Patterson, John Henry°

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PATTERSON, JOHN HENRY ° (1867–1947), British soldier and author; commanding officer of the Zion Mule Corps and the *Jewish Legion. Born in Dublin, Ireland, into a Protestant family, Patterson's education included the study of the Bible. He was employed as an engineer in the construction of bridges in the British colonies of East Africa, and he described some of his experiences there in his books, The Man-eaters of Tsavo (1907) and In the Grip of the Nyika (1909). In the Boer War he commanded the 33rd Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry and in 1915 he was appointed commander of the Zion Mule Corps. With the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he went through the entire Gallipoli campaign with Joseph *Trumpeldor and the Jewish volunteers from Ereẓ Israel. From that time he became an ardent supporter of the Zionist idea. When the Gallipoli campaign ended and the unit broke up, Patterson associated himself with Vladimir *Jabotinsky's efforts in London for the formation of a Jewish Legion which would fight with the British for the liberation of Palestine from Turkish rule. With this objective in mind he wrote his book, With the Zionists in Gallipoli (1916). When the first battalion of the Jewish Legion was created in Britain, Patterson became its commander with the rank of colonel and accompanied it to the battle front of Samaria and the Jordan Valley, remaining in command until a year after World War i. He described this experience in his book, With the Judeans in the Palestine Campaign (1922). From then on Patterson became attached to the Zionist Movement and maintained particularly close relations with Jabotinsky. In 1939 he violently condemned the *White Paper policy of Malcolm MacDonald in the press, defining it as a betrayal. In 1940 he participated in Jabotinsky's campaign in the United States for the formation of a Jewish army to fight the Nazis.


V. Jabotinsky, Story of the Jewish Legion (1946), index; R.N. Salaman, Palestine Reclaimed (1920), index. add. bibliography: J.B. Schechtman, The Jabotinsky Story: Rebel and Statesman (1956).

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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Patterson, John Henry°

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