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Palestine: events in 1946

"Within the past three weeks, sabotage of road and rail communications, including the blowing up of the principal bridges over the Jordan, has caused damage estimated at well over a quarter of a million pounds. On the night of 17th June the railway workshops at Haifa were seriously damaged by explosions and fire. The climax came on 18th June, when six British officers were kidnapped, and two others were seriously wounded. Three of those kidnapped are still held captive. These are the culminating events in a campaign of violence which since December has caused the death of 16 British soldiers and five police (including the seven soldiers murdered in cold blood at Tel Aviv on 25th April). The material damage has exceeded 400,000 Pounds." Clement Atlee, Prime Minister, 30th April 1946

By 1946 Zionist attacks on British troops were intensified and well organized. Whilst the Haganah claimed not to be involved in terrorist attacks there is no doubt that at times there was cooperation between them and the various terrorist groups. Attacks on the railway system were constant.

This table records deaths of British troops and Palestine Policemen but other significant incidents are also included. It is not exhaustive and can only give some idea of what was going on. The fighting was relentless and so-called revenge and retaliation attacks neverending. Detail sometimes conflicts and is difficult to cross-check; please let me know of any inaccuracies or details you can add.

A detailed and referenced account of incidents can be found in Issa Nakhleh's Palestine Encyclopaedia.

Jan 1 2 Arabs killed and 9 injured by shooting attack on café in Jaffa
Jan 5 14 Arabs killed and 19 injured by truck bomb outside the 'Serrani'(Jaffa Town Hall).
Jan 19 ASP (Police Armourer) William Elson (44) and Capt George Dickie-Clark; "Killed when examining and dismantling mines with the Army sappers after Jews tried unsucessfully to blow up the Palestine broadcasting studio."
Jan 21 Gnr Walter Herbert (24) from Limehouse; 112 LAA Regt, RA. "the coastguard station at Givat Olga, previously attacked on 24/25 November 1945, was more seriously damaged by a charge introduced during the rebuilding and fired by delay action. No warning by telephone was given and one British soldier was killed and 14 injured as well as one Palestinian policeman injured." MOD.
Feb 6 Capt James Ashley (26); RAMC/23 Kings African Rifles; from Stoke Bishop, Bristol; and Pte Jimbi Timbwa, 23/KAR; killed in terrorist attack on camp near Holon.
Feb 10 7 Arabs killed near Ras el Ain after selling cows in Tel Aviv.
Feb 18 12 Arabs killed and 43 wounded when the market in Ramle was bombed.
Feb 20 Spr Fred Downes (32) from Horwich, Manchester; 199 Rlwy Wksp, REs; terrorist attack, Tel Aviv. RAF Radar Station, Mount Carmel, attacked by terrorists. The radar station was important in seeking out ships bringing illegal immigrants.
Feb 25 Numerous aircraft destroyed in terrorist attacks on RAF airfields.
Mar 22 Lt Desmond Kennedy (21) from Manchester; 9 Abn Sq REs; killed in mine explosion, Tel Aviv.
Apr 25 Privates T Chappell, John Gilliard (23) from Dublin; John Hope (25) from Bingley; Norman Knight (18) from Marylebone; Harry Lewis (22), Hugh Mckay (19) from Bargeddie; Alexander Morrison (24) from Aberdeen; LCpl John Park (22) from Dorchester; of 5 Para, were murdered by Stern gang in the Tel Aviv carpark attack.
May 5 BC TF Beare (19); drowned on duty
Jun 16 S/Sgt Leslie Wignall (36) from Stoke-on-Trent, REs; and Dvr George Wilkinson (19) from Widnes; Pal Command Sigs; lynched by Arabs in Gaza. Source: The General Service Medal, Palestine; David Buxton..
