Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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A siege remembered

History - EY History

In April 1941, orders were given that Tobruk was to be defended at all costs. The 9th Australian Division plus four Regiments of Field Artillery and a Regiment of Tanks, locked themselves within the perimeter defenses of Tobruk to prepare for a long siege and to divert the enemy’s attention from attacking Egypt. The outcome is well chronicled - a success beyond expectations.

Very few Units served throughout the siege and breakout - 104th (EY) RHA –107 (South Notts Hussars) RHA - 1st Regiment RHA and 51st Field Regiment RA are proud to be amongst them.

On the 28th November 2001, the City of Nottingham held a Civic Reception to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk, organised by the South Notts Hussars. An invitation to attend this Reception was extended to former members of the“Gunner Regiments” of the Siege, and was answered by the attendance of some 120 Old Comrades and wives. Although mainly old 107th RHA members, there were those representing 1st RHA - 4th RHA - 51st RA - 551 Anti-Tank - Heavy Ack-Ack – Middlesex Yeomanry - REME - RAF and Navy. The 104th (EY) RHA was represented by the writer and Bill Polley, although we had hoped to see others there. We were fortunate however to meet up with Colonel Arthur Warburton who was an Essex Yeomanry Officer with 147th Regiment during the 2nd World War, and became the first post war Commanding Officer of the South Notts Hussars. We also met an old comrade from the Middlesex Yeomanry who were the Signals attached to 104th RHA.

The Commemoration began with a Drumhead Service at the South Notts Hussars TA Centre followed by High Tea. We were then transported by Minibuses into Nottingham to the Council House, where the Lord Mayor gave an address and paid tribute to the “Gunners of Tobruk”. Areply was made by Mr. Ray Ellis, a former member of 107th RHA. The whole occasion was extremely well organised by the South Notts Hussars, one which we felt privileged to attend.

Stan Brandis

Extract EYA Journal 2002

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