Visitors to the Memorial’s exhibition Rats of Tobruk 1941 will have noticed the unofficial Rats of Tobruk medal presented, according to its engraving, by Lord Haw Haw. Around twenty of these medals were made at Tobruk, which illustrates one of the earliest examples of the town’s defenders reclaiming the title ‘Rat’, bestowed on them by the propaganda radio program ‘Germany Calling’. Visitors may also notice the brasso caked around the small copper rat on this medal, the result of many years of cleaning.
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
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 2nd May 1941
Artillery could be heard all day as the battle continues. It appears as if the [G]ermans have captured 14 outer perimeter posts, but have not penetrated beyond them. Some big German planes came extremely low today bombing and machine gunning, but three and possibly four were brought down by S.A.A fire. Fred Legge of “C” Coy was killed accidentally today by an Italian hand grenade.
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 28th March 1941
We took up our position and we caught a couple of donkeys to carry most of our heavy gear up. It is definitely impossible to dig in so we just cut out the middle of bushes to sleep in. We do our own cooking and there are plenty of rations. Away to the left are Bengasi and Benina and can only just be seen. Our only problem is the carriage of water. The Senoussi here seems friendly and offer us eggs and milk.
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 21st March 1941
Today was one of the lousiest days I’ve put in anywhere. The weather was terrible. The old Sahara Desert can be very nasty when it likes. Sand is everywhere. A warning order has arrived ready to move by night. It might be tomorrow night. Information has been received that some Wogs* are signalling to aircraft by placing their camels near objectives. We’ll have to watch them.
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 7th March 1941
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
Cosgriff's Diary: Friday 14th February 1941
Pro pace [For peace]. Only Horan and Carroll at Mass. Lecture on Arabic – too hard for me. Tim and Owen here for lunch. Visited McCormack and Ronald. Hours too long at evening meets. Arthur Amies the only one working. Horan filling his torch.
It has been a year since the first blog entry went up about Marthe Gylbert and her letter. In this time, with the help of some very generous people, I have been able to discover much about Marthe and her wonderful love letter. If you have not seen the previous blog entries, they can be found here and here.
Emma Jones previously mentioned in 60 year old sweat on a wedding dress – a conservation challenge the preparation of Miss Platt-Hepworth’s wedding dress for the exhibition Of Love and War. The decision was made by the curator Rebecca Britt to keep the staining as evidence of use.