Monday 13 June 2011 by Carlie Walker. No comments
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, War records, Second World War, Tobruk, Rats of Tobruk

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 13th June 1941

Heard only one raid and stayed in bed for it.  Mass for Anderson R.I.P.  To beach this morning but not so many there for me.  Bombed down there on Tuesday evening and John Horan reckoned his dug-out turned a somersault.  He also reckons the pearls fly through the tents down there.  Bomb on hospital ward this evening.  Eyetie artisan working on my timepieces.  Started on Hamlet today Johnston - German, Steele - Italian, Devine - painting, me – Shakespeare.  Still no mail but fags, chocolate and tooth paste in the mess...

Bryant’s Diary:  Saturday 14th June 1941

Early this morning machine-guns swept our area with an intense barrage.  Ted took his machine gun on top of a derelict tank and fired 3 mags at a dump of German mines.  He scored many hits which I observed as a spotter, but couldn’t set them off.  We drew the crabs, of course, and a sniper let us have a couple of shots.  We moved back in reserve tonight and a company from 2/15th Bn took over.  Last night the Bn lost its first officer in the person of Alf Tuckwell.  Jerry is sending plenty of shells over.  We walked through a barrage to get to our destination, but we had no casualties.

Australian soldiers visit the graves of their comrades who had been killed in action during the Tobruk campaign.  Tobruk, Libya, October 1941. Australian soldiers visit the graves of their comrades who had been killed in action during the Tobruk campaign. Tobruk, Libya, October 1941. 020990

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Sunday 15th June 1941

Another rotten night with plenty of close bombs and the blast from one stick of four was warm.  Three Masses but number of Communions down to sixty or so.  Thought church would be attacked today but it is still safe.  Cherry in for lunch and he is anxious for leave to Cairo.  Steele in also and still saying “Sir”.  Dick Scarfe to be transferred back to Palestine...Like the night before Gallipoli for us.  Believe zero be tomorrow and it will be duck or no dinner for us here.  All unsound being evacuated from lines.  18th Brigade to do the mobile work...When told to hold fire of Hurricanes local HH asked for photo of Hurricane...

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Monday 16th June 1941

Up a few times dodging bombs.  Missa pro belli [Mass for War].  Eyetie chaplain prays for Messo after Mass.  Big show starts today from Sollum and we hear early that Cappuzzo is in the bag.  DG.  All Senussi leaving today and sorry to go.  Schools and Quayle back to Alex tonight also Happy Jack Tipper and Palmer.  Steele and Dick in today for a long time.  Conference of C.O.B parsons and at tea time the place was lousy with Padres.  Down for a swim this evening and despite raid warning it was bonzer.  Mail position has everybody annoyed now.  Dick to return to 23rd Syria – being relieved pro ten by Tim...

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Tuesday 17th June 1941

Only patronised shelter once during night.  Moon still brilliant.  Missa Tempore belli [Mass in Time of War] – and first time for while uninterested.  Pretty good communion rounds. All priests safe from Crete and going to easy jobs.  Kelly died last night – without me seeing him.  Lack of mail infuriating – must write to Elsa.  Word that 80 tanks and 48 planes destroyed between here and Sollum.  “Prince of Wales” singing opera in the nude in ward 9.  Funeral today and think I saw two Hurricanes on drome.  Italians replacing Senussi as Stretcher-bearers.  Our light bung and no bulb to replace it.  Furnell told Dick he would need a good reverse gear in Syria.  Fewer bites since sleeping inside...

Lecky’s letters: 18 June 1941

...Am almost sure that no 18 left here ok but fear it was shot down by an unkind Messerschmitt...No parcels whatsoever have arrived yet but about half a dozen bullies came in a batch about a month ago and were as I said at the time, simply lapped up...Unfortunately very few people realise the import of Signals in the army – without an efficient body to ensure communication between all branches and arms the fighting forces would be absolutely helpless...My particular job is laying and maintenance of cable (telephone lines) and am responsible in that regard for the whole of my particular area...

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Thursday 19th June 1941

Up as usual but bombs well away.  Missa pro Kelly R.I.P.  Tom Gard in today and pretty low in spirits.  The furphies are encouraging but false.  Tom Conroy to command 32nd Battalion and not the 15th.  C.O. trying to get ten nurses here through Harry Furnell.  200 bags of mail last night but no letter for 4AGH.  Goss (Proust) gone bomb-happy and trying everything to get away.  Wrote to Elsa yesterday.  Only Salter non-card player now as Tom Ackland has taken to rummy.  Made Ted Hanlon my hair dresser today.  Usual swim omitted this evening as it was too cold.  Peter Gleeson becoming a crack duller now...