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THE ‘ECCE HOMO’ OF TAL-FGURA CHURCH
A ‘miraculous event’ at the small wayside church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Tal-Fgura overlooking Grand Harbour is helping to boost the morale of a pious Maltese population. According to the Times of Malta, during a recent air raid a bomb splinter pierced the wall of the church, striking a statue of Our Lord, known as ‘Ecce Homo’ which stood in a niche. The explosion destroyed the holy statue and severed its head, which lay looking outwards through a hole ripped in the church wall, clearly visible from the road.
The sight of the face of Our Lord crowned with thorns looking towards heaven from the bomb-damaged building so moved passers-by that word has quickly spread of a ‘miracle’. Crowds of men going to work in the Dockyard have been reported stopping to pray at the spot, as have many heading out to work in the fields. (1)
ENEMY AIRCRAFT NOT FOR SOUVENIR HUNTERS WARNS RAF
RAF Headquarters placed an announcement in the Times of Malta today warning civilians not to remove parts of enemy aircraft shot down over the Island. The notice follows an incident yesterday in which a service lorry carrying parts of an Italian plane shot down near Fort St Leonardo was mobbed by a crowd of would-be collectors and had to take evasive action. The announcement appealed for public co-operation:
“It should be understood that parts of enemy planes brought down in Malta are collected for official examination and for the very important purpose of gaining information about the enemy. These thoughtless actions must not occur again, as they hinder officials who are working so hard for our defence.
The public must on the other hand in future give assistance by offering to the RAF Headquarters any parts of enemy machines which they may find. Finally everyone should know that some of these pieces may be dangerous and should therefore be treated with care and circumspection. We are confident that the thinking public will co-operate with the authorities and help those who are more thoughtless to be more disciplined and helpful.” (2)
AIR RAIDS DAWN 11 JULY TO DAWN 12 JULY 1940
No air raid alerts.
OPERATIONS REPORTS THURSDAY 11 JULY 1940
ROYAL NAVY Royal Sovereign, Mohawk, Nubian and Janus arrived, fuelled and sailed.
AIR HQ AM Anti-submarine and reconnaissance patrol by Swordfish: nothing to report. Reconnaissance patrols throughout the day by Sunderland aircraft of 291 Group: no reports yet received.
(1) When Malta Stood Alone, Joseph Micallef, Interprint Malta, 1981
(2) Gladiators Over Malta, Brian Cull and Frederick Galea, Wise Owl Publications, 2008
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