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A REFLECTION ON TWO YEARS OF WAR
Diary of Reverend Reginald Nicholls, Chancellor of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Valletta: 2nd September 1941
Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the declaration of war. What a time it has been. If an Armistice came tomorrow, I think that the time would seem to have been short; and, apart from our loss of our son Anthony, I should feel that I had not suffered in health in spite of having lost three stones. My wife I think, has suffered more. She has never spent a whole summer here before, to say nothing of two, with the possibility of a third…
We have had a whole week free from night raids. But the moon is now once again nearly at the full, and it has begun again. Last night there was 4 or 5 hours of it but we were out at Birkirkara and though I heard three ‘Alerts’ … I went into the garden to have a look. I heard what I thought was a plane very near and very low, I ran like a stag, dropping one slipper in the garden! It dropped a small bomb in Sliema; I heard the bang and saw the burst. (1)
AIR RAIDS DAWN 2 SEPTEMBER TO DAWN 3 SEPTEMBER 1941
Weather Fine and warm.
No air raids.
Military casualties Leading Aircraftsman James Curtis, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR), 126 Squadron; Aircraftsman II John Davidson, RAFVR, 126 Squadron; Aircraftsman Martin L Preston, RAFVR; Leading Aircraftsman William A Thompson, RAFVR, 126 Squadron.
OPERATIONS REPORTS TUESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 1941
ROYAL NAVY Ursula returned from interception of convoy east of Tripoli. Escort only sighted. Triumph returned from operations on north coast of Sicily. Viaduct blown up and 6 Italian fishermen brought to Malta after their craft had been mistaken for an E boat and sunk. One hit claimed on a cruiser at northern entrance of Messina Straits.
AIR HQ Arrivals 2 Blenheim, 2 Beaufighter. Departures 4 Blenheim, 1 Beaufighter. 69 Squadron Photo-reconnaissance Licata shows considerable damage done by Blenheims on 30 August. 2 Fulmars offensive patrol Gerbini-Catania areas attacked aircraft, dropped bombs on aerodromes and made a low-level machine-gun attack on a dispersal area. 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 9 Swordfish on shipping sweep east of Cape Spartivento attacked a convoy of 7 destroyers and 5 merchant vessels scoring several hits. All 8 torpedoes were released; one ammunition ship blew up and disappeared; two more ships were badly damaged.
TA QALI During a monthly inspection a mine exploded, killing three airmen; another is still missing.
1st Bn CHESHIRE REGIMENT 2 NCOs and 16 men of Maritime Royal Artillery Regiment from merchant ships in the Harbour were attached to the Battalion. They will remain until the ships leave Malta. The last batch of men from ships was most helpful and it is hoped these will be the same.
8th Bn MANCHESTER REGIMENT Northern Infantry Brigade gave instructions for one NCO and two men to be sent every evening to each listening post to keep a lookout during the hours of darkness.
(1) Extract from diary of Reverend Reginald M. Nicholls, Chancellor of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Valletta. Courtesy of website: Malta Family History
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