Terrorist attack on the Goldsmith Officers' Club

Saturday, 1st March 1947

"At half-past three on the afternoon of 1st March a vehicle drove into the wire defences of the Goldsmith Officers' Club in Jerusalem, while the guards were engaged by machine-gun fire from terrorists who had taken up position outside the wire defences. A heavy explosion followed which destroyed a considerable part of the building. A few hours later an attack was carried out on a car park at Haifa and a number of vehicles wrecked. Other less serious outrages, of which full reports are not yet fully available, occurred in other parts of the country. Total casualties so far reported in this day of violence amount to 18 killed and 25 injured, of whom a number are civilians. In the last month 48 outrages have occurred in which 20 people have lost their lives and 31 have been injured."

Statement by Arthur Creech-Jones in House of Commons, 3rd March 1947 Source: Palestine: Information with Provenance, (PIWP database) Cork.

British Pathé News clip

British Casualties:

  • Carr, John (32), of Leyton; Essex, Captain, RASC
  • Constant, John, from Ashford; Private, Army Catering Corp;
  • Kenyon, A, (19); Private, 1st South Lancs
  • Widgery, Charles T (48), from Taunton, Somerset; Major, Royal Engineers

Nine NAAFI civilians were killed too and in No Balm in Gilead, Sylva Gelber says that also killed were the young Polish telephone operator, the Italian club manager and a police clerical officer. Sixteen people were wounded.

Update: the Polish telephone operator was Olga Lucyna Podboraczynska aged 22. Source: Dr Elaine Myers who is compiling a directory of all graves in the British-German Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion.

The three-storey building on King George Avenue in Jerusalem was named after its generous Jewish sponsor. As can be seen the damage was extensive. It was a day of widespread violence which resulted in martial law being declared.

All photos are from The Illustrated London News, 15th March 1947, provided by Harry Devey.

NB The army received an inaccurate warning from the Jewish Agency 5 minutes before the attack.