Grandad’s WWII Diary – Plains of Jezreel, Churches of Annunciation & St Joseph, Nazareth, Palestine 1943

In my Grandfather’s War Diary entry from Saturday 13 February 1943, he visits Nazareth.  He said –

Passed over Plains of Jezreel.  Nazareth like all other Arab towns.  Visited “Church of Annunciation” built over caves believe to have been part of Virgin Mary’s house.  Church has three altars representing Gabriel the Angel – Mary’s parents & Virgin Mother.  A few steps further on “Church of St Joseph” built over caves which Joseph & afterwards Christ used as carpentering shop.  Church decorated with many beautiful stained windows each representing a different virtue of Joseph.

He most likely took (or purchased) these photos on this visit that day.

The comments under the photos are his own words from the backs of the photos.

Plains of Jezreel where from the Bible the Jews still believe the decisive battle of the War shall be fought.  Taken from hills by Nazareth.
Plains of Jezreel where from the Bible the Jews still believe the decisive battle of the War shall be fought. Taken from hills by Nazareth.
View of cave forming part of Mary's House of altar representing Angel Gabriel speaking to Virgin Mary.  Church of Annunication - Nazareth
View of cave forming part of Mary’s House of altar representing Angel Gabriel speaking to Virgin Mary. Church of Annunication – Nazareth
View of altar in Church of St Joseph%22 believe to be built over caves in which Jesus & Joseph worked in the carpenter shop - Nazareth
View of altar in Church of St Joseph believed to be built over caves in which Jesus & Joseph worked in the carpenter shop – Nazareth
View of Altar - Church of Annunciation - Believe to have been built over caves which formed part of Mary's House - Nazareth
View of Altar – Church of Annunciation – Believe to have been built over caves which formed part of Mary’s House – Nazareth
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6 comments

  1. It must have been an intriguing and remarkable experience for your grandfather to be able to visit these places. Even after the 2NZDivision left Syria in mid-1942, Palestine was used as a frequent leave/R&R locale, giving the soldiers good opportunity to play ‘tourist’ even in the midst of the war. It wasn’t the first time Kiwis had been there, either – my great uncle fought in Allenby’s Palestine campaign during 1916-18, a part of the New Zealand experience that is usually forgotten these days by historians.

  2. Thank you again for helping us to identify one of my partner’s father’s photo of this same altar taken 1940 when he was part of the Polish Carpathian Brigade – View of cave forming part of Mary’s House of altar representing Angel Gabriel speaking to Virgin Mary. Church of Annunication – Nazareth

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