Jack Calder - Tobruk

Running time
2 min 36 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Tobruk was a long, tedious type of warfare. During the day in most instances, you had to hide because if you put your head up, you'd get it blown off. Most of our procedures in Tobruk were done in the night time, like patrols, things of that nature. In August of that year, 1941, the powers to be decided that they'd try and straighten out the German lines a little bit. We were involved, and I got wounded and spent a few days in the Tobruk hospital. 14 I think it was. My platoon commander was killed, along with a few others, and when I came out of hospital and back to the unit, I became the platoon commander at 19 years of age. But that was beside the point.

Anyway, we eventually finished with Tobruk, went back to what is now Israel, what we called Palestine back in those days. Had some leave, had some training, refitted, got new clothes and all the rest of it. And we then went up to Syria. And the idea was that we were to garrison Syria because the powers to be thought that the German, who was in Greece, may come through Turkey and down into Syria. So we were put in there as garrison troops. We stayed there until about June, late June of 1942, when the Alamein business erupted.

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