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'Lofty' Rendle's Experience

"In July 1947, during the time when the two sergeants from Intelligence went missing, we were called out to help. With my Bren gun mounted in the GMC we took up a position on the Haifa coastal road at Hadera with a roadblock of two White Scout cars either end and the GMC in the middle.

All was quiet until about 9am when a blue car drove right through the roadblock. Our Captain called out, 'Stop it! Tyres and petrol tank only!' I put a full 'mag' into the back of it and naturally it stopped. By this time some of the lads were on it, rifles and bayonets at the ready. Two white-faced chaps got out and we pushed the car back to our position. These chaps were RAF in civvies and didn't think that they had to stop. After our Captain had finished with them, they knew different! They were later picked up by RAF police and their car was taken to camp 21.

Sometime later when we left for guard duties at Athlit the car was still in a shed a little moth eaten at the rear. We moved later that day to a settlement by Nathanya crossroads and the Police Post where we went through the houses with a fine toothcomb and found a number of rifles and shotguns. These were taken to the Police Post but we had to return them as they were for the protection of the settlement.

I think they had a job to fire them minus firing pins! We spent five days giving them hell and not letting them leave for any reason. I think they were glad when we finally moved out.

It was during this period that the two Sergeants were found, garrotted and their bodies hung and booby-trapped in a eucalyptus grove nearby. They had been kept prisoner as we know in the cellar of a diamond factory before being murdered. I think we all had the right to feel the way we did when we heard the news. Feelings were running very high in every regiment throughout Palestine."

Gunners in Palestine Newsletter, 2003