The British Empire Library

Policeman in Palestine: Memories of the Early Years

by Colin Imray

Courtesy of OSPA

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".

British Empire Book
Colin Imray
Edward Gaskell Publishing Company


Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe