Palestine 1946

Instead of peace in Palestine, the conclusion of World War II brought renewed troubles to the area and once again there was a need for the county regiment to maintain internal security. This time, terrorist methods were being used to try to persuade the British Government to increase the number of Jewish immigrants in order to create a new state. The 1st Hampshire, which now contained many National Service soldiers, was once again sent.

For nearly five months the Battalion was responsible for security in the modern Jewish suburb of Rehovia, where the government military headquarters was, and had to cope with bomb outrages, murder shootings and sniping.

Undoubtedly the most memorable incident that took place in the summer of 1947 was on Minden Day. On 1st August as a special celebration lunch was about to be served when a group of terrorists approached the wire of the Battalion compound and under cover of smoke and gun fire threw a mattress onto the wire in an attempt to get across.

Their intention was obviously to catch the soldiers off guard during the holiday. However they did not count on the vigilance of the sentries who fired into the smoke and cut off the terrorists escape.

The official estimation was that 18 terrorists were involved, one being killed, and 5 were later captured. A quantity of arms and ammunition was also recovered. It was later discovered that the attack was mounted by’ Irgun’ as an intended reprisal for the execution of 3 terrorists on 29th July 1947.

The 1st Battalion left Palestine in October 1947 and the state of Israel was created on 14th May 1948.