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.
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 Port Said.
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
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
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.
Cosgriff’s diary: Friday 24th October 1941 – 6 November
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
Bryant’s diary: Friday 10th October 1941
Cosgriff’s diary: Wednesday 3rd October 1941
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 start trouble.