Malta: Courage and the George Cross

“To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.”  King George VI, 15 April 1942.


Welcome to the Malta War Diary, maltagc70, which was set up to mark the 70th anniversary of the award of the George Cross to the Island of Malta.  For the first time since the war, day by day and hour by hour, you can follow the ordeal faced by this tiny Island and its people as the second siege of Malta unfolded.  Due to security measures, the news media of the time could never reveal the true intensity of the bombing or the suffering of the Island’s civilians and defenders.     

Taken from original War Diaries, photographs and other official documents as well as journals and memories of those who were there, maltagc70 tracks the course of enemy bombing raids as they increase in frequency and ferocity, until the tiny Island becomes the most bombed place on earth.  RAF and Royal Navy logs show Malta on the offensive, as this island fortress plays its central role in the Allied victory in the Mediterranean.
Personal recollections show how the courage and resilience of the Maltese civilians as well as their military defenders earned Malta the George Cross on 15 April 1942. 
In 2022, the year which marks 80th anniversary of the award of the George Cross to Malta, the website maltagc70 is now an established resource for all those who wish to appreciate the ordeal of the Island during World War Two.  The War Diary will continue to be updated periodically, as new information is uncovered.  
If you or members of your family have memories of Malta in World War Two, would like to hear from you.  Please send an email to

Sign up now to receive your daily update from maltagc70 and share in this remarkable story.


Click on the links below to discover more about Malta and World War 2

Malta Aviation Museum

National War Museum

Malta at War Museum

Lascaris War Rooms

Malta Maritime Museum

Fortress Builders


383 responses to “Malta: Courage and the George Cross

  1. Andre Brincat

    December 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    fantastic idea which pays tribute to those who fought and died during those terrible three years!

    Malta Command WW2 Living Hostory Group

    • Derek T. Rowswell

      June 29, 2017 at 11:31 am

      My dad was there at the time (HMS Loyal), but he did not get the original medal but the 50th year Commemorative Medal. My dad (Joseph Cecil Rowswell) was a radio operator on board the HMS Loyal during the Siege of Malta…..

      • Linda Hoines

        November 24, 2020 at 3:28 pm

        my dad was a rear gunner on HMS BRANHAM one of the destroyers that towed the ohio into valleta harbour. He recieved the Matltese medal from tje Maltese government . The operation was called Operation Pedestal.

  2. Percy Eugene Cartwright Jnr

    February 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    This is really something. Excellent work

  3. Julie Goucher

    February 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Fabulous idea – looking forward to catching up on the previously made posts.

  4. Mick Cundy

    February 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

    This is fascinating, my Uncle was serving with The Cheshire Regt during WW2 on Malta and I am trying to find out exactly what he was doing there. I have a lot to read here but, I also served RAF on Malta, my wife was born there and we visit again this September and will attend the airshow.
    Malta holds so many wonderful memories for me, never a bad day there and always a welcome.

    • Nick

      May 9, 2021 at 6:32 am

      My grandfather also served with the Cheshires on Malta. Awarded MBE for actions defending the docks. Recently discovered this site.

  5. djrose007

    March 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

    What a great site, and honouring the heritage of Malta and it’s more than well deserved award of the George Cross.
    I was stationed at RAF Luqa (Communications Centre) Sep 72 to Jan 74 and loved Malta and recently created a website for RAF Luqa Remembered ( http://raf-luqa.weebly,com ).
    Thank you for this amazing insight into peoples memories.
    I am looking forward to visiting the island in September 2012, 38 years since leaving, it’s been far too long.

  6. Anne Wright

    March 5, 2012 at 2:32 am

    My Great Uncle, William Stockhall, a Private in the second batallion Devonshire Regiment, died in Malta on 24 March 1942. Your website is a wonderful way for my family to understand what he went though in his final days and to honour his contribution.

  7. Carman Bone Watson

    March 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    My parents lived through this hardship!

  8. Joseph Fenech

    April 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    My two uncles and aunt – their sister- died as a result of enemy action in St. Rita Street, Sliema on 11th March, 1942. They 12, 20 and 17 years old.

  9. jim gregory

    April 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    during the worst days of the siege, my dad would walk 3 miles and back to buy only 1 egg and some potatoes from a farmer, to feed 3 kids

  10. David S A Bawden

    February 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Always great to see another website dedicated to the history and bravery of the people of Malta. In my opinion one could never say enough about the unsung heroes, the ordinary men, women and children of the islands who not only gave their lives, but endured extreme hardship in the face of overwhelming odds. They stood firm and did not waver, while around them the world had gone mad. God Bless, your efforts changed the face of the world as we know it and were crucial in defeating one of histories worst tyrants. Thank you. David S A Bawden

    • DEBONO Reggie

      March 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Where can I please find a photo of the Point de Veu Hotel Rabat after it was bombed ?

