Tweed Heads Rats of Tobruk Memorial

Tweed Heads Naval Ships and the Rats of Tobruk Siege Memorial, showing plaque 4Tweed Heads Naval Ships and the Rats of Tobruk Siege Memorial, showing plaques 1 and 2Tweed Heads Naval Ships and the Rats of Tobruk Siege Memorial, plaque 1Tweed Heads Naval Ships and the Rats of Tobruk Siege Memorial, plaque 3Tweed Heads Naval Ships and the Rats of Tobruk Siege Memorial, plaque 4

The Tweed Heads Rats of Tobruk Memorial is a concrete pillar, located in Carlin Family Park. Attached to the pillar are four bronze plaques and two Latin crosses. The pillar is positioned on a concrete platform, consisting of three levels.

The first plaque is dedicated to the Australian and allied soldiers who died or served at the Siege of Tobruk, which took place in 1941 during the Second World War. The second gives a brief description of Tobruk's significance during the war. Plaque three is dedicated to the sailors of the Mediterannean Fleet who lost their lives in the siege and the fourth plaque describes the role of the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Navy during the siege.

The below is an extract from the Australian War Memorial website:

Between April and August 1941 around 14,000 Australian soldiers were besieged in Tobruk by a German–Italian army commanded by General Erwin Rommel.

The Nazi propagandist Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) derided the tenacious defenders as 'rats', a term that the Australian soldiers embraced as an ironic compliment.

The Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy provided the garrison's link to the outside world, the so-called 'Tobruk ferry'. These ships included the Australian destroyers Napier, Nizam, Stuart, Vendetta and Voyager. Losses comprised two destroyers, including HMAS Waterhen, three sloops, including HMAS Parramatta, and 21 smaller vessels.

  • Bronze
  • Concrete

Plaque 1

This monument is a replica of
one erected in Tobruk
to commemorate the sacrifices
of the 680 Australian and other
allied soldiers
who died in its defence
April December 1941
and the many who have since died
may they rest in peace.
Lest We Forget

Plaque 2 

A strategic port on the North
African coast was the scene of the
longest siege in British military
history and the first defeat of the
German Army in World War 2.
Australian troops involved were
mostly 9th Division and
18th Brigade A.I.F.
together with soldiers from Britain,
India and Poland.

Plaque 3

This magnificent site is dedicated to
the sailors of the Mediterranean Fleet
who lost their lives in operations
supporting the Tobruk Siege
comprising 180 trips of 1000 klm.
31 ships were lost to enemy action
including HMAS Waterhen and HMAS
Parramatta. Battle scarred surviviors
were HMAS Ships Napier, Nizam, Stuart,
Voyager, Vendetta, Vampire and Yarra.
178 Australians have no named graves.
Lest We Forget

Plaque 4

The Royal Australian Navy and the
Royal Navy played a huge part in
the success of the Tobruk Siege.
The perilious journey was from
Alexandria through enemy controlled
waters known as the spud run. Ships
delivered troops supplies, munitions
and mail. Evacuated 7516 wounded
7097 POWs and eventually the
Australian Garrison of 32,667.
The Rats of Tobruk Lifeline

Carlin Family Park
Tweed Terrace
Tweed Heads NSW 2485
Local Government Area
  • Tweed Shire
  • Garden/park
Location status
Original location
Memorial type
  • Column/pillar
Recorded by
Graham Wilson
Established Date format: 
$e_original_date = $entity->field_established['und'][0]['value']; if (!empty($e_original_date)) { $changed_date = strtotime($e_original_date); $new_date = date("d F Y", $changed_date); print '
Established date
'; print $new_date; } else{ print ''; }
  • Second World War, 1939–45

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