Jun 16/17
Allenby Bridge
Lt Roy Allen (20); from West Mersea, Essex; 482 Fld Coy, REs. "During the evening of 16th June 1946, Hagana carried out attacks on road and rail bridges on the frontier of Palestine, causing damage estimated at L250,000. Four road and four rail bridges were destroyed during the night, and one road bridge across the Jordan was destroyed by a delayed action mine, while attempts were being made to remove the charges Lt Allen was killed." MOD. Many diversionary operations were also carried out by terrorists at this time to increase confusion.
Jun 18 Five British officers and one one RAF service man kidnapped; one of the officers was viciously clubbed. All eventually released but the last three were chloroformed and dumped unconscious in Tel Aviv. Passers by took no notice.
Jun 29 Cpl Leonard Bradley (21); Royal Dragoon Guards; died from injuries received on 24th June.
Jun 30 ASP Leslie Fisher, CPM (41); shot by terrorists.


22 Terrorist attack on the King David Hotel. There were 91 dead, including:
'Ami Abou Adham
WOII Leonard Adams (29), from Brondesbury Park; Signals.
Gnr George Baird (20) from Mansfield; RA.
Mr SW Blenkinsop (39); Secretariat
Bernard Bourdillon (35); Secretariat (son of former Governor of Nigeria)
Pte Howard Bratton (19) from Glamorgan; RASC.
Pte Leslie Cole (23) from Farnham; 1st/Duke of Wellington's Regt.
Gnr Gordon Dickinson (22) from St Neots; RA.
Mr George Farley (35); Secretariat
Mr Brian Gibbs (34); Assistant District Commissioner for Palestine. Joan Gibbs describes what the bomb did to her family
Staff Sgt Thomas Goodwin (37) from Blackburn; RASC
Police Sgt William Jennings (27) from Belton, Lindsey, Lincs
Mr Gerald Donald Kennedy, OBE (53); Postmaster General Palestine
Col Egbert Keys (47), Secretariat
Mr Roderick Musgrave (32); Asst Secr
Gnr David Needham (22) from Doncaster; RA
Gnr Eric Nolan (19) from Ipswich; RA
Mr Robert Platt, OBE (41); Under-Secr Pal Govt
Brig Peter Smith-Dorrien, OBE (39); 1/5th Btn Sherwood Foresters; Pal Govt
Sgt Arnold Staples (19) from Cottingham; RASC
Mr John Stockley (32); Asst Secretary;
L/Cpl Alan Taylor (19) from Middleton, Manchester
Pte William Thundercliffe (30) from Hull
Pte Albert Trebble (19) from Taunton; 2nd/Royal Warwicks
Mr Geoffrey Walsh, CMG,CBE (62); Pal Govt Food Controller & Economic Adviser
BC Ronald Woodward (20); Palestine Police
Jul 23 Capt Alexander Mackintosh (33) from Inverness; Signals; "Died of wounds sustained when he surprised terrorists stacking explosives in milk-churns in the Basement of the King David Hotel prior to blowing it up." MOD.
Jul 29 Cpl Leonard Cranwell (23) from Islington; 2nd Ox & Bucks Light Infantry; killed by sniper, Bethlehem road, Jerusalem.
Jul 30 Pte Colin Murray (19) from Glasgow; 5 Para; killed by sniper, Tel Aviv.
Sep 9 Maj John Doran (22) from London; I Corps; "a taxi containing four Jews dressed as soldiers stopped outside the Food Control Office near the Jaffa-Tel Aviv border. They approached the TAC. guard and fired several bursts, killing him. A second taxi then drew up, and four men got out. The taxis drove off. Maj Doran, Area Security Officer Jaffa, engaged them from the balcony of the house, and was wounded in the shoulder. DSP Cohen, who arrived on the scene to investigate the shooting was also wounded in the shoulder. Some of the terrorists then entered the house of the ASO, which also housed his office and records, and placed charges in position. A large explosion took place almost immediately, and a greater part of the house was demolished. Maj Doran died later as the result of multiple injuries, while his wife was seriously injured and another officer was slightly injured." MOD.
