Review by Michael Macoun
(Colonial Police 1938-1964,
Inspector-General of Colonial Police,
Overseas Police Adviser FCO 1965-1979)
With the passage of time, a record of pre-war contract Police Service in Palestine is
unusual if not unique.
Colin Imray joined the Force in 1932 as a constable during a particularly turbulent
period and was one of the first constables to be promoted to gazetted rank.
In 1935 he was transferred to the Gold Coast as a Cadet officer and in 1948 as a
Superintendent he was awarded the King's Police Medal for his conduct in the Accra
riots of that year. He was later transferred to Kenya where he became an Assistant
Commissioner of Police, in which rank he retired in 1958, subsequently serving on contract
in Nigeria. He is currently engaged in writing a book on his African Service.
This account of his Palestine Service is notable for the tributes paid to the quality of
leadership of those who commanded the Police Force during a period of almost constant
stress and emergencies, many of whose officers later served with distinction post-war in
the Colonial Police in South-East Asia and Africa.
In addition, he gives vivid and entertaining coverage of life as a Police Officer in circumstances
fraught at times with danger. He also managed to convey a picture of the
background to the Arab Rebellion supplemented by many incidents in which he participated.
The book concludes with an historical appendix devoted to the genesis of
Palestine/Israel which provides an excellent guide to what was an "unholy land".