Monday 15 August 2011 by carwal. No comments
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, Tobruk, Bryant, Cosgriff

Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 15th August 1941

Raids lasted 90 mins and bombs near ward 12.  Missa assumpta [Mass of the Assumption] – big crowd here.  Eyetie chaplain gone but only one turned up for Mass today out of seventeen.  Steele in today and offered me leave for a fortnight.  Went and retrieved altar-stores from the Church.   Good radio description of Tobruk by reporter for “Times”... Peter Gleeson’s holiday consisting of looking after 40 patients.  Creed out from H.Q. explaining our Communistic and Free French alliances... Britain’s 8 points had a bad reception in Germany...


Cosgriff’s Diary: Saturday 16th August 1941

Raiders over twice during night and not much trouble.  Missa T. B.  Dive bombing last evening on town but parachute bombs seen to discourage them now... Going to use ward 11 for late Mass tomorrow.  Fewer day attacks now but they still come.  Back to glasses again as it was a losing battle... Some of our planes over this morning.  No mail – and ships in every night...  Rumour of decorations – names out of the hat...

Bryant’s Diary:  Sunday 17th August 1941

Like a good boy I went to church today.


Cosgriff’s Diary: Sunday 17th August 1941

Two raids during the night.  Two Masses only and not many at either – not like the early days of the Church.  Crouch and Collins stayed for tea – denounced document on Russia and Free French.  Mail in - fags from peg and a sea-letter from Jas O’Rourke.  Dive bombers over at 12 after the parachute gun.  Gardy in today – 43rd now in safer position.  Another diving attack this evening.  Seems that Jerry still has plenty of planes to spare.  Horan and Ley to 7A.G.H., Renou to 9.  Cooper to 2  - all jittery...


Bryant’s Diary:  Monday 18th August 1941

I left the Convalescent Depot to join the I.T.B.[Infantry Training Battalion] at Mughazi and what a lousy joint it is.  It is situated a few miles south of Gaza and is just on the edge of the Sinai Desert.  Facilities are not so good.

The Commanding Officer of the 23rd Australian Infantry Training Battalion with the Commanding Officer of the 26th Australian Infantry Training Battalion, Major Henry McKean Tasker at the British Mandate of Palestine, Mughazi, Gaza, Palestine, 1941. The Commanding Officer of the 23rd Australian Infantry Training Battalion with the Commanding Officer of the 26th Australian Infantry Training Battalion, Major Henry McKean Tasker at the British Mandate of Palestine, Mughazi, Gaza, Palestine, 1941.


Cosgriff’s Diary: Monday 18th August 1941

Only planes over were before midnight.  Mass for Karitoff  R.I.P... Denis Ryan brought in dead from bombing – then his brother arrived and had to show him the corpse – not a nice spectacle...  Crazy ride to cemetery.  Truck broke down, transferred corpses to utes – no burial party and the dustiest day ever.  Cake and letter from Peg today – also one from Mona Caspyrs enquiring if I have met her German cousin.  Little bombing today - too much dust.  Horan and Eric up for dinner celebration of jittery exodus.  Harry Furnell dive-bombed for 2 and a half hours on way down...


Bryant’s Diary:  Tuesday 19th August 1941

Shorty Dunbar and I were soon put into harness and had to do instruction on grenades.



Cosgriff’s Diary: Tuesday 19th August 1941

Quiet night... Mass for Denis Ryan R.I.P. and offered 5 accas by a grateful penitent.  Brown, Wood, Moss and Kyle arrived to relieve Horan, Renou, Cooper and Ley.  The newcomers are glad to be here and the others are glad that they will not be here after tonight... Papers probably from Garveys.  Russian business going badly now.  At farewell dinner C.O. announced decorations...  Colin sketched Marsh without the flattery touch and the subject was a bit sad to see how others see him.  Rumour that two barges and a tug were sunk here this morning.  Some shells this morning...


Bryant’s Diary:  Wednesday 20th August 1941

Spent all day wiring and digging.  This place is getting me down.

Cosgriff’s Diary: Wednesday 20th August 1941

One awakening only... Mass for Rev. R. Denny R.I.P.  Very easy morning as so many have been evacuated.  Jack and Hayward just caught the Alex boat after recovery from a rum celebration... Len very sad today over departures.  McQuillan to go tonight and his unit will be replaced by Poles.  More the mail today.  Gin arrived in the mess again.  Few casualties today and I have one pretty sick.  Tyrer is acting registrar now and it appears Matheson will stay at the beach...


Bryant’s Diary:  Thursday 21st August 1941

We went for an 18 mile route march over sand.  I was just about done when we got back to camp.


Cosgriff’s Diary: Thursday 21st August 1941

Fairly quiet night...  Mass pro pace [Mass for Peace].  Big round but many had gone to the beach.  Played three games of chess with Berlin last night best I could get was a stalemate.  He is separated from his wife.  Message from Steele to see him at the beach tomorrow.  Crouch and Geddes picked up for dinner...fair feed then poker.  Geddes and Len swapped yarns until 1:30.  Slept in open again.  They have a car now and it is much better than the p.u.  Still no air mail papers arriving but NSW air mail must be late...