Rats of Tobruk Association Victoria

Some new Information from Victoria (April 2012). (Website link updated 22 Oct 2017)

Here is a link to their new web site:  www.ratsoftobruktribute.com

The following are extracts from emails that were received by Steve Rowan recently.  These indicate that there is a high degree of interest in the 2/15th Battalion and its Middle East exploits in Victoria.  Steve has since found out that there are six (6) former members of the 2/15th alive in Victoria and in NSW and who are in the Victorian Rats Of Tobruk Association database. All this and more will probably appear in upcoming issues of Caveant Hostes.


12 January 2011

Hello Steve,

Please allow me to introduce myself. 

My Name is Owen Carlton and I am a Nasho with the Monash Sub-Branch of the National Servicemens Association of Australia(Melbourne).

Along with the current Secretary of the Rats of Tobruk Association, Mr Reg Lawrence, I have a close association with the Rats. 

I am currently in the process of building the Rats of Tobruk Members Database, commencing from when it was first established in 1945, and onwards to the future.

For this Project, I am using any information and records I can obtain from the Albert Park Hall and others sources. One of these other sources has been the fabulous Web Site of the 2/15th Battalion. I can assure you, I was extremely pleased, when I came across this Web Site as part of my research for information.

First of all, I must congratulate your Association, for having the vision and foresight, and for having gone to the immense lengths of creating such an important Web Site as this. This Web Site is a Lasting eMedia Memorial, to all of those wonderful chaps who served their Country in time of need, with many of them paying the Ultimate Sacrifice. Lest We Forget.

I cannot over state my expressions of gratitude for what your Association has done with its most important Unit History.  It is a shame that some other Unit Associations have not followed the same path, as their History will be lost to the general public, once their Associations closes down.

It has been my intent to ensure the ROTA Members Database is as accurate as I can make it, from the information that is made available to me. To this end, your Members List has been of great assistance to me, for cross referencing of information, as is the Nominal Roll at the AWM.

Probably the greatest concern I have however, is accounting for the Status of ROTA Members, as to whether Members are still alive (Current) or Deceased (Vale).

Would it at all be possible to provide me with a list of known 2/15th Members whose Status is “Current” (alive) and if at all possible a listing of those whose Status is “Vale” (Deceased).  [This is being done - Ed.]

I appreciate that this is a mighty big ask of you and your Members, but I live in hope of being able to complete this Database, as accurately as possible, before our Famous Rats have all passed on. We only see about 9-10 at Meetings now. The youngest is now 88 this year.

Hoping that this request does not place an undue burden on you and your Members. 

Regards and many thanks,

Owen Carlton


14 January 2011

The following are current members of the Rats of Tobruk Association (ROTA) in Victoria. [The information was received from Owen Carlton as per Email 1 above.]

George Bonney QX8502
Keith  Currie QX853
John deVanny QX7652
Raymond Isaacs QX6928
Gordon Roy MacDonald QX2339
William  Speed QX2829


14 January 2011

This information will appear in the next ediition of MUFTI  - The official journal of the Returned & Services League of Australia (Victorian Branch) Inc. Received through Owen Carlton.

70th Anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk. We intend to have a Memorial Service at the Shrine of Remembrance on Sunday April 3rd 2011 commencing at 11am. We are asking all members of units who served in the siege to attend with their families. The Rats of Tobruk Pipes and Drums Band will play at this ceremony.
A light luncheon will follow this historic service. Would all Secretaries or Presidents please contact R.E. Lawrence Secretary Rats of Tobruk Association Inc for further details and numbers of people wanting to attend. A small donation will assist with the luncheon.

contact:   R.E.Lawrence on Telephone 03 95608294 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.