Monday 11 July 2011 by Carlie Walker. 1 comment
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, Second World War, Tobruk, Rats of Tobruk, Blamey, El Kantara, hospital

Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 11th July 1941

I can get around on my own now.  I feel a bit shaky, but I’m getting stronger.  A convoy of wounded arrived from Tobruk during the night.

 

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 11th July 1941

Mosquitoes have me beat – worse than bombers.  Missa Tempore Belli [Mass in Time of War]. Few casualties this morning from line change over 17th/32nd...To beach after lunch – two clients only – Dick Ley there now replacing Hore...  Shelling again - 3 guns on harbour and cemetery region – two cases waiting when I returned.  Millar died – boy who called for “Mum”.  No breads yet...

 

Bryant’s Diary:  Saturday 12th July 1941

Found Alan Nesbitt among new lot and he had mortar shrapnel in the left arm.  Keith Bird was killed with the same bomb he told me.

 

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Saturday 12th July 1941

Still sleeping through raids.  Used ointment to combat mosquitoes and it worked all night.  Mass for Millar (Mum).  Hunt for Catholics because Goodman failed to write religions on cards...  Only one air-raid...today – 700 during our day here.  Pat Russell in here and Hore up from the Beach.  Lendon has his majority and we celebrated - beer and roast beef.  Two burials today and dusty as usual – grave diggers have dysentery...

 

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Sunday 13th July 1941

Slept through raids in which 2 were killed and 3 injured.  3 Masses and congregation is smaller because of movements... Did all the penitents this afternoon.  Wrote 4 pages home, Elsa yesterday.  Big list of missing from Greece in mess – G.P Youll’s name is on it but I think he is safe.  No raids during Masses today but plenty of harmless shelling today – One plane departing with a smoky posterior.  Beer available again tonight in small doses.  Chas Littlejohn in Cairo – dinner with Blamey...

 

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Blamey, February 1941.  Blamey commanded the 6th Division at Tobruk and was later in command of the Australian Corps.  He also bec ame the first Australian army officer to reach the rank of field marshall on 8 June 1950. Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Blamey, February 1941. Blamey commanded the 6th Division at Tobruk and was later in command of the Australian Corps. He also bec ame the first Australian army officer to reach the rank of field marshall on 8 June 1950. 000306

 

Bryant’s Diary:   Monday 14th July 1941

A large batch left the hospital today to go to El Kantara where is situated the Base Hospital.  I’m coming on so well that it won’t be long before I go.

 

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Monday 14th July 1941

Some raids but they did not get us up.  Mass for Harnell R.I.P.  Met 3 bad eggs this morning... the first I have met in the army.  Today probably the hottest we have had...  Russians reckon German casualties at a million.  Men had a beer issue today – a bottle and two tins per man.  Eric Cooper working up here now but he still sleeps at Ward 7.  Had a wild man in ward 9...  Beat the C.O. at chess...

 

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Tuesday 15th July 1941

Drowsy night – too hot to sleep.  Bombs dropped fairly close last night.  Missa Tempore Belli.  Good round this morning but a lot are at the beach.  Frank Reynolds in and I had to share my wine with him.  Everything scarce now... Tapestry got home ok and pleased everybody... Shelling this arvo on the harbour and no damage done... G.O.C [General Officer Commanding] here before lunch and he thinks Russia will throw it in before long.  Tobruk essential for each side.  Pictures by Frank Hurley not satisfying to A.G.H relations.  People in Australia should know about Tobruk now...

 

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Wednesday 16th July1941

Planes over but we weren’t out of bed.  Missa Tempore Belli.  All right on round this morning.  Steele in this morning.  Tim’s supplies have arrived.  Back from Syria.  Patrols out each night now and doing well with very few casualties.  Madonna [statue] knocked off stand by bomb.  Thomas (song-writer) back to 9th Batt tomorrow.  G.O.C in for dinner – roast beef etc.  C.O harped on the nurses but got nowhere.  War here not static but something doing each night.  Boys striking Eyeties mostly.  Enemy using a searchlight at night now.  That gun is making them think about shifting beach hospital...

 

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Thursday 17th July 1941

Still planes coming over each night.  Missa Tempore Belli.  Round ok today – no patients in ward 9... Shelling again today.  Brief but they put some close to the beach hospital.  Thos Steele came to light with a writing pad.  Another successful raid last night.  Chess school becoming bigger now.  100 tins of beer over after ration – 1 tin to each 3 men.  Cigarette issue today makes us well stocked.  Wrote to Ross McGregor.  News not so good about Russia and Japan at the cross-roads...

Comments

Ian S. Douglas

Surely the photograph of Lt Gen Sir Thomas Blamey is reversed. Medals are on the wrong side, and so are the button holes on his jacket!