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PRESS CORRESPONDENT PRAISES SPIRIT OF MALTESE
An official newspaper war correspondent gives their impressions from a recent visit to Malta:
After London, Malta must hold the record for the hammering it has taken from the air, but Valletta (the capital) has surprisingly little to show in the way of wrecked buildings. The spirit of the population is amazing.
As units of the Mediterranean Fleet went slowly into the harbour one sunny morning recently, cheers rang from the heights round the port, while on a single point hundreds of children had gathered, waving flags and singing an uncomplimentary song about Mussolini to the tune of the stirring old naval song, ‘Row Out the Dinghy’. I was told that it was this children’s reception that the Fleet looked forward to. Most certainly the children make a thunderous din.
While I was ashore, an air raid alarm was sounded. The soft rock of the island is catacombed with passages and shelters, and everyone went to earth. After half an hour the ‘all clear’ sounded. A few minutes later, two Hurricanes came roaring over the harbour doing a ‘victory roll’. They had bagged a bomber each. The appearance of the planes was the signal for more terrific cheering, especially round the docks, where the Maltese downed tools to wave.
Normal business life goes on in Valetta. It is here more than anywhere else in the Mediterranean that one realises that Italy’s number is up. It will be a great day for the children and sailors when the Fleet sails in, finally victorious.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 7 DECEMBER TO DAWN 8 DECEMBER 1940
Weather Cold and windy.
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 7 DECEMBER 1940
AIR HQ Eleven Wellington bombers attacked Castel Benito airfield and destroyed or damaged 29 aircraft.
2nd Bn KINGS OWN MALTA REGIMENT Seventeen recruits are posted from Depot to the Battalion.
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT Battalion rugby match was played against the Royal West Kent Regiment.
2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT CO visited Luqa for siting Ack Ack defences (GOC present). Work commenced on Ack Ack posts; nine more Bren guns drawn from Ordnance.
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