CAIRO – 31 January 2021: The poet, Captain Sameh Abdel-Zahir Al-Saidi, wrote a new poem entitled "Hero 14" in which he mourns the hero, martyr Omar al-Qadi.
The story of the police battle began on January 25, 1952, where the British commander in the Canal Zone summoned the Egyptian liaison officer, and handed him an ultimatum to the Egyptian police forces in Ismailia to surrender their weapons to the British forces. The ultimatum also demanded that the Egyptian police forces must leave the Canal Zone and withdraw to Cairo.
Those demands were firmly rejected by the governorate and the Minister of Interior at the time Fouad Serag el-Din, who asked his forces to withstand, resist and not surrender.
This incident was the most important reason for the outbreak of the rebellion by the police forces, or what was called the regime blocks at the time, which caused the British commander and his forces to besiege the city and divide it into the Arab neighborhood and the British neighborhood, placing a barbed wire between the two areas so that none of the people of the Arab neighborhood could reach the upscale neighborhood where the Brits resided.
After the abolition of the Treaty of 36 on October 8, 1951, Britain was infuriated and considered the abolition of the treaty the beginning of war against the Egyptians and the Egyptian cities, including the cities of the Canal, a major center for the British camps.
The first episodes of struggle against the colonialists began, and massive demonstrations began calling for the evacuation of the British.
On October 16, 1951, the first spark of rebellion against the Brits began by burning a warehouse of supplies and seafood for the English, which was located in Orabi Square, in the center of Ismailia. It was burned after the demonstrations of workers and students and was completely destroyed, which heightened the grip of the British on the Egyptians.
The Egyptians then decided to unite their efforts to fight the British invader. This is when the events of January 25, 1952 began.
The brutal massacre began at 7 a.m. 25-pound field cannons and huge 100-millimeter (Centurion) tank cannons began pounding the governorate building and the regime's block barracks without mercy.
The British General ordered to seize fire for a short period in order to announce to the policemen trapped inside his final warning, which is to surrender and leave with arms raised and without their weapons, otherwise his forces will resume firing with maximum intensity.
The arrogant British commander was surprised when the response came from a young officer of a small rank, inflamed with enthusiasm and patriotism, Captain Mustafa Rifat, for he shouted in his face with courage and fortitude: “You will only lay hand on us if we are lifeless bodies.”
The British resumed the heinous massacre, firing cannons and tanks. The bombs began to rain down on the buildings until they turned into rubble; the human remains and blood scattered everywhere.
Despite that, the Egyptian police heroes remained steadfast in their positions, fighting with their antique (Lee-Enfield) rifles against the most powerful and modern British guns until they ran out of ammunition.
In the battle, 56 were killed and 80 wounded, while 13 British officers were killed and 12 wounded. The British captured the officers and soldiers who remained alive, headed by their commander, Major General Ahmed Raif, and they were only released in February 1952.
The British General could not hide his admiration for the courage of the Egyptians, so he told Lieutenant Colonel Sherif Al-Abd, the liaison officer, “The Egyptian policemen fought with honor and surrendered with honor. Therefore, it is our duty to respect them all, officers and soldiers.”
British platoon soldiers, by order of their general, performed the military salute to the line of Egyptian policemen when they left the governorate building, in honor and appreciation of their bravery.
The Egyptian police martyrs in the battle against the British occupation remain in the minds and hearts of Egyptians and are celebrated annually on January 25.