Kem McSherry writes about an incident that took place at about 10.00 hrs some ten to twelve weeks prior to the last Convoy, or British Exodus from El Quads.
For quite a few weeks I had the job of Delivering the Lydda mail. I was not allowed to take the shortest route, via Latrun, but a rather round -about way through Arab territory. For this task I was† given a GMC --APC.† The personel carrier differed from the GMC armoured car in two aspects, instead of being fully armoured, it sported a canvas canopy,† in this case rolled back, every thing open.† It also had† two glass windscreens† instead of an open visor, and the size of the windows was much bigger than the Armoured car. I did not have a regular Car Commander, or Wireless operator.
On this day, I was proceeding on my journey, overMount Scopus, when, mounting the crest of the hill,I found myself confronted with a road block. On my left was a embankment, lined up above our heads was a row of rifle men, with their rifles lined up on us.† Ahead were more rifles pointing at our windscreens, or at both car commander and I.† If I was to reverse, I would need to drop the windscreen visors first, (that is if I didn't want a bullet between the eyes).† This would have signaled my intention to the others on the embankment, †an evil looking lot complete with that red and white arab head dress.†† I could not be sure, †if I attempted to reverse, would I get away with it, or not?
I looked over my shoulder and saw the †wireless operator sprawled on the floor, and realized it wasn't just my neck.
We were ordered out of the car by the raiding party, it was a hard thing to do. It was for me a day of shame, we had lost the initiative, thatís if we had ever had it.† Everything happened very quickly , the road block was removed, and so was the APC.†† The worst of this incident, was that it had been overseen by two of our own blokes, renegades. RatBags.
There was no loss of life, but to this day I still wonder should I have tried a rapid reverse?
By the way, the cheeky Buggers did indeed deliver
the mail to the Lydda airport.