Ian Collins was being 'ferried' to Tobruk from Alexandria aboard Ladybird


I was a Lieutenant in the 1st Bn Royal Tank Regiment and was being 'ferried' to Tobruk from Alexandria on 12th April 1941. The ship was hit by what we called a 'Stuka Parade' and sunk - I was fortunate enough to step from the
bow of the Ladybird on to the deck of a British destroyer - I think it was the Stuart - without even getting my feet wet!

After reading through various items on the net I learnt that an article was published about this event in the Newsletter of the Rats of Tobruk Association. I would very much like to have a copy of that article. Is it possible that some kind person might have a copy of that Newsletter and could scan it for me?

By the way my birthday is on the 18th October and I will be 85 if I survive till then!

Every best wish from
Ian Collins


How nice to hear from you.

I wrote to the Rats of Tobruk Association in Melbourne chasing a copy of that article about the sinking of Ladybird,  
but had no response.

Unfortunately that Association has folded up, shutting that door.

I am pleased you have survived thus far reach 85, I am a little behind you at 83, HAPPY BIRTHDAY for the 18th. of October.

Stuart was an old Australian Navy destroyer of the V and W Class that saw out WW2.

Best wishes, 


Here is a picture of Ladybird, sitting on the bottom at Tobruk.

picture of Ladybird, sitting on the bottom at Tobruk

Her 3 inch gun remained above water and, manned by gunners of the Royal Artillery continued to play an active role in the defence of the fortress. Imperial war Museum Negative No. E 4848.

This is from my copy of Gunboat ! Small Ships at War by Bryan Perrett.

I will scan the description of Ladybird's demise from the book, and E-mail it to you Ian.


Thank you for your kind reply - and the picture of the Stuart - incidentally my middle name is Stewart - my mother's maiden name - she came from Speyside in the North of Scotland !

Is there any possibility of finding an archive copy of that newsletter ? Or have you already tried every route ?


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