Police Sgt Thomas Martin, Haifa CID killed in terrorist drive-by shooting.
Sep 9/10 Sgt Ernest Nathan Lambert (23); 7 Para; killed by terrorists near Petah Tiqva.
Sep 13 Drive by shooting of Palestinian Arabs.after bank raid
Sep 20 Haifa Railway station bomb
Sep 22 Cpl Thomas McInnes (20) from Liverpool; 224 Para Field Amb RAMC; killed by sniper, Tel Aviv.
Sep 31 QMSI (Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor) Leslie Lemon (32) from London; killed when "At about 2345 hours QMSI Lemon of HQ 1 Para Bde was returning from Lydda to Nathanya on his motorcycle. At a road junction he encountered a 'Mines' notice, and on pulling up was attacked with automatic fire from a car which drew level with him. He was wounded in the chest, stomach and legs, and in spite of an operation the following morning, died in the Hadassah Hospital, Tel Aviv, at 1830 hours. The "Mines" on the road were dummies." MOD.
Oct 6 AC1 Patrick Hayes (19) from Listowel, Co Kerry; RAFVR; "At 19:30 hours on 6 October 1946 two airmen were shot in the street of the Prophets, Jerusalem. One died and the other was seriously injured. It seems likely that this murder was committed by Stern Group, although they did not, as is their usual custom, claimed responsibility for the act in pamphlets." MOD
Oct 8 Driver William Garmstone (20) from Weston-Super-Mare, RASC, and Gnr Fred Hinton (22) from Houslow; RA: killed when "At Kilo 4 on the Jerusalem-Jaffa road, a British Army 15 cwt. truck was blown up by a prepared charge of considerable size electrically detonated. The truck overturned and caught fire. Of the five occupants, two British Privates were killed, while one Lt Col and two other ranks were severely wounded." MOD.
Oct 17 BI William Bruce (34): "Fatally shot as he left a café in the Jaffa Road, Jerusalem with three other police officers. Two of the accompanying officers took him to hospital where he died of his wounds." MOD
Oct 20 Sgt Fred Clark (19) from Henley-on-Thames; 3rd Coldstream Guards; killed by vehicle mine, Jaffa.
Oct 24 Cpl George Alcorn (20 from Glasgow; Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders; killed by mines hidden in dustbins and shop shutter. Six others wounded, one of whom died later and one still carries some of the shrapnel.
Oct 25 Pte James Halliwell (19) from Wigan; 1st The Loyal Regiment (North Lancs); killed in a mine explosion, Jerusalem.
Oct 26 Pte James Buchanan (20) from Helensburgh; Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders; died of wounds sustained in explosions on 24th October.
Oct 30 Rfmn George Galbraith (21) from Broughton, and LCpl Dennis Higginbottom (20) from Ashton on Lyme; 1st/Royal Ulster Rifles: "An attack occurred in the Sheikh Jarrah quarter of Jerusalem shortly before 6 o'clock in the morning. Charges placed in the parapet of the road culvert were electrically detonated at the moment when two military vehicles laden with British troops and an Arab civilian truck were passing the spot, at the same time automatic fire was opened on the vehicles from positions North and South of the culvert." MOD
2 British guards killed in attack on Jerusalem Railway Station.
Oct 31 Pte John Eyre (22) from Ellesmere Port, and Cpl George Voce (34) from Liverpool: "at 20:45 hours 31 October 1946 at MR 14121628 South of Petah Tiqva on the Main North Road (Red Route). The 15 cwt truck of 195 Para Field Ambulance was travelling southwards at speed when an explosion caused the driver to lose control. The truck travelled on 30 yards, turned round - and then turned over into a ditch on the same side of the road as the mines (West side). It caught fire and was completely burned out. Two men were trapped and both died." MOD
British Embassy in Rome badly damaged by terrorist bomb.
Nov 9 BCs Alfred Cassidy (35), Owen Debenham (23) and Kenneth Heldt (20); killed when responding to anonymous call to a booby-trapped house in Moshe St, Jerusalem.
