• Tobruk Diaries: Danger below...

    Monday 27 June 2011 by .

    Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 27th June 1941 The section worked all night putting mortar-proof roofs over dug-outs.  We were just putting the finishing touches on our work when Reg stuck his pick in a jumping German mine.  I received four ball shrapnel wounds in the small of the back and one in the left arm.  Jim was hit twice in the groin, Reg a couple in the legs and Monty one in the ribs.  After going through nearly every medical …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Mail and other miracles

    Monday 20 June 2011 by .

    Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 20th June 1941 Peaceful night at last.  Missa SS Cordis Jesus...  To beach this morning and worked all morning without finishing.  Had a John Swan’s with Eric.  John Horan as usual pessimistic about our position.  The big push was definitely a big failure.  God knows what will happen to us now but we hope for a Russo-German struggle.  Still no mail but a parcel from Mrs Garvey with a pair of socks. …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Rest in Peace

    Monday 13 June 2011 by .

    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 …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Getting hotter...

    Monday 30 May 2011 by .

    Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 30th May 1941 More digging today and it was through solid rock.  The weather is getting hotter.  We came home by another route – past Fort Palestrino – and it was the roughest ride I’ve ever had.  We were pulled out of the water in a hurry and were made to stand to in expectation of an attack which did not eventuate. Cosgriff’s Diary:  Saturday 31st May 1941 Stayed up till 12 last night talking –…

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  • Tobruk Diaries: The first VC

    Monday 16 May 2011 by . 2 comments

    Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 16th May 1941 Up often for warnings – no bombs – alarm failed...so no Mass...No communion either.  Wrote to Aileen and I will post it this time.  Jerrys in Syria and Irak will probably affect our air mail.  Push on today by 2/12.  Plenty of casualties but none serious.  Two Jerry prisoners – first for long time.  Eyetie prisoner who threw grenade brought in...  Going to teach Fr. Borsorelli …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Masses, Miracles and a Godsend

    Monday 9 May 2011 by .

    Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 9th May 1941 Mass of BVM [Blessed Virgin Mary].  Evacuation flopped...ship failed to turn up – tonight?  Gave McIven Dr. Regiss card to give to Eyetie chaplain.  Two bombs very close to wards 2 and 7 – if the first had hit so would the second.  The new shelter in 7 stood it with full marks – second miracle this week.  Two very sick patients Lemon and Kennedy holding their own.  Quiet at front and …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Falling from above

    Monday 25 April 2011 by . 6 comments

    Bryant's diary:  Friday 25th April 1941 We spent all day making dug-outs and erecting wire.  Our area was bombed by German aircraft but without result.  I was at company H.Q. at the time and the Sergeant-Major was pointing out to the Captain the new British bombers.  Next we heard a whistle, then a roar and the mob just dived for shelter.  A great judge he is.  More canteen goods arrived tonight with some mail. Cosgriff's diary: …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Look out above!

    Monday 18 April 2011 by .

    Bryant's Diary:  Friday, 18th April 1941 Today was quiet and only a little artillery was active.  We got plenty of food which is pretty good.  There was an issue of Egyptian cigarettes – a gift from King Farouk, but the boys didn’t go much on their flavour; they were too strong. Cosgriff's Diary:  Saturday 19th April 1941 Raided from 1-6 am.  Plenty of planes and plenty of 1000 bombs.  Several fell in workshops one on road and…

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  • Tobruk Diaries: The Easter Battle

    Monday 11 April 2011 by .

    Bryant’s Diary:  Tuesday 11th March 1941 We spent all day erecting an anti-aircraft gun pit and it wasn’t too soon.  Late this afternoon two German bombers dropped their eggs [bombs] on the hill feature behind us.  You could see them go into a dive and then would follow the roar of the exploding bomb and the subsequent column of smoke.  The Bophas opened up and both planes hedge-hopped right over our position.  One plane …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: The Siege begins

    Monday 4 April 2011 by .

    Bryant's Diary: Friday 4th April 1941 About 8 o’clock this morning orders came through to retire immediately.  We packed up and carried our gear to the top of the hill to wait for the truck.  Nobody seemed to know what was up.  We went back and were carried by truck to a place some miles away.  We took up a position and waited for trucks of the RASC to take us away.  Before we left, any gear behind was destroyed.  The trucks …

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