July 22. A time-bomb destroyed the King David Hotel in
Jerusalem, headquarters of British forces in Palestine.
Britain got the job of governing Palestine after liberating
the land from the Turks in 1918. It was a thankless task with
both Arabs and Jews demanding the land. Despite pressure from
the United States, Britain refuses to allow Jews from Europe,
including many liberated from concentration camps, to flood into
the Holy Land and create more instability.
led to heartbreaking scenes as men, women and children who had
survived the worst that Hitler could do were turned back by the
boatload. Jewish terrorists began a savage guerilla war against
their British rulers.
One of the most ruthless was the Stern Gang, believed responsible
for the King David Hotel outrage. It was a well-planned attack.
Explosives packed into milk churns were left in the hotel's basement
kitchens. The building collapsed like a pack of cards, killing
dozens of solders and civilians. Barely a year later, Britain
announced that it would pull out of Palestine as soon as possible,
whether or not the Jews and Arabs had reached agreement.
February 8. Bananas arrived in Britain for the first
time since 1939 amidst great excitement. Considered luxury items,
they could not be imported during the war which meant a whole
generation of children had never seen an orange or banana. Some
tried to eat them skin and all.
The day before, the Food Minister told the Commons rationing
would have to return to near wartime levels because of a worldwide
food shortage. The amount of wheat in bread was to be reduced,
butter and marge rations cut while wartime meat, poultry and egg
allocations remained the same. The main problem was the need to
feed 30 million Germans whose agricultural industry had been destroyed
in the bombing. The ministry issued a range of dietary advice,
including a recipe for squirrel pie.
May 3. Pelsall Sanatorium would be closed for a month
to allow the overworked nursing staff to take a holiday, an inquiry
by Walsall's Medical Officer concluded. But the staff situation
at Goscote Isolation Hospital was so bad, it could face permanent
closure. Patients at Pelsall would return home for a short period
while the staff took a break, said Dr J.A.M Clark. Luckily, he
added, he had never known a time when there had been so little
infectious disease about. "And it is a very good thing," he stressed.
"The staff position is the same at nearly every hospital in the
town and the public are going to be taught a severe lesson if
they won't allow their daughters to go in for nursing - it is
a very serious position."
May 11. It was announced judges would sit through the
summer recess to help clear the 50,000 service divorces still
outstanding in the courts. The alarming increase in divorce was
considered a major social problem. In 1945 there were 25,000 cases,
two and a half times the number for 1938. It was clear many relationships
had not stood the test of long enforced separations, finding themselves
virtual strangers by the end of the war.
More of a problem - about 70 per cent of the current backlog
- was adultery, indicating many of those left behind had found
new partners. A few months later in the Lords, the Archbishop
of Canterbury condemned the three-minute civil marriage ceremony
for its "startling brevity".
September 30. The Nuremburg trials reached their climax
as 12 leading Nazis were sentenced to death including Ribbentrop,
Goering and Hitler's deputy Bormann. Rudolph Hess was sentenced
to life imprisonment. Only 10, however, were executed in the prison
gymnasium two weeks later. Bormann was believed dead and had been
sentenced in his absence while Goering cheated the hangman by
committing suicide with a cyanide pill a few hours before. Some
looked haggard, others nervous. Some reaffirmed their support
for the Nazi cause, a couple called for peace between nations.
January 17. It was announced "new
towns" may be built to ease the post-war housing shortage.
They were intended to encourage a sense of culture and civic
March 5. Churchill spoke of an
"Iron Curtain" descending across the Continent, warning
of a growing Soviet menace.
March 6. France finally recognised
the Communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
March 9. A total of 33 football
fans were killed when steel barriers collapsed at the Bolton
Wanderers v Stoke City FA cup tie at Bolton after thousands
of supporters broke down fencing to get into a packed enclosure.
April 11. A Wednesfield widow who knitted
over 600 pairs of socks for the forces during the war was
awarded a Red Cross badge of appreciation.
May 3. An appeal for 3,000 collectors
in the Wolverhampton, Dudley and Cannock areas for the 33rd
celebration of Alexandra Day was made. It was estimated
that 500,000 Alexandra roses and over 1,500 motor garlands
would be on sale.
A special cheese ration was awarded to the brick and tile
industry which had no meal facilities at work.
June 6. In Brisbane, a Wolverhampton
man admitted having three "wives" in two months, one back
home and two in Australia.
July 25. The Americans tested their
first nuclear weapons off the island of Bikini Atoll in
the Pacific after removing the entire population. Its original
inhabitants still want to return.
August 4. The Bing Crosby film,
Going My Way, opened at the Gaumont, Birmingham, to rave
September 21. A 59-year-old Hednesford
man who had worked in India opening a colliery, died of jungle
October 2. New research linked
smoking to cancer.
November 22. A revolutionary new
pen which didn't blot, smudge or need to be refilled, went
on sale. It was called the Biro, after its Hungarian inventor.
The House of Commons voted to nationalise the railways,
road haulage and the ports. Labour MPs sang The Red Flag
as they waited to vote.