Nov 13 BCs Syney Moore and Charles Pipes killed by bombs.
Nov 17 Capt John Newton (24) from Lincoln; 1 Abn Sq REs; killed when "An unexploded contact mine was discovered on the railway line 2 kilometres south of Ras El Ain. Captain Newton was killed by the anti-lifting device during disposal when attempting to move the mine." MOD
Dvr Richard Payne (24) from Lambeth; 6 Fld Park Coy REs; killed in terrorist attack, Tel Aviv.
BC William Hedley (20); "At 23:00 hours in Tel Aviv 15 cwt of PMF destroyed by electrically detonated mine causing 3 British police to be killed." MOD
Nov 18 Capt Stanley Adamson killed when "At Kefar Sirkin, at 07:30 hours a pressure-type mine was found on the railway line. A Royal Engineers party from 2 Para Brigade undertook disposal. Captain Adamson, 9 Airborne Squadron Royal Engineers, was seriously injured and died later." MOD.
Nov 20 Jerusalem Income Tax offices bombed; one Jewish worker was killed and there were numerous casualties.
Dec 2 Gnr Ken Baker (21) from Northwich; RA; killed by vehicle mine, Jaffa Road, Jerusalem.
Signalmen George Boyes (19) from Birkenhead, and John Hunter (22), from Ashington; Gnr Cyril Pearson (19) from Islington; RA;: "At 11:45 hours a jeep of 2 FOU on its way to Jerusalem was blown up near the junction of the Seven Sisters Road. 2 Airborne gunners were killed and 2 Privates of Air Formation Signals, Ramle, who were hitch-hiking, were killed. This was the first daylight road-mining incident. The charge was said to have been in position for a week. Two Jews were seen escaping in a black taxi towards Jerusalem." MOD.
Cpl Herbert Riseborough (22) from Markington, Yorkshire; RASC; killed by vehicle mine, Hadera.
Dec 3 Sgt Robert McLachlan (19) from Glasgow; RA; killed by vehicle mine, Mount Carmel Rd, Haifa.
Dec 5 CQMS Adam Allman (20), 4 Para; and Capt John La Ferla, RAMC; "Killed at 11:25 hours when a military truck blew up apparently as result of time bomb placed in vehicle in front of Military Headquarters, Sarafand." MOD
Dec 6 L/Bdr Charles Symons (25) from Redruth; 1/Light AA Regt, RA; killed by vehicle mine, Tel Aviv/Haifa road.
Dec 8 Pte Edward Kemp (20) from Middlesex; RAOC; killed in terrorist attack.
Sgnmn Harold Lawrance (21) from Lincoln; 2 W/T Coy Signals; killed by vehicle mine Tel Aviv/Haifa road.
Dec 18 PP Sgt S Johnson (31); killed on duty.
Damaged Bedford
Photo: Ernie Carver
A dangerous job
Photo: Reg Baker
Bombed Haifa Station
Photo: IWM
"That many of the people resented the activities of the terrorist gangs I had ample evidence. I was on several occasions warned of raids and acts of terrorism and these were often at considerable risk to the informers, who came from all walks of life." Call to Arms, Gen Gale
On patrol
Photo: Ove Nielsen
Another wreck
Photo: Tom Cross
Allenby Bridge
Just left the workshop
Photo: Ernie Carver
"Another chap from this Brigade, a C.S.M. of the PT staff, has had his chips from our friends of the terrorist organization. Apparently he was riding a motor cycle a few miles from the camp, when he was shot and knocked off his cycle. Then the brave, chivalrous patriots who shot him, walked over to where he lay on the side of the road utterly helpless, and pumped ten more bullets into him. Then they made off. He was discovered a little while after by some blokes in a jeep, just managed to tell them what had happened, then he died." 5th October 1946, letter from Des Le Pard to his girlfriend, Barbs. (The man killed was Sgt Lemon, see left.)
palm trees on a  bay