Acre Place

The naming of this particular Plymouth thoroughfare has nothing to do with yards, poles or chains but rather Israelis.

An ancient and rather picturesque port on coast of Israel, Acre (Akko, or Ptolemais as it is referred to in the New Testament) is not without its strategic importance and has had an eventful history. Taken by the Crusaders in 1104, by Saladin in 1187, only to be recaptured by a new generation of Crusaders under Richard I four years later when it was given to the Knights ofSt John. Exactly a century later it fell to the Egyptians, and then to the Turks in 1517.

In 1799 Napoleon had the place besieged for 61 days, but thanks to Jazzar Pasha and Sir Sidney Smith, the town was saved. Ibrahim Pasha took it himself in 1832 and then, in 1840, it was captured by the English, Austrians and Turks. It is the fact that Captain Charles Napier, under Admiral Sir Robert Stopford, played no small part in the overturning of Pasha that led to the subsequent naming of Napier Street, Stopford Place, Beyrout Place and Acre Place. Doubtless many local servicemen were involved.

Clearly it was by no means the last drama witnessed in that part of the Middle East and in 1918 it was taken again by British forces, under General Allenby and although subsequently awarded to the Arabs by the UN it was captured by the Jews in 1948 and became part of Israel.