2008 Rats of Tobruk Project , by Owen Carlton, A Proud Aussie Nasho & Ex ROTA Melb. Member of DOTROTA.
I started my Rats of Tobruk Project, on Anzac Day of April, 2008, initially, for the purpose of ensuring that the Rats of Tobruk Association Branch, in Melbourne, would be kept Active and Functional, into the future, and to not close its doors, as other Branches throughout the World, had done. As I speak at this time, 2018, this part of my Project has been successful and ROTA Melbourne, is now the only remaining ROTA Branch, in the World - something, that I am extremely Proud to have achieved in my life time.
The second reason for my Rats of Tobruk Project, was to develop a means of providing an ongoing Income Stream, as the Branch was not in a good Financial Operating Position, in 2008 and subsequent years. This was achieved through discussions, with the Veteran Rats Committee Members, and in particular, the Late President, Alan Eldridge, in late 2010 and early 2011. Unfortunately; Alan Eldridge Passed On in April of 2011. I then continued my negotiations with the New President, Ron Williamson, who agreed to the creation of a New Category of Membership, that of Affiliate Members, for Descendants, Relatives of Rats of Tobruk and Members of the Forces, Retired or Serving.
As a result, I was able to get the Affiliate Membership up and moving forward. Membership commenced early in 2011 and by the end of 2017, some 500 Members had joined. The Income Stream generated something like $50,000 during that time. This Membership secured ROTA Melbourne, Financialy, into the future.
The Elements that made up my Project were:- a) National ROT Database. b) Rats of Tobruk Tribute Website. c) Rats of Tobruk Public Facebook Group. All of these were used as Promotional Tools for the Resurrection of ROTA Melbourne.
The purpose behind my development of my National ROT Database and subsequent publication of records on my associated ROT Tribute Web Site, is to allow the Basic Details of the Famous RATS of TOBRUK , to be viewed by their Descendants, Relatives and Other Interested Friends and Researchers of the RATS of Tobruk.
In addition to Aussie Rats of Tobruk; Allied Troops, such as UK, Indian, Polish and Czech Service Personnel, who Served at Tobruk during the Siege Period, are in many cases, also listed on my Website.
This is my National ROT Database and ROT Tribute Web Site; the Web Site being the Original and Only one of its type in the World, for the Rats of Tobruk.
Should you have a need to query any existing record or to seek the addition of a new record, or to Update a record, please contact the Creator/Owner (Owen Carlton) or Webmaster (Matt McHugh) by the Email Address found in the Contacts Menu.
We am only too pleased to assist in any way we can - This is what we do for the ongoing "Rats of Tobruk Project".
In the case of New Additions, it would be of great assistance if you could ensure that the Individual you are communicating about, has His Service Records digitized at the National Archives of Australia (NAA), so that he can be Verified as having Served as a Rat of Tobruk, during the Siege Period. If not, please Email NAA ( email@example.com ) and request his Service Records be made Viewable online - State his Service Number and Full Names.
There is a once only Charge by NAA to make a Service Record viewable online.
Alternately; you may be able to provide other forms of Evidence:-
- Printed Documents previously obtained by Family Members, prior to digitization by NAA.
- Evidence of him having been a Member of a ROTA Branch - Lapel Badge Number may be partly useful.
- Photos of the Rear Face of the Africa Star and/or the "T" Tobruk Siege Medal may also be very partly useful.
It is of the highest importance for Integrity of the Database, that these valuable Records be made as accurate and complete as is possible, from information that is available or which may become available in the future and that which may be provided by Descendants, Relatives and Interested Viewers.
Your assistance in this area will be very much appreciated.
Let us ALL help to Keep The "FLAME" Burning, in Memory of All Rats of Tobruk.