Tobruk Diaries: Getting hotter...
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, Exhibition, Tobruk, Rats of Tobruk, stretcher bearer, wounded
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 30th May 1941
More digging today and it was through solid rock. The weather is getting hotter. We came home by another route – past Fort Palestrino – and it was the roughest ride I’ve ever had. We were pulled out of the water in a hurry and were made to stand to in expectation of an attack which did not eventuate.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Saturday 31st May 1941
Stayed up till 12 last night talking – awakened at 6 by naval guns. Mass of B.V.M [Blessed Virgin Mary] for Bill Sanders girl R.I.P. – Pete Gleeson altar-boy. Big crowd for communion. Hot as blazes today. Tried to obtain writing paper from Tom – failed. Learned that 5th Hospital had lost everything – MacNamara captured...Still no Jerry push. First anointing for long time. Colonel’s birthday – formal mess – scrounged cake for Wren. Peter doing the admitting concert tonight – seen by Thompson 2/9th. Wishing something would happen. Peace problem easier...
Bryant’s Diary: Sunday 1st June 1941
The Engineers drilled holes for us during the night and more progress was made in the day. There was an air raid on Tobruk, but the planes ran into a fierce barrage and I bet some were damaged at least. Some of them appeared to crash even.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Sunday 1st June 1941
Good night but too hot sleeping in-doors. Expected attack did not come off. 106 at communion. Surgical “A” emptied and set up with theatres. Most of today’s patients evacuated before I could see them. Three heavy raids today – 40 planes in one attack. Crete evacuated and now we can expect the worst. New Red Cross man to take Gunner’s place – Heywood. Steele in today. Dick has fever. Paisley has slipped as batman. Going to sleep out tonight. Two patients pretty sick but I expect them to recover...
Cosgriff’s Diary: Monday 2nd June 1941
Night disturbed by raids and one sick call. Mass of Sacred Heart, Peter Gleeson altar-boy during Len’s absence. Cleaned up boys for communion, pretty quiet today. Plenty of raids but we expect plenty now. Had a sleep today. Weather always hot now. Beer arrived – one glass each and 3 pkts of craven “A”... Have Eyetie prayer-books but no time to use them. Have too many strangers in our Mess and I don’t know half of them. All the Jerry prisoners gone. At concert Norley objected to Eyeties...
Bryant’s Diary: Tuesday 3rd June 1941
Back to digging. We got orders to relieve the 2/9th Bn tomorrow night. The position is a vital point in the perimeter defences and we should strike plenty of action.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Tuesday 3rd June 1941
Up once for raid... Peter Crack altar boy now. Finished communions early and did Beach before Lunch. Len and John told of beach. Chocolate issued today. Troops had bottle of beer between three. Cooks changed and Dunkley Smith with us now. Ok too. Had a crack on a cracked violin with Thomas the long-writer. Meet Porter (2/15) and heard of his miraculous escape from Derna P.O.W. camp. Bill Haylo shows me Mary O’Connor’s letters. Petrol not speaked about here now. Gardy in for breads and swim – not so optimistic...
Bryant’s Diary: Wednesday 4th June 1941
The day was dusty and we had a bad time getting our weapons clean for the move. We took over that night without a hitch. It appears that the Germans only use snipers and indirect fire against us and can only be expected at dusk, dawn and the night.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Wednesday 4 June 1941
Up five times last night sick call for bloke with bullet in his heart – still alive. Mass Pro Pace [For Peace] for Victorian. Len back from beach. Few air-attacks today... Salter and Radford sacked by C.O. re. beach hospital. Steele and Dick in today. Tim’s letter not so friendly. Bon, Frean and Quille in Crete – hope they are OK. Have a good tobacco supply now. Feeling better from sleeping out on M.J verandah. C.O. of 32nd (Anderson) has his arm off. News that Hone is to come here as physician over John Horan. Plenty of furphies about Wavell, S. Africans, Bardia etc. But none believable...
Bryant’s Diary: Thursday 5th June 1941
At dawn Jerry sent a few shots over our posts, but hit nothing. The day was very quiet, but at dusk we sent a lot of fixed-line fire over. We did this throughout the night at irregular intervals. Our artillery sent over a strong barrage at dusk.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Thursday 5th June 1941
One call and one raid. Thermos bombs being dropped now and they are trouble in a food dump. Missa pro pace [Mass for Peace]. Len altar boy again. Good few communications but calls men snatched from under my nose. Peter sent home his Italian certificate. Sent illustrated letter to Carroll kids. Padre putting mail in ref. to be censored. News bad about Syria. Looks as if they are going to come at us from at least three sides. Boys whistling Thomas’s song about ‘...home sweet home’. John Devine growing a moustache. Expecting mail now...