30 December 1940: 21000 Refugee Children Treated to Christmas Cheer

30 Dec

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A Miles Magister training aircraft was airborne as enemy raiders approached

A Miles Magister training aircraft was airborne as enemy raiders approached

A fund set up to provide Christmas cheer to children most affected by the war in Malta has been declared a resounding success.  45 parties were held across Malta and Gozo, including one for 200 children hosted by the Marquis Scicluna at Dragonara Palace and another for 500 supported by the military authorities at Luqa.  In total 21000 children were entertained with free cinema or live shows, Christmas trees and games, before tucking into a slap-up tea.  Every child went home with a small gift.

Hundreds across Malta for contributed to the appeal, raising £687 in cash but also donating toys, groceries, sweets and free entertainment.  In a letter to the Times of Malta, appeal organiser Philip Pullicino, Adjutant of the Special Constabulary, described the beaming smile on thousands of happy faces at the parties.  He expressed the Force’s thanks, saying the results show that: “the welfare of children, especially of distressed children, holds a high place in the hearts of the people of Malta.” (1)


Weather  Clear and fine. 

1130 hrs  Air raid alert for three enemy SM 79 bombers escorted by five fighters which cross the Island from north to south at 16000 feet.  Six Hurricane fighters are scrambled to intercept.  A Glenn Martin aircraft is approaching the Island; five Swordfish and one Magister are also airborne.

1146 hrs  Three bombers and six fighters are reported over Luqa at 16000 feet; Three bombs are dropped on the aerodrome itself and some 7 more high explosives and incendiaries across the area.  One building of the Royal West Kent Regiment is damaged.  A direct hit demolishes an anti-aircraft post; there are no casualties.  Considerable blast effect is felt across the whole area but there are no casualties.  The raiders are engaged by heavy anti-aircraft fire; no claims. 

1158 hrs  A second formation of six enemy aircraft is reported approaching the Island but turns away without crossing the coast.  

1220 hrs  Raiders passed sounds.  A search is organised for unexploded bombs and two are reported to the Southern Infantry Brigade: one at the entrance to a quarry and the second between a cookhouse and dining hall.  All friendly aircraft are confirmed landed safely.

1500 hrs  Major Jacobs, Royal Engineers, visited Luqa to inspect the unexploded bombs and confirmed they must be left for four days before being dealt with.  Sentries are posted to prevent any traffic movements near the bomb sites and all ranks serving in the area are ordered to wear steel helmets until further notice.

1640 hrs  Eight Wellington bombers take off from Luqa.


KALAFRANA  Sunderland L2159, pilot W/C Nicholetts, left for Gibraltar to pick up important passengers.

FORTRESS ROYAL ENGINEERS Bomb Disposal UXB  Reported 3; dealt with 0.

2nd Bn ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT  D Company, less tank hunting platoon, move to Rinella Sector. 

(1)  The Road to Rome, Philip Pullicino, MPI Publishing, 2012


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Posted by on December 30, 2020 in 1940, December 1940


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