Jack Calder - Conditions in Tobruk

Running time
2 min 7 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Now, in Tobruk we were a little bit better off because we did have dugouts and the dugout consisted of a hole in the ground with a sheet of iron over the top and rocks and dirt and things of that nature placed on top of it to keep the flies out or the light out and the fleas and the mice and that in. We'd put a blanket up the front that kept the light out but it didn't keep the fleas or the flies out. The place, the whole area was alive with fleas and mice and vermin that the Italian soldiers had left before we moved in there. They apparently had no strict ablution type things to do.

I think the only washes they ever, ever had was when they went in to the sea. Although we can't complain. If we wanted to wash, we never had enough water to have a wash. If we were anywhere near the sea we'd go and have a bath in the sea. I can remember not... You don't believe this, I remember not changing my clothes for six months and they didn't walk. You would have thought they would but we never had anything else. You would say "well, what about B O". Yes, everybody had it, so they didn't know any different.

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