On the coattails of history

Viscount Allenby retraces his ancestor’s victorious entry to Jerusalem a century ago.

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December 28, 2017 21:20
 Viscount Henry Allenby reading the Allenby proclamation of martial rule

Viscount Henry Allenby reading the Allenby proclamation of martial rule. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

ON DECEMBER 11, 2017, Viscount Henry J.H. Allenby of Megiddo and Felixtowe, stood on a balcony inside Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate and read out the proclamation of martial law made by his great-great-uncle, General Edmund Allenby, in the same spot after he entered by foot with his officers to take control of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks exactly a century before. It was part of a festive reenactment of the historic event staged by the Tower of David Museum and attended by thousands of visitors, who were welcomed by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Also on the balcony were the Viscount’s mother, Sara Viscountess Allenby (the wife of the third Viscount), as well as Christina and John Benson, the great-great grandson of Maj.-Gen. John Shea, the officer commanding the 60th Division in Palestine who reportedly received the keys of the city from the mayor, Hussein al-Husseini, in a gesture symbolic of the Ottoman surrender to the British Army.

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