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Tobruk Memorial Baths
Tobruk Memorial Baths
Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

Tobruk Memorial Baths, constructed over the period 1941-50, are significant as Australia's most substantial public memorial to the Australians who fought and died during the Siege of Tobruk [Tubruq], a coastal town on the edge of the Libyan desert.  

The Tobruk Memorial Baths were officially opened by Major General W. J. V. Windeyer on the 26th November 1951 in front of a crowd of 1000 people. Within the main entrance is a memorial stone in memory of fallen comrades who lost their lives in the Siege of Tobruk.

The Siege of Tobruk was a confrontation that lasted 241 days between Axis and Allied forces in North Africa during the Western Desert Campaign of World War Two. The siege started on 10 April 1941, when Tobruk was attacked by an Italo–German force under Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel and continued for 241 days up to 27 November 1941, when it was relieved by the Allied 8th Army during Operation Crusader.

The “Rats of Tobruk” was the name given to the soldiers of the garrison who held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the Afrika Corps during the Siege. 

The garrison, commanded by Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead, consisted of the 9th Australian Division (20th, 24th, and 26th Brigades), the 18th Brigade of the 7th Australian Division, four regiments of British artillery and some Indian troops.

TOWNSVILLE, November 26. -Congratulating the citizens of Townsville for the choice of modern swimming baths as a memorial to the fallen of Tobruk, Major-General Windeyer, himself a "Rat", said at the official opening of the baths today that they were a thought after the heart of every soldier who had seen service in the seige (sic). Situated on the Strand, the baths have a cafe, underwater lamps, dressing sheds and a grandstand and the pool itself is surrounded by lawns and gardens. The total cost was about £50,000.
Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld), 27 November 1951.



Address:The Strand, Tobruk Memorial Baths, Townsville, 4810
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -19.253652
Long: 146.820044
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:09-April-1941
Actual Event End Date:13-December-1941


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 26th November, 1951
Front Inscription


(Memorial Stone )

This memorial stone is dedicated to the memory to the sacred memory of fallen comrades who served in Navy, Army and Air Force during the memorable siege of Tobruk, Western Desert, Great War 11 from April 9, 1941 to December 13, 1941 .
"We shall remember them ."

Source: MA,SKP
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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