Windsor and the first Prime Minister of Israel

Israel’s first Prime Minister

What does the town of Windsor and the first Prime Minister of Israel have in common? Need a hint? (It dates back to World War One.) Well, here is the answer. During the Great War the British Army used Fort Edward as a training ground for Jewish men preparing to fight the Ottoman Turks in Palestine. This unit would become known as the Jewish Legion and would see action in 1917. One of the men in this unit was named David Ben-Gurion, who in 1949 became the first Prime Minister of Israel.

Fort_Edward_soldiersWhile at the Fort the soldiers stayed in small white tents along the hill below the blockhouse. In this photo you can see many of the soldiers standing along the hillside. We know Ben-Gurion is one of the men shown but we sadly do not know for sure where in the photo he is located. The West Hants Historical Society also has a copy of a letter dated 1966 where Ben-Gurion writes to then Mayor of Windsor Robert C. Dimock saying, I will never forget Windsor, where I received my first training as a soldier and where I became a corporal.

It’s always exciting when the hidden gems at the West Hants Historical Society shed light on the fascinating local history of the West Hants area–but it’s extra special when they associate with the greater world history.

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