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Tobruk anniversary

Rats of Tobruk 10Rats of Tobruk 1

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the siege of Tobruk during the Second World War.

Five Dock has played a special part in the commemoration and remembrance of Tobruk. The photograph shows the unveiling of the Tobruk obelisk at the corner of Lyons Road and Great North Road by Sir Roden Cutler in 1968. It is modelled on the memorial at the Tobruk War Cemetery. Adjacent to the memorial is a row of trees planted by the Ladies of the Rats of Tobruk Association and the mast of the HMAS Vendetta which played a vital role in supply and reinforcement at Tobruk.

Each year veterans met at the memorial on ‘Tobruk Sunday’, the Sunday in April closest to the date when the siege began on 10 April 1941. Last year was the last occasion that the Tobruk veterans marched at Five Dock.

The 100 years of Anzac page includes some fascinating memories of Tobruk veterans.

We will remember them

Tobruk FD 081 (Small)

Five Dock has long held a special place in the remembrance of Tobruk.

The obelisk at the corner of Lyons Road and Great North Road was unveiled in 1968. It is modelled on the memorial at the Tobruk War Cemetery. Adjacent to the memorial is a row of trees planted by the Ladies of the Rats of Tobruk Association and the mast of the HMAS Vendetta which played a vital role in supply and reinforcement at Tobruk.

Each year veterans have met at the memorial on ‘Tobruk Sunday’, the Sunday in April closest to the date when the siege began: 10 April 1941. This Sunday, 12 April 2015, will be the last occasion that the Tobruk veterans will meet at Five Dock.

Against the odds

Local resident Harry Kimble’s passion for rugby led to him writing Against the odds: a pictorial history of Wests Rugby which covers 112 years of the Western Suburbs Rugby Club and West Harbour Rugby Club.

Harry has been associated with Wests for more than half of its history, having begun as a ball boy in 1952. Since then he has been a player, video cameraman, committeeman, archivist and club historian. A passion for rugby runs in the family with his father, nephews and grandsons also playing for Wests.

Harry donated copies of the 350 photographs used in the book to be added to Canada Bay Connections image library.

The photograph above shows an impressive line-up with, left to right, Russ Kelly, Tom Pauling and Bill McLaughlin all of whom were Wallabies. Russell Lindsay Frederick Kelly served at Tobruk during World War II where he was wounded and captured. Following a prisoner exchange with Germany he returned to Australia in 1943 but died that year at Concord Repatriation Hospital, aged 34 years.

Remembering Tobruk

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the siege of Tobruk during World War II.

Five Dock has long held a special place in the remembrance of Tobruk. The obelisk at the corner of Lyons Road and Great North Road was unveiled in 1968. It is modelled on the memorial at the Tobruk War Cemetery. Adjacent to the memorial is a row of trees planted by the Ladies of the Rats of Tobruk Association and the mast of the HMAS Vendetta which played a vital role in supply and reinforcement at Tobruk.

The Tobruk memorial has over the years been a meeting place for the veterans of Tobruk.

The illustration, above, is from a 1964 booklet held in Local Studies which appealed for the establishment of a Tobruk memorial. The question on the front cover, “Shall we remember them?” is resoundingly answered on the back cover, “Yes! We shall remember them.”