Birth Name Gregson
Gender male


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources

Military Service   British Army, Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence MoD  

Boat September, 1947 HMT Runnymede Park רונימיד פארק, Royal Navy Lt-Col Gregson was the officer in charge of evacuating the Maapilim

Place Note

On September 17, 1947, 14.00PM, HMS Runnymede Park was evacuated.
One hundred military police and 200 Sherwood Foresters troops were ordered to board HMS Runnymede Park, and eject the Maapilim.
The officer in charge, Lieutenant-Colonel Gregson, provided an assessment of the storming of the vessel, which left up to 33 Maapilim, including four women, injured in the fighting; 68 Jews were held in custody charged with unruly behaviour, and 3 three soldiers were injured.
Lieutenant-Colonel Gregson admitted that he had considered using tear gas against the Maapilim.
He cited: "The Jew is liable to panic and 800-900 Jews fighting to get up a stairway to escape tear smoke could have produced a deplorable business." He added: "It is a very frightening thing to go into the hold full of yelling maniacs when outnumbered six or eight to one."
Lieutenant-Colonel Gregson wrote to his superiors: "After a very short pause, with a lot of yelling and female screams, every available weapon up to a biscuit and bulks of timber was hurled at the soldiers. They withstood it admirably and very stoically till the Jews assaulted and in the first rush several soldiers were downed with half a dozen Jews on top kicking and tearing ... No other troops could have done it as well and as humanely as these British ones did."
He cited: "In the unloading of the Runnymede Park, there was naturally a fair degree of force employed."
"Fire hoses and batons were used on the side of the troops."
"On the part of the emigrants, there was some use of broken bottles, tins were thrown and lumps of bully beef into which jagged pieces of tin had been stuck."
"On the other hand, no firearms, knives or daggers were ever used on either side, nor was tear smoke employed."
He blamed a "few young soldiers getting excited" for slight pushing on the docks."
He cited: "It should be borne in mind that the guiding factor in most of the actions of the Jews is to gain the sympathy of the world press."
Lieutenant-Colonel Gregson banned media from the quayside during the disembarkation.
He cited: ""After disembarkation they are free to spread all the atrocity stories they like, whatever the disembarkation has been like, but if the press is there they have got to put on a show for them to see."



    1. Gregson