Monday 4 July 2011 by Carlie Walker. No comments
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, VC, Second World War, Tobruk, Edmondson

Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 4th, Saturday 5th July 1941

Just the usual hospital routine, a pretty rapid improvement as a result.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 4th July 1941

Fair night – undisturbed.  Missa Tempore Belli [Mass in Time of War].  After communion to the Beach but I did not see very many.  Roast beef for tea tonight even on Friday. Mail expected today but did not arrive.   Planes fly very low over the beach – honed their jitters... Raid after tea – biggest yet – they had a crack at everything but they hit no ships and there were no casualties.  Another at 10 pm and a stick landed too close to ward 12 and – us...

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Saturday 5th July 1941

All quiet after the 10 pm show.  Missa SS Redemptoris [Mass of the Most Holy Redeemer]... John in hospital... Casualties from exploded cordite truck – cigarette and lorry blown up – unloading Eyetie ammo.  For tea – steak tomatoes and onions.  Report of Russians destroying 100 000 Germans... Shelling stopped today – first break for days – Mock battle made Jerry believe we were attacking.  Steele brought in more breads.  Geoff O’Neil has gastroenteritis.  Nurses not coming up...

Bryant’s Diary:  Sunday 6th July 1941

There may be an infection in my back and I’m being treated with white pills which make me a bit sick, but I suppose they are for the good.  There were air raids on Alexandria last night and they lasted a long time.  Our A/A made a...row and kept me awake.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Sunday 6th July 1941

Stayed in bed all night... Just before Mass here shells began to burst behind the church.  Began Mass there and instead of shells we had a terrible blitz – boys did not stir.  Mail... more from home.  Burial this arvo – supposed to have a firing party – terrible fiasco.  Wrote home and put another note on Elsa’s.  John out of hospital.  Len had cutting re. Hartnett’s case all in for a cut except doctor.  News from Russia – holding Jerry advance.  Oh yeah!  Over the hundred at Communion this morning.  Told Max he looked like Mark Anthony over Caesar.  Wow second game of chess finished at 10 pm in moon-light – not bad at night yet...

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Monday 7th July 1941

Not a bad night.  Mass for Doody R.I.P... First Aussie VC announced – Edmondson R.I.P 2/17th Batt.  More mail home and J. Carroll... Issue of cigarettes, chocolate and razor blades.  No shelling today.  Neuroses in ward 9... Had to give King Tobruk cigarettes to Eyetie stretcher-bearers...

Corporal John Edmondson's parents accept his Victoria Cross at Admirality House, Sydney, 1941. Corporal John Edmondson's parents accept his Victoria Cross at Admirality House, Sydney, 1941. P01170.001

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Tuesday 8th July 1941

Moon just about full last night but raids were few and harmless.  Missa Tempore Belli.  Shelling began again last night and we had two horrible casualties.  None so far today thank God...Tom Conroy in and he says Jerry may attack within 3 weeks.  Johnston has two new German books.  Morton had them sent to him.  Len bought them and Devine was more than somewhat peeved... Troops bringing in letters for me to censor – re. Sunday’s mass.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Wednesday 9th July 1941

Planes, mosquitoes and heat made sleeping pretty hard.  Missa Tempore Belli.  Raid just after Mass – one killed... buried him this arvo.  No mail today for a change.  Won two of three chess games with Cyril last night.  Syria finished we hope.  Shells came over again last night, no casualties...Good round of Communions today.  More English units leaving soon there will be only Aussies left here.  Two raids this arvo and the bombers dropped from miles up.  Roast beef last two nights... Harry Furnell D.S.O...

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Thursday 10th July 1941

Planes, mosquitoes and heat again.  Missa Tempore Belli.  Ran out of breads early in the Communion round today, a couple of casualties made all the difference... Eyetie bombers still bombing from Heaven itself.  Swim at Anzac Cove – lovely place – tour round point to inspect first captured Jerry tank and the stuka... Syria should be finished but it is hanging somehow...