Bob Semple

'Mateship is something special'

6 June 2020

Today we remember Bob Semple, one of the Rats of Tobruk, who tells us about a shocking incident he witnessed involving a German plane.

Bob Semple audio file (24 MB)

Bob Semple audio script

75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War

Audio actuality:

“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” – (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)

August the 15th marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War.

Around 1 million Australians enlisted to serve from a population of just 7 million. Many more on the home-front rallied to the cause.

Australia Remembers Bob Semple, one of the Rats of Tobruk. And it was during the Siege of Tobruk that Bob witnessed a shocking incident involving a German plane.

Bob Semple

It was a single plane but it brought artillery, the German artillery fire, onto a vehicle with his old diesel trucks, the Italian diesel trucks, where they used to load the blokes on the back of it. They bracketed the vehicle moving across back to its original position and they bracketed the movement of the vehicle and direct hit on the vehicle. And lost ten of my mates lying side by side that went off in that and died. Cleaned up the whole package – gun crew and so forth. Their direct hit … it’s sort of things like that cause you to think twice. But mateship was something special.

Saturday, August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.