• Tobruk diaries: The siege comes to an end

    Monday 28 November 2011 by . 3 comments

    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 …

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  • Tobruk diaries: All about Bryant

    Monday 21 November 2011 by . 1 comments

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 21st November 1941 The train left Cairo in the morning for Kantara.  We arrived at mid-day but the train doesn’t leave until 9 o’clock tonight, so I paid a visit to the hospital and looked up some of our friends.  Our officer in charge of the leave party worked his head and convinced the R.T.O. that there was not enough room and we have to stay at the staging camp for a few days.  This means a visit to …

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  • Tobruk diaries: To Cairo and beyond

    Monday 14 November 2011 by . 3 comments

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 14th November 1941     Despite a slow and tiring train trip we arrived in Cairo at 2 in the afternoon.  Ted Taylor and I got into some strife with some Kiwis and were done over properly.  We were badly outnumbered and I finished up with a couple of black eyes and a busted lip. Cosgriff’s diary:  Friday 14 November 1941  Keeping up the early morning rising.  Salter sick with s-fly fever – moaning …

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  • 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: No easy job

    Monday 31 October 2011 by .

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 31st October 1941    The Colonel inspected us and was anything but complimentary and didn’t even mention our job in Tobruk.  A big draft of reinforcements and enlist men arrived in the afternoon and amongst them was Ted Taylor.  That makes 3 corporals for the section. Bryant’s diary:  Saturday 1st November 1941     Just a usual day of organised mucking around. Bryant’s diary:  Sunday 2nd …

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  • Tobruk diaries: Drawing to a close

    Monday 24 October 2011 by .

    Cosgriff’s diary:  Friday 24th October 1941 – 6 November ...Sr. Finlayson was a fuss-pot and got on one’s nerves a bit.  She left to take a C.C.S. team of nurses to Syria.  Peterson replaced her and once used to like joining with the patients in riots and thus her stay was quite brief.  When O’Keefe – a friend of Johnston and Horan replaced her we were soon made to feel like school-kids – especially after her report which…

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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: Keep your ear to the ground

    Monday 10 October 2011 by .

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 10th October 1941  The day again was quiet, but artillery dispersed a small number of enemy on our front.  I was detailed to take a party of seven men to Bir el Aziz to help make it into [a] strong post.  We were just about to get on with the job when the Hun threw everything at us.  Besides a variety of field guns he used a heavy gun of between 8in. or 9 in. calibre.  The barrage was terrific and beggared…

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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: With eyes and ears

    Monday 26 September 2011 by .

    Bryant’s diary:  Friday 26th September 1941 Orders for the change-over have been given and I’m placed on the rearguard.  Some bombs were dropped from a high angle and they could be heard coming a mile off.  A bit of an artillery duel developed in the afternoon, but soon fizzled out.  At the last moment I’m to go on a patrol tonight.  We left mid-night, but saw and heard absolutely nothing.  The Italian is never too keen to …

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