Prior to the war breaking out I was studying Dentistry at Manchester University. We knew war was on the horizon. The Arab students in the Student Union were posting nasty colour posters labelled in Arabic which were very provocative. I went round pulling them down. There was a complaint and I justified my actions because they were not in English and my actions were upheld.
The day it started my parents [in Leeds] drove to their niece’s home on the Monday night, 5th June, where she was expecting a (regular weekly) phone call from her sister who was in Israel, whom we knew had been drafted into MatCal. The call arrived early evening and they were told
“Can only talk for a few seconds. I am safe. Don’t worry. We have won the war! Can’t go into details and do not believe any of the Arab radio reports! Love to all”
I received the news from my parents the same evening and passed it on wherever possible; of course no one believed me because they trusted the Arab reports of success. But when the summation of Arab air force victories seemed strange over the next 24 hours - they had shot down more planes than Israel had in its possession and the numbers were still coming in - then they believed my news.
Anyway back at the Dental Hospital the war was attracting everyone’s attention, even non Jews. I brought a small radio into the main treatment clinic and actually received formal permission to have the radio on all the time to listen in to the regular new reports. You have no idea what a concession and a blessing this was.
The night it was formally over all the Jewish lads in my year went out to “celebrate” - if I recall six, plus one Baha’i.
- David Barratt, ex Leeds, now Ra’anana Israel (since 1981)