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REFUGEES UNABLE TO SETTLE INLAND Refugees have begun returning to the bombed communities of the Three Cities despite continued bombing of the Dockyard area. The migrant families have described overcrowded conditions and a sometimes hostile reception in reception villages as the reason for their return. Some have failed to find any suitable accommodation for even the medium term.
A number of residents whose homes in Cospicua have destroyed in air raids are now sheltering under the bastions of Vittoriosa. Despite these difficult living conditions, they feel a greater sense of community closer to home. Shops and other facilities are beginning to re-open to provide essential services. Some of the returning residents have been evacuated from the Wied il-Ghain seaside resort which had been used as a substantial refugee centre. The Government ordered the evacuation as a precautionary measure, fearing that a landing may be attempted their by the enemy. As a result the village will remain under military control.
FINNISH WRECK SURVIVORS SEEK REFUGE IN MALTA Two rowing boats full of men were spotted approaching the shore of Malta near Marsaxlokk Bay at dusk today. The alarm was raised at just before eight this evening and a party of MSC boats went out from Kalafrana to investigate. Interrogation revealed that the 26 occupants were survivors of the Finnish steamer SS Wiiri which was bombed this morning by the Italian Regia Aeronautica 20 miles south west of Malta. According to the survivors, 70 or 80 bombs were dropped all round the 3500 ton cargo ship and she went down but there were no casualties. The rowing boat’s occupants were brought ashore and fed before being taken into custody for further interrogation.
SUBMARINE REPORTED OVERDUE The Royal Navy submarine Phoenix has been reported as sixteen hours overdue at Malta.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 18 JULY TO DAWN 19 JULY 1940
Weather Fine and warm. No air raids. 1430 hrs Status ‘Asia’ notified to all batteries. 2215 hrs A Royal Navy signal station reports green lights from the direction of Verdala.
OPERATIONS REPORTS THURSDAY 18 JULY 1940
ROYAL NAVY Submarine Rorqual sailed for Alexandria. AIR HQ Hudson effected reconnaissance of Palermo Harbour; sighted five destroyers and three merchant vessels 2-4000 tons plus several small craft. KALAFRANA Aircraft K5261 P/O Minchinton 202 Squadron on anti-submarine patrol.
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