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From the Collection of Wangaratta RSL Sub Branch 1 Victoria Parade Wangaratta Victoria

Reproduced black and white photograph of four soldiers under large tree - one soldier in dugout under tree watching two stretcher bearers carry out wounded soldier
30cm W x 20.5cm H
Object Registration
2/24th battalion, fig tree, tobruk
Historical information
The famous Tobruk Fig Tree was named because it marked the entrance to a network of underground caves used to treat wounded soldiers. It became known as the Fig Tree Hospital. The caves became a place where wounded soldiers could be stabilized before being transferred to the Australian General Hospital. The Fig Tree was the only feature in an otherwise barren desert and an easy target for German artillery who heavily shelled the site for several hours per day.
A cutting from the tree was brought back to Australia and planted at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.
When Made
The 2/24th Battalion was an infantry battalion of the Australian Army, which served during World War II .A unit of all-volunteers, it was formed in July 1940 from primarily Victorian volunteers and was known as "Wangaratta's Own" because of the time the battalion spent in the town during its formative period prior to deployment overseas. It served in North Africa in 1941–1942 as part of the 26th Brigade, which was assigned to the 7th Division, before being reassigned to the 9th Division. In early 1943, the battalion returned to Australia and later took part in campaigns against the Japanese in New Guinea in 1943–1944 and Borneo in 1945, before being disbanded in 1946. The 2/24th suffered the highest number of casualties of any 2nd AIF infantry battalion. The Unit was granted the Freedom of the City by the Rural City of Wangaratta in 1996 and one of the first, if not the first, to receive this type of honour.
Inscriptions & Markings
Handwritten on rear - Fig Tree Tobruk
Last updated
11 May 2019 at 3:34PM