Tobruk Diaries: Treating the wounded
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 1st August 1941
There was an air raid last night and there was a hell of a racket, too.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Friday 1st August 1941
Good night... Fair round today... Read Don Juan – “world’s greatest lover”. Steele in and decided against using Church – only Communions there on next Sunday. Angel and crucifix from the church are in my room now and everybody thinks it is a woman in the room. Alec Sinclair going to Alex with P.M.O. – pretty sick...
Cosgriff’s Diary: Saturday 2nd August 1941
One plane over before we retired last night...Good round today. Mail in – 9 letters...took an hour to read them. Severe blitz at lunch time – parachute bombs. Gardy in today – push on tonight by 43rd and after that we hope he will be finished with the war... Len arranging a cross for Lewin’s grave. Still persevering without glasses but the eyes are a bit weary and concentration hard. Roast beef frequently now...
Bryant’s Diary: Sunday 3rd August 1941
Another convoy came in and I had to sleep on a stretcher outside. The hospital is full...
Cosgriff’s Diary: Sunday 3rd August 1941
Only bombers were over before we went to sleep...Only one Mass – here. Had breakfast – and casualties began to come from 43rd and 28th. Confessions and Communion at Church – driven home by Crouch. Then to casualties – 93 before lunch but not too many Catholics and only one serious. Surgeons going all day. Disastrous show – 28 of 43rd returned out of 140 – McCarter and Quinn wounded and finished up in Jerry port. Gardy in and verified story all 43rd upset over heavy losses and no success. 28th took their post. Had a busy day among the wounded – none died...
Bryant’s Diary: Monday 4th August 1941
I left with a convoy this morning to go to the convalescent depot... We eventually reached the staging camp, Kantara, at about 7.30 in the night. There were a number of air raids in the Canal area during the night and bombs and A/A fire could be heard very plainly.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Monday 4th August 1941
Blitz began at bed time also shelling – are close but missed...28th lost their post. 32nd tried to take it – failed and we had their casualties, altogether a bad weekend. No success and heavy casualties. Issue of beer and cigarettes...Casualties dribbling in and today was a depressing day. One British plane over today – the first seen in four months. Manning in again with dysentery and I hope to get him to Alex. John Horan on atrophy. 1918 in our methods of attack. Today probably hottest day we have had yet...
Bryant’s Diary: Tuesday 5th August 1941
I spent all day at Kantara looking up patients at the hospital. The heat was terrific and was hardly bearable. We left at sometime after mid-night for the con depot.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Tuesday 5th August 1941
Blitz began at 12 am and lasted about an hour – five deaths from bombing and many injuries... Big lot of confessions and they took all day... Met Lone Tough Bushman - out wounded all day, yesterday crawled on his back 1000 yards. Yelled “Aussies”, realized the mistake, let out a tirade of abuse and was rescued. Gillespie and Reynolds in today – 9th relieving the 43rd Batt. Issue of beer and sweets... Weather hot every day and swims hard to get with shelling and bombs...
Bryant’s Diary: Wednesday 6th August 1941
We reached Hadera at about mid-day after a very tiresome journey. From here we travelled by bus to Kfar Vitkin where is situated the con depot. My first impressions are not very favourable. The Sjt-Major started by laying down the law too much, but a fellow will soon settle down. Weather is still hot.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Wednesday 6th August 1941
Blitz around midnight and bombs appear to be about the mast. No casualties and evacuation went all night despite shells. Mass for 43rd and 28th dead. Very dusty today. Mail in 21/7/41 but there is some missing. Met Cramsie – nephew of Sr. Joseph, Wagga. Eames Carragher wrote re. reports of me - missing and wounded...There is going to be trouble about censoring mail – some of our officers think it is not their concern. Roast beef lasting well. John Horan getting Manning back to Base – not persona grata with G.O.C.
Bryant’s Diary: Thursday 7th August 1941
We could hear some bombing either at Haifa or Tel Aviv and the planes passed right over our camp.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Thursday 7th August 1941
Slept soundly after first blitz. Missa T. B. Not so many Communions today...Danny Murphy died R.I.P. Macauly – ...back in hospital – wounded and not so aggressive. Cyril Parker from private to S/Sgt in 8th Fd Ambulance... Geddes a son of Ackland and his brother-in-law is an officer in the German army. It is quite pleasant out in a wadi safe from bombs...