Monday 21 February 2011 by Carlie Walker. No comments
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, Battles, Commemoration, Exhibition, Second World War

Bryant's Diary: Friday 21st February 1941

Retired back to Wadi Chariar and took up positions in old Turkish trenches.

 

Cosgriff's Diary: Friday 21st February 1941

Pino Defunctis [For the Dead].  Slept in to 7:15.  Used private fruit knife at breakfast.  Found Byrne Nolee a Catholic.  Photos turned out...O.K.  Sent parcel to Elsa.  Letters to her and Jas Carragher.  Tom Steele back from Nile Boat.  John and Len on getting “stinkin” on peace night.  Bought lime-juice for water-bottle.  No news of active warfare and nothing to do.  Dr. Steele here today.  Mail day but no letter for John or I.  Len threatening to write Mary a stinker.

 

Bryant's Diary: Saturday 22nd February 1941

Marched back to camp and arrived a little after one o’clock.  Copped road guard to cap everything.  Coy off to range tomorrow to fire the Bren.

 

Bryant's Diary: Sunday 23rd February 1941

Left by transport for Jaffa range to fire the Bren.  Palestine improves as you move north along the coast and Richon and surroundings are very beautiful.  Richon is very close to the range and the majority of the population are Jewish.  The orchards there are first-class and where we camped oranges, lemons and grapefruit can be had for nothing.  The range itself is very extensive and facilities are available for Small Arms, grenades, Anti-Aircraft practices.  Gum trees are plentiful and improves the place immensely.  The Bren guns fired all right through day, but the shooting was very mediocre.  I got 62 out of 115.  Went to Richon on the Sunday night and saw “Wuthering Heights”, but it is a lousy show.

 

Cosgriff's Diary: Monday 24th February 1941

Alex with Len.  Mass at S. Catherina.  Kids singing at Exporition of SS.  Bath at Tim’s room – then tour to Moustapha barracks, Pompey’s pillar, catacombs lunch with Tim then car tour of seafront etc.  Home early by Len.  Zac’s scene with Dick over waiting for Mass – horrible dipler of Jew’s childish temper – went in to dinner alone.  Fr. Phillips on leave to Alex.  No letter today.

 

Lecky's Letters: 25 February 1941: Red Shield Huts – Hostels for Australian troops, to Mum and Dad,

As you can see by the above address I have moved in and have begun a refresher course, so far I have only done 2 days but the methods and ideas are all the latest and seem to be very good.  I came down with a cobber and a batman between us so we lost no time in making ourselves as comfortable as possible – especially since we have a huge Indian Pattern tent with all mod cons. H & C showers, pictures and canteen handy, an excellent mess and best of all we are within 100 yds of some very nice nurses whom we met on the way over...Routine starts at 6:30 am (when its quite dark) and finishes at 4 with a game of football or basketball, with lectures in between so I hope to be very fit in mind and body when I return. 

Still no mail from you – last was dated 23 Jan 41... please write as often as you possibly can as you have no idea how much mail from home means... I must tell you about my leave to Jerusalem...We stayed at the Hotel Fast which was originally owned by a German, but he had to leave hurridly (sic) on a certain September morn in 1939 so the pub was taken over by the Comforts Fund...I was given 2 nights lodging, meals, bus fare there and back and a free sightseeing tour...so three cheers for the Comforts Fund...After an excellent meal I retired feeling very lonely and to the lounge where I found myself invited to join a party consisting of two New Zealand Nurses, an M.O. from the same place and an Aussie officer (whose language was shocking) who was just up from the scene of actions where he had spent some months and been mentioned in despatches.  We did the rounds of the city night clubs...and they invited me to accompany them on a trip next day which I very gladly accepted... [I] boarded a 7 seater Plymouth sedan with the others.  The trip meant missing the principal sights of Jerusalem but was well worth it as we saw nearly all of Palestine...

 

The 'Fast Hostel', a hostel in Jerusalem taken over by the Australian Comforts Fund.  It was popular with troops due to its home comforts and inexpensive board.  Image taken 24 March 1942. The 'Fast Hostel', a hostel in Jerusalem taken over by the Australian Comforts Fund. It was popular with troops due to its home comforts and inexpensive board. Image taken 24 March 1942. 011788

Bryant's Diary: Wednesday 26th February 1941

Rumours and indications are pretty strong today that our Brigade will move very soon, possibly to Egypt.  It has come.  We are moving all right.  We have received our orders to pack up and tonight we have to sleep without blankets and stand by.

 

Bryant's Diary: Thursday 27th February 1941

We got our gear ready to move and should leave sometime tonight.  I received a big batch of letters today, the first Air Mail lot in a fortnight.  It must have been held up for some reason.  Received advice of Geoff’s marriage.  Good luck to him.  We left Gaza Ridge about 9:30 in the night by train for Egypt. 

 

Cosgriff's Diary: Thursday 27th February 1941

Pino defunctis.  Len waiting hour and half for pay conveyance.  While we were at Alex returning pay, C.O. made his famous announcement “there off armoured boys”.  That it all the news we got of departure.  Chas Littlejohn apologises for Zoe and resigns chair.  Marsh and Morton home for departure...