Jerusalem (Mar. 1)
Tel Hai Day, marking the anniversary of the death of Captain Trumpeldor, who died in Tel Hai in March 1920, defending the colony against Arab raiders, is being observed by two separate pilgrimages to his grave at Tel Hai, arranged separately by the Palestine Labour Organisation and the Palestine Revisionists, the first honouring him for his connection with the Haluzim movement and the second for his connection with the Jewish Legion and the Zion. Mule Corps.
A big meeting in honour of Trumpeldor was also held at Ramat Rachel, outside Jerusalem, where the Labour Battalion bearing Trumpeldor’s name is settled. It had been intended to arrange a big processions but this was prohibited by the police. Several hundred workers were present at the meeting.
Trumpeldor, who was only about thirty-six years of age when he died, had distinguished himself by his bravery in the Russo-Japanese War. He was the only Jew in the Czarist army who was raised to the rank of officer. He lost an arm in the fighting at Port Arthur. After the war he settled in Palestine and worked there on the land. When Turkey entered the Great War he escaped to Egypt, and helped to form the Zion Mule Corps, being second in command to Colonel Patterson, who in his book “Gallipoli” speaks of him as one of the bravest men he ever met.
Trumeldor, who defended Tel Hai with a handful of demobilised soldiers of the Jewish Battalion and Haluzim, was wounded by the first shots from the Arab side, three bullets striking him. For two hours he continued, wounded as he was, to direct the defence and finally the Jews forced the Arabs to retreat with a loss of five dead and about fifteen wounded. Of the defending force, three men, Tocker, Munter and Sharo, and two girls, Deborah Drichler and Sarah Chisick (whose brother was killed in the defence of Beer Tuviah in the August outbreak of 1929), were killed, and three men, Zuloti, Galubov and Goldberg were wounded. Trumpeldor’s condition was seen to be hopeless and when asked how he felt he answered: “Easy; it is good to die for our country”.
As soon as the attack was beaten off, the group decided to leave Tel Hai immediately for Giladi, which was a better strategical position. On the way Trumpeldor died while being carried by his comrades. Before he breathed his last, he was asked how he felt and he replied in a faint voice: “It is good to die for our country”.