Monday 25 July 2011 by carwal. No comments
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, Tobruk, Bryant, Cosgriff, hospital, Barassi

Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 25th July 1941

A patient arrived from the 64th General Hospital (English) to share my room... Another convoy arrived from Tobruk in the afternoon.  There were a lot of walking cases.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 25th July 1941

Arose at 6:30 and Crouch drove me in for Mass.  He thought this was like a hotel.  Missa pro Defunctis [Mass for the Dead].  Casualties from 32nd who failed to get prisoners... But the Brigadier wanted prisoners for identification.  No mail... Gardy brought in some breads.  Shelling bad today and coming too close to the hospital in front and behind.  C.C.S. left last night but Clarke was left here.  Gordon Watson is R.S.M. now Jordon has gone back with bad eyes.  Plenty of cigarettes and chocolate in mess now...

Bryant’s Diary Saturday 26th July 1941

There was an air raid early this morning... Went for a bit of a fling and decided to go A.W.L. from the hospital.  Five of us ended up in a cabaret and being in our pyjamas we received plenty of attention, especially from the girls.  I didn’t put Satan exactly behind – just a little to the side.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Saturday 26th July 1941

Good night... Missa T. Belli [Mass in Time of War]. Good rounds today.  Met one Jeffrey... who remembered Fr. Mullins and Upoko Ariki.  Jim Ryan – Randwick trainer – refused Confession and left in tears on a stretcher.  Frank McGrath here in 17th Battalion and satisfied.  Started chess ladder and I look like holding bottom place.  Hospital bombed after tea – ward 10 hit – more killed – 6 shocked and all had ruptured spleens.  Bombs landed so close that I found J. trying to climb up a wall.  Mail in and letter from Goulburn, answered it on the spot...

Bryant’s Diary Sunday 27th July 1941

Spend plenty of time helping at the hospital and I find plenty to do.  It is a pleasure to help them.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Sunday 27th July 1941

Shells during night and bombs at 6:30.  Usual 3 Masses.  Found Church bombed when I went over.  Terrible mess but I cleaned it up and had two Masses with plenty of fresh air.  Mail in but none for me.  Always tired on Sundays now.  No air raids during Masses today...  John Devine left for 10th Batt – probably for good as he will go into an Ambulance as Major.  Len McEwen (3rd Ambulance) gone back – without D.S.C.  Have four sick patients in ward 1 but expect all to recover.  Dodge ’em and Duck ’em... Hope no bombing tonight...

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Monday 28th July 1941

Raid at bed time last night and it lasted a long time.  New gun cuts out whistle of bomber.  Idea was to put mines in the harbour.  Missa T. B.  Big round today but missed a few.  No more chess with C.M.R.  Took his queen three times and each time he changed the move.  Mail today – letter from Pop which was due yesterday.  Heard news in Sergeants mess – with hat on smoking uninvited and sitting on the table – fined – 9 gals beer.  No shelling today and very little bombing.  43rd Batt got a Jerry prisoner last night – lost many casualties.  Forestalled idea of moving Eyetie chaplain.  Rumour that we dropped leaflets for Eyetie surrender...


Cosgriff’s Diary:  Tuesday 29th July 1941

Raidless night but very hot.  Missa T. B.  Another long list today.  Met Frank McBride who was at Springwood with us.  Mail in.  9 letters – mostly overdue – Elsa, Bongie, Carrolls, Garveys, J. Griffin, Borromeo and Bubbles.  Best mail for weeks.  Steele in with new English chaplain – Gillespie – Scotch Franciscan - seems to be all right.  Chas L back last night.  Out of soft stuff in mess.  Town being shelled tonight and church is in danger.  Tale of million gallons of petrol unearthed.  Ted, Dick, Ley on treasure hunt.  He found the sewer.  Saw direct hit (dint) on Cawthorne’s tin hat...

Bryant’s Diary Wednesday 30th July 1941

Four patients, including me, were taken for a drive and to tea by a resident of Alex.  The drive and the time were not very long, but the break was very welcome.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Wednesday 30th July 1941

Good night but still hot.  Missa T. B.  Shell hit.  A.A.W. concert last night – 11 casualties – only one for me and he is still in the wood.  Mail in but I missed out – all my July stuff delayed.  Jack Clark leaving tonight to join his C.C.S. which left him behind last week.  C.C.S’s becoming mobile 2—bed hospitals without nurses.  Received a new issue of fags from Merrigan today.  C.W.B. Littlejohn very caustic in his learned discussions on the Holy Places – 5 min expert.  After last night’s shelling the use of the Church is a bit risky but I will keep going while it is there.  Eyeties being evacuated each night and their end is near.  J.B.D. in with a tale of 200 surrenders...

Bryant’s Diary Thursday 31st July 1941

Went out again to Casino Bella Vista and had some very fine experiences.  Tut, tut, Pete.

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Thursday 31st July 1941

Blitz about midnight.  Mines dropped – 2 killed and one was Ron Barassi.  Mass for Ross Lewin.  Doing without glasses today because having put them on the bed in the black out I laid on them and one piece became five – Leigh Norris trying to stick them together again.  Good round today.  Washed the altar linen but the water was not so good and the linen is not so white.  Two air raids during the afternoon – Radio bloke says we have had 937 raids on Tobruk.  B.D. in from 10th but he has not returned Horan’s razor yet.  No mail today as the blitz and mines kept the destroyers out.  A letter a day now...


Corporal Ronald (Ron) Barassi of 7th Division Supply Column, Australian Army Service Corps.  Ron Barassi is a well known Australian who played for Melbourne Football Club between 1936 and 1940.  He died of wounds at Tobruk on 31 July 1941. Corporal Ronald (Ron) Barassi of 7th Division Supply Column, Australian Army Service Corps. Ron Barassi is a well known Australian who played for Melbourne Football Club between 1936 and 1940. He died of wounds at Tobruk on 31 July 1941.