While Palestine British Police Sergeant Flaherty (I never got to know his given name) was Irish, Sydney Charles Webb was English.

By Dov Chaikin |
Photo: WikiCommons

I didn’t actually get to meet him until 1952, but he was there: he was station sergeant of the little police station in Romema during my boyhood there. He did make inspector, but his further promotion was curtailed; he had married a Jewish woman! Rachel Nahmias was the sister of Joseph Nahmias, eventually Israel’s second Police Inspector General.


The Nahmias family lived in Beit Hadj Mahmoud, in the little lane just off Jaffa Road, below the square with its so-called Allenby monument. Across the lane, in the big house – Beit Issa-Mousa – lived the Shitreet family: Bechor Shalom Shitreet eventually became Israel’s first Police Minister. The initiator of the Romema neighborhood – built in 1921 – had been Yom-Tov Hammon, a lawyer who had served as magistrate under the Ottoman regime.


Admittedly, Romema was not unique as regards interesting personalities in Jerusalem in those days and...

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