Palestine 1936 – 1937

Following the end of World War One and the Versailles Peace Treaty, Britain was responsible for the mandate of Palestine. British Forces, called upon to carry out their traditional role of maintaining law and order, were caught between the Arabs on one hand and Jews on the other.

By late 1936 the situation in Palestine had deteriorated to the point where the local garrison troops could not cope and reinforcements had to be sent from the UK.This included the 2nd Hampshire. They arrived in Haifa in October and went thence to Beit Jala, an Arab village overlooking the ancient city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ. During 1937 the Battalion was frequently split in company detachments mostly based around Nazareth.

The Battalion stayed for over a year and although they did not have to fight pitched battles like those of 1917, the duties were arduous, constant patrolling, providing guards on the railway, searching villages for arms and ammunition and liaising with local police made up the daily routine. Numerous small engagements and operations were carried out.

Another year on and the other regular battalion of the regiment was posted to Palestine from India. The 1st Battalion stayed for five months carrying out anti-terrorist operations similar to before. The outbreak of the Second World War brought a halt to internal troubles and the regiment then had other troubles to deal with.