• Tobruk diaries: “I hope we will not hear another shot fired”

    Monday 7 November 2011 by . 1 comments

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 7th November 1941     The shooting with the Bren was rotten and on the whole I had a cow of a day as an instructor.  I heard that the rifle shooting was pretty good. Cosgriff’s diary:  Friday 7 November 1941 Up at 6:30 for early breakfast.  Major Ralph and I to Cairo together.  Train crammed mostly with English and Aus. troops.  Filthy hot journey and not into Cairo until 2 pm.  Met Len and …

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  • Tobruk diaries: Cheers sister!

    Monday 17 October 2011 by .

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 17th October 1941    The day was reasonably quiet, but our patrol duties are still very heavy. Cosgriff’s diary:  Friday 17th October 1941 They wake us early here for a wash but I go to the shower.  Capt. Joshua and J. Overall in this room with me.  Joshua was in K’burra for six years and knows everybody there.  Capt. Perrett my M.O. and he is just observing at present.  I have to stay in bed.  One…

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  • Tobruk diaries: By the light of the Moon

    Monday 3 October 2011 by .

    Cosgriff’s diary:  Wednesday 3rd October 1941 Severe blitzing before midnight...the church was hit again but is still standing.  Not much sleep last night and pretty sick from the 693.  Good night for sleeping too – after midnight Moon extremely bright and not a cloud in sight.  Len obtained beer for the patients – just the bare dozen bottles – but it gave me dyspepsia and put me off my tucker.  Had to knock off the 693 as …

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  • Tobruk diaries: Back to Tobruk...

    Monday 19 September 2011 by .

    Cosgriff’s diary:  Friday 19th September 1941 Another perfect night... Good round this morning.  Eyetie patient very violent...Air warfare at a stand-still due to dust I think... C.O. wanting to know why I want uniform allowance.  Gillespie here today.  Steele told him all about Conlon.  Len had a parcel of Crown A’s today – still fresh from Australia.  Boys intrigued to know when we are going out but no sign this month.  …

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  • Tobruk diaries: What a night! Planes and bombs

    Monday 12 September 2011 by .

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 12th September 1941 The review went off very well and the General seemed very pleased.  I left Mughazi at about 8 o’clock on the draft.  We were mucked about a good deal at Gaza station but got away at about 12.30. Cosgriff’s diary:  Friday 12th September 1941 Bad night again with many raids.  Mass for Mary J.  Had a few this morning but most were OK already.  Polish priest arrived and hopped straight…

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Air raids and accidents

    Monday 5 September 2011 by .

    Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 5th September 1941 I left in the afternoon on a tour of Palestine.  We reached Haifa and stayed the night.  Haifa is by far the best town or city in the Middle East.  We slept in a school. Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 5th September 1941 Quiet night again with plenty of moon.  Up at 6:45 for drive in - rain on road... Mass for Mary J... Only 5 blokes to see.  Gardy, who is looking much better – wanting …

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  • Medals of a Rat

    Wednesday 31 August 2011 by David Gist. 4 comments

    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 …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: ‘we are targets day and night’

    Monday 8 August 2011 by .

    Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 8th August 1941 The camp isn’t so bad.  The surf and beach are good and it is a lazy life.  We parade for an hour in the morning and once in the afternoon for a swim.  The canteen service is good and a fair picture theatre operates.  The place improves with time. Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 8th August 1941 Retired at 2 pm – up at 6:30 to drive in for Mass with two pretty dry comrades.  Mass for Dan …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Mass in the Time of War

    Monday 18 July 2011 by . 1 comments

    Bryant’s Diary: Friday 18th July 1941 Another convoy from Tobruk came in. Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 18th July 1941 Usual 4 am raids but no harm to anyone.  Missa Tempore Belli [Mass in Time of War].  Quietest morning ever in this hospital.  Five casualties from last night’s raiding – 1 eyetie bayoneted.  No report on success or otherwise.  Beach hospital being moved because shells land a bit too close – patients here for …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: ‘Tobruk essential for each side’

    Monday 11 July 2011 by . 1 comments

    Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 11th July 1941 I can get around on my own now.  I feel a bit shaky, but I’m getting stronger.  A convoy of wounded arrived from Tobruk during the night.   Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 11th July 1941 Mosquitoes have me beat – worse than bombers.  Missa Tempore Belli [Mass in Time of War]. Few casualties this morning from line change over 17th/32nd...To beach after lunch – two clients only – Dick Ley …

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