 1946-1948

Interviewed by Hilary Kalmbach 14 Mar 2006

Interview 121 minutes

Transcript available: 34 pages long.

GB165-0404 Gerald Green

Served in Palestine Police 1946-1948

Interviewed by Eugene Rogan 19 Oct 2006

Interview 145 minutes in length

Transcript available: 27 pages long.

GB165-0402 James Hainge

Served in Palestine Police 1945-1948

Interviewed by Eugene Rogan 5 Jun 2006

Interview 114 minutes in length

Transcript available: 28 pages long

GB165-0392 Robert Hamilton Collection Catalogue (pdf file)

Served in Palestine Police 1946-1948

Interviewed by Sharif Ismail 20 Apr 2006

Interview 56 minutes in length

Transcript available: 13 pages long

The Robert Hamilton Collection also includes a Police Boundaries map showing civil district, sub district boundaries and Police Station Boundary, June 1947.

GB165-0389 Frank Jones Collection Catalogue (pdf file)

 

Served in Palestine Police 1946-1948

Interviewed by Nick Kardahji 16 Mar 2006

Interview 79 minutes in length

Transcript available: 15 pages long

GB165-0412 Roy Leadbeater

Served in Palestine Police

Interviewed by Eugene Rogan 22 May 2007

Interview 163 minutes in length

Transcript available: 37 pages long

GB165-0403 Geoffrey Owen

Served in Palestine Police 1937-1938

Interviewed by John Knight 13 Jun 2006

Interview 92 minutes in length

Transcript available: 24 pages long

GB165-0395 Roy Rodrick

Served in Palestine Police 1945-1948

Interviewed by Katja Zvan 10 May 2006

Interview 72 minutes in length

Transcript available: 13 pages long

GB165-0396 Francis Mark Russell Collection Catalogue (pdf file)

Interviewed by Eugene Rogan 16 May 2006

Interview 119 minutes in length

Transcript available: 43 pages long

GB165-0413 John Tyrrell

Served in the Palestine Police 1945-1948

Interviewed by Anziska Seth 8 Jun 2007

Interview 49 minutes in length

Transcript available: 17 pages long

GB165-0393 Edward Wells Collection Catalogue (pdf file)

Served in Palestine Police 1944-1948

Interviewed by Josephine Delap 27 Apr 2006

Intervew 44 minutes in length

Transcript available: 13 pages long

The Edward Wells Collection also includes a photocopy of letter from B.N. Hinga (Commissioner of Police, Kenya) to Mr Wells summarising his career and giving thanks for his devoted service, 23 Aug 1965.