‘Our Irish Constabulary’: The British Palestine Gendarmerie, 1922–1926
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This chapter examines the raising and recruitment in 1921–1922 of the British (Palestine) Gendarmerie, a 760-strong striking force/riot squad overwhelmingly drawn from Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) sources, which inaugurated Irish involvement in Palestine’s policing. It assesses the impact that both its inclusion of large numbers of former Black and Tans, and the appointment of Irish police chief, Hugh Tudor, to overall command, had on public perceptions of the force, and examines official attempts to make it more politically palatable by obscuring its RIC roots. The reasons for RIC personnel enlisting in the force are explored, with particular focus on the part played by the intimidatory campaign directed against them by Irish Republican Army elements in the early independence period on account of their counterinsurgency role in the Irish Revolution.