Message from the Patron of the
Descendants of the
Rats of Tobruk Australia Association Inc
My name is Gordon Wallace and I am Patron of The Descendants of the Rats of Tobruk Australia Association Inc.
Historically I was the last President of the Rats of Tobruk Association (Queensland) and served in Tobruk and North Africa in WW2.
Tobruk is the longest Siege in British Military History and changed the course of the Second World War. This military action, where primarily Australian Soldiers, Airmen and Navy personnel, commanded by an Australian, frustrated the might of the German Africa Corps for 8 long months of heat, blood hardship enduring a common heroism and agony. At the height of the battle there were over 14,000 Australians involved.
Today there are but 43 participants of this Siege remaining.
Myself, and other living and passed Veterans, asked the Descendants to form this Association so after all of us old Veterans have passed on our memories will live on. Being a young Association formed in April 2019 , they need a financial boost to help them achieve the projects they are currently undertaking which were at the suggestion of the Veterans.
Some of these projects include;
Organising the 80th Anniversary World Reunion of the Siege of Tobruk in April 2021
Maintaining and erecting new memorials around Australia
Building a Website to pass on the stories and files etc. so the memories will always be remembered
Start a school program nationwide to teach and inform the younger generation how 14,000men changed the course of the war with little fighting knowledge and equipment. To become the most revered by their enemy and known as the Rats of Tobruk in WW2
To assist with the proposal of recognising the fallen soldiers in foreign lands by acknowledging their passing in a tribute to the family and The War Museum for perpetuity.
At present the Association is working on photo tributes of all involved in The Siege from 10th April 1941 to the 7th December 1941.
This a time consuming project but when finished, will be a photo and information record for the families and Australian public and be granted to the Australian War Memorial as a gift from Descendants to the Nation.
As you can see The Descendants of the Rats of Tobruk Australia Association Inc have the enthusiasm of our Rats of Tobruk Veterans to keep the memories alive. The Descendants have also been proactive with the Australian Government to ensure the 80th Anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk be included on the Commemorative Calendar.
I applaud and commend the Association to you as a worthy and honorus cause and hope you will support them in their endeavours.
QX7646 Sergeant 2/15th Infantry Battalion 9th Division 2nd AIF
Patron of the Association