Diary of Alan Louis Singleton, 1941 - 1942

Accession Number AWM2019.22.8
Collection number AWM2016.275.1
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Object type Diary
Physical description 112 Image/s captured
Maker Singleton, Alan Louis
Place made Egypt, French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon: Syria, Greece, Libya
Date made 1941-1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
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Diary relating to the Second World War service of NX45206 Private Alan Louis Singleton, 2/3 Company Australian Army Service Corps, January 1941 - February 1942.

In this diary, Singleton documents his active service with the 2/3 Company Australian Army Service Corps in Egypt, Libya, Greece, Palestine and Lebanon throughout 1941. He records his activities and observations in short but often revealing entries in the course of transporting supplies during several major operations. While working in and around Tobruk during early 1941, he comments on the capture of the city, the picturesque port and sunken ships in the harbour. During this period he also makes note of dust storms and desolate landscapes, days on leave spent 'swimming with the boys' or sun-baking at the beach, and meeting his brother Robert (Bob) and childhood friends.

From late March through to late May, Singleton documents his active service in Greece. His entries reflect a period of intense activity associated with the Battle of Greece, with regular references to air raids, towns in ruins and receiving fire from German aircraft. He subsequently covers his evacuation from Greece on 27 April on board the 'Costa Rica', which was bombed and eventually sunk before being picked up by an escort vessel and proceeding to Crete. Towards the end of his deployment on Crete during late May, he describes the deprivation and increasing anxiety afflicting his company before embarking for the Middle East shortly after.

During the second half of 1941 Singleton documents his active service in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, albeit sporadically with significant gaps between entries. Closing diary entries briefly cover the Christmas period with references to snow and his first white Christmas, social activities and a divisional sports meeting. A memorandum at the rear of the diary comprises a summary of Singleton's service spanning his embarkation from Sydney in August 1940 through to his departure from Palestine in February 1942.