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From The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, 12 July 1941
An appeal for funds to assist air raid victims in Malta has been commended by the Governor of Tasmania. His Excellency states:
“As you know I have received from the Australian Commissioner for Malta an appeal that Tasmania should assist a relief fund started in Australia to aid the air raid victims in Malta, where more than 750 air raids have been made and tremendous damage done. There have been heavy casualties of men, women and children, and at least 30000 persons are homeless. Though the Island has an area of only 123 sq miles, there are 270000 persons there, leading the life of a beleaguered city and bravely fighting the battle of the Empire.
The appeal for funds has already received a grant of £2500 in Sydney and it is hoped that at least £10000 will be subscribed in that city. In Melbourne a first grant of £3275 has been made from the British Bombing Victims Fund. I feel certain that the people of Tasmania who have so generously aided the various patriotic appeals will give their aid to a stricken people whose terrible fate might easily have been our own had the war happened to be fought in another area.
I venture to suggest that we in this island should aim at the sum of at least £1000, feeling confident that those whose hearts are already touched by the sufferings of their fellow British citizens will increase their donations to your fund, and that those who have not already realised what it means to be wounded or rendered homeless may be induced to help.”
It has been decided to widen the constitution of the Air Raid Relief Fund in Tasmania to allow contributions from it to be made for the relief of sufferers outside Britain. The change will take effect from August 1.
AIR RAIDS DAWN 12 JULY TO DAWN 13 JULY 1941
Weather Sunny and hot.
1125-1135 hrs Air raid alert for nine enemy aircraft which approach to within 10 miles of Grand Harbour. 19 Hurricanes are scrambled; the raiders turn back to the north and there is no engagement.
Night Three short air raid alerts due to the approach of single aircraft but none came closer than 15 miles from Malta.
Military casualties Able Seaman Reginald Allan James, RNVR, HM Submarine Upholder; Sergeant Ralph W Askin, Royal New Zealand Air Force; Sergeant Lionel F Clay, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR); Wireless Operator/Air Gunner William J Q Ramsay, RAFVR; Sergeant Desmond D P Thomas, pilot, RAFVR; Sergeant Eugene O Townsend, pilot, RAFVR; Sergeant Arthur J Worsfield, RAFVR; 2/Lt Peter E H Dale, 1st Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment.
Civilian casualties Floriana Giovanni Debattista, age 61; Antonia Debattista, age 26. Marsa Joseph Spiteri, age 15; Albert Woodward, age 37.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 12 JULY 1941
ROYAL NAVY Ursula returned to harbour with defective generators. Triumph arrived from patrol off Benghazi for damage repairs. Rorqual sailed at 1900 for Alexandria with stores and passengers.
AIR HQ Arrivals 3 Wellington. 69 Squadron Marylands patrols to locate convoy. 110 Squadron 6 Blenheims search for convoy but return due to poor visibility.
LUQA 1 Wellington crashed after take-off for Middle East.
1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT HQ considers that an attack on the Island is unlikely to take place before the end of August and certain precautions are relaxed. The carrying of rifles off duty is no longer deemed necessary.
1st Bn DORSETSHIRE REGIMENT 2nd Lt P E H Dale was killed when the aeroplane in which he was a passenger en route to the Middle East crashed at Safi landing strip.
FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB reported 2; dealt with 2 (15kg HE).
1st Bn HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT Battalion advance party moved to Gozo. 2230 hrs A Wellington bomber taking off from Luqa crashed in the St Nicola platoon area. All eight occupants were killed.
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