Tobruk diaries: The siege comes to an end
The last battalion to be evacuated from Tobruk was Bryant's battalion, the 2/13th in December 1941. Finally, German General Erwin Rommel and his Afrikakorps were forced to abandon the Siege, falling back towards Tripoli.
The Australians had courageously and collectively defended the town for 8 months and established themselves in the annals of Australia’s military history.
During the campaign, 832 Australians were killed, 2,177 were wounded and 941 were taken prisoner.
For more information, go to: /wartime/54/james-great-siege/
Edmund Crawford Lecky
Edmund Crawford Lecky was promoted to Captain on 24 July 1942, then to Major on 27 May 1944. He was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) on 9 March 1945 for his work in communications at the landing of Finschafen in Papua New Guinea, 1943.
For more information on Finschafen go to:
Edmund Crawford Lecky died on 2 May 1981.
Arthur Francis Bryant
Arthur Francis Bryant returned to Australia after the war, where he married Peggy, the love of his life. Together, the couple started a family and opened and ran a sandwich shop, first in Sydney and later in Cremorne.
After retiring late in life, Arthur suffered from constant strokes and was cared for by his wife for the last 10 years of his life. His daughter describes him as ‘a very gentle man’.
Bryant, Lecky, Cosgriff and the other 'Rats of Tobruk' were, this year honoured in a dedicatory exhibition entitled Rats of Tobruk, 1941. The next exhibition, Nurses: from Zululand to Afghanistan, which tells the story of military nurses and their unique contribution in wartime, will open on 2 December 2011.