• Tobruk Diaries: Planes, Mosquitoes and Heat

    Monday 4 July 2011 by .

    Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 4th, Saturday 5th July 1941 Just the usual hospital routine, a pretty rapid improvement as a result. Cosgriff’s Diary:  Friday 4th July 1941 Fair night – undisturbed.  Missa Tempore Belli [Mass in Time of War].  After communion to the Beach but I did not see very many.  Roast beef for tea tonight even on Friday. Mail expected today but did not arrive.   Planes fly very low over the beach – honed …

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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: Questions, 'furphies' and rumours

    Monday 2 May 2011 by . 1 comments

    Bryant’s Diary:  Friday 2nd May 1941 Artillery could be heard all day as the battle continues.  It appears as if the [G]ermans have captured 14 outer perimeter posts, but have not penetrated beyond them.  Some big German planes came extremely low today bombing and machine gunning, but three and possibly four were brought down by S.A.A fire.  Fred Legge of “C” Coy was killed accidentally today by an Italian hand grenade. …

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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 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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  • Tobruk Diaries: Evacuating Benghazi

    Monday 28 March 2011 by .

    Bryant’s Diary: Friday 28th March 1941 We took up our position and we caught a couple of donkeys to carry most of our heavy gear up.  It is definitely impossible to dig in so we just cut out the middle of bushes to sleep in.  We do our own cooking and there are plenty of rations.  Away to the left are Bengasi and Benina and can only just be seen.  Our only problem is the carriage of water.  The Senoussi here seems friendly and …

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