Singleton, Alan Louis (Private, b.1918 - d.2012)

Accession Number AWM2016.275.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm
Object type Diary
Maker Singleton, Alan Louis
Place made Libya: Tobruk
Date made 1941
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Collection relating to the Second World War service of NX45206 Private Alan Louis Singleton, 2/3 Company Australian Army Service Corps, Western Desert, 1941. Singleton served as a Private with Supplies and Transport from 1940 through to December 1945.

The collection includes a brown leather diary and transcription, describing Singleton’s war time experiences throughout 1941. The diary has Mohammed Ali mosque and the date 1941 embossed on the front, and a view of the Sphinx and pyramids of Giza with camels embossed on the rear cover.

The diary begins in Egypt, with the opening entry on Saturday 4 January reading ‘Spent at Salloum. Bardia still holding out.’ Following the fall of Bardia on the 5th of January, Singleton relocated to Tobruk: ‘Went through to Tobruk. Working, carrying ammunition’. The majority of the diary relates to Singleton’s experiences in the Middle East, Greece and Crete. Although the daily entries tend to be concise, briefly describing locations and activities, on May 31st in Crete he emotionally writes ‘Still in gully and no food. Boys killed a donkey and ate it. Terrible anxiety and everybody’s nerves were bad. Terrible experience. All tired out and hungry. Messerschmitts [German planes] machine-gunned the gully’. The closing entries of Singleton’s 1941 diary describe Christmas: ‘Christmas morning and it’s snowing. First Christmas I’ve ever had in the snow. Had a good dinner and Harry [Father’s friend] visited me afterwards. We had a drink for Christmas. Had a yarn with Harry and his mates’.