Stanley Medicks pays a final tribute to Israel’s 1948 volunteers

War veteran Stanley Medicks hopes that Israel continues to commemorate its creation forever — after all, he did help fight for it.


Eighty-two-year-old Mr Medicks is the founder of the British and European Machal Association, an organisation of overseas volunteers who fought for Israel in the 1948 War of Independence. Mr Medicks, one of 3,500 volunteers, is organising the association’s final reunion. More than 80 Machal veterans are expected to unite in Israel on Yom Hazikaron next month.

Nairobi-born Mr Medicks tells People: “This will be the last one — we are all well over 80. Machal is a unique club of heroes, and friendships forged in fire are everlasting. We are very proud of what we did in 1948. The creation of Israel after 2,000 years was a miracle.”

The Machalniks will gather at the Machal Memorial on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Burma Road. A Service of Remembrance will be held, including a commemoration of the 121 Machalniks who died during the war.

Mr Medicks joined the King’s African Rifles in 1943. In the 1948 war, he was a platoon commander, fighting to recapture areas north of Haifa from Syrian and Lebanese forces.

Around 3,500 foreign volunteers joined the fight in 1948.

Mr Medicks lives in Finchley, North London.

    Last updated: 2:53pm, June 8 2008