  11. Anthony Richard Tickner

    May 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I was born in Mtarfa in the Rabat area on the 19th February 1940 when my father was serving with the royal west kent 2nd batallion stationed at St.georges Barracks Pembrokeshire. Can anyone remember where the maternity and labour wards of the military families hospital in Mtarfa, as I have been informed that they were not in the main hospital, if anyone has photos I would appreciate seeing them I thank you all in anticipation Tony Tickner

    • lenfen

      January 8, 2021 at 12:11 am

      Dear Anthony, I was born in Harun on the 5th of May 1935, from memory I had a brother in the English army he was taken to the military hospital in Mtarfa I hope that’ll help you somewhat, I think that same Hospital is still there and I also think it had a clock tower, it has been restored, please make some inquiries , they would not knock that down its a war memorial, Good luck, I live in Australia now my email address is ps You need to visit the Maltese Iland when you can…

      • Anthony Tickner

        February 18, 2021 at 1:19 pm

        I have been back to Malta three times and actually visited the military’s family hospital which was turned into a school which was closed when I visited it and couldn’t find anyone who could give me the information I required I have even contacted the Maltese authorities to ask the question where were the actual maternity wards but no one seems to know. It has been suggested that they weren’t actually in the hospital itself but in one of the adjacent building’s

      • Anthony Tickner

        March 27, 2021 at 1:31 pm

        Yes the Hospital is still there but was a deserted secondary school when I visited it but your reply didn’t answer my question were the maternity wards in the actual hospital or situated away from the hospital and if any one out there has any photos please let me have them many thanks Tony


    July 16, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Joe Farrugia is my name. I was born on October1st, 1933 at Tarxien in Malta. I recall the day war started in Malta because across our house was the Royal West Kent Regiment. Very early one morning I got woken up when I heard the one huge artillery cannon being fired against the overhead enemy aircraft. During the war period everyone in our area got to know many of the RWKRegimental Officers. Most Maltese families nearby all showed appreciation for our protectors in many different ways. Our family volunteered to wash and iron many soldiers’ uniforms and in time several of the soldiers would reciprocate by dropping in to visit and bring along small but helpful supplies left over in their officers’ mess kitchen. Naturally, this was so appreciated especially our family and others who had to feed some 12 or 14 children. My personal wish is something I have been hoping to finally be granted; I am hoping there is someone who would have any soldier’s photos of this Royal West Kent Regiment. One officer’s name I have always remembered is: James Eary. I am nearing 80 this year and I would be most grateful if someone has any photos at all that may be shown here or perhaps be sent attached to an email directly to me:
    Thanking you in anticipation.
    Joe Farrugia

    • Anthony Richard Tickner

      July 19, 2013 at 9:09 am

      I have left a reply on your private e-mail My father was in the Royal west Kent regiment 2nd battalion in St georges Barracks pemboke and the mueseum or the regiment is 12 miles from me in Maidstone where the old invicta barracks were until the moved further up the road, I would like to hear from anyone regarding the military families hospital in Mtarfa what my question is does antone remember where the maternity and delivery wards were as I am informed that they were not in the main hospital but some 200 metre away if anyone has photos I would be more than grateful regards
      Tony Tickner

  13. JOE FARRUGIA Please get back to me. It appears that your email address is not working for my.

    August 10, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Hello Mr. A. Tickner, I have actually replied several times to your email but I keep being informed that your email address was incorrect. If you have no objection, you could email me your postal address and I have some information I could post out to you. Although I do not have exactly what you are after, I do have information about what was known as Bighi Hospital and later the British Forces Families Hospital. I am still trying to find somebody who has photos of the maternity wards. Please get back to me: joe,

    Joe Farrugia

  14. JOE FARRUGIA Please get back to me. It appears that your email address is not working for me.

    August 10, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Hello Tony, Please get back to me. It seems your email address is not working for me. Please, try again Joe F

  15. Lesley Freed

    August 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    My Grandfather Frederick Eager (Able Seaman) served HMS Penelope. Malta.
    Lesley Freed

  16. Joe

    January 11, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Very interesting piece of history.

  17. Robert Kalinak

    January 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    This is a great site! It enables us to remember and not forget what these men & women did to protect our World. I have a question, what happened to the members of RAF Squadron 605 who stayed on Malta? We know members who went to the Far East. What about the flyers in Malta?

  18. mrs irene tighe

    March 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    my father-in-law was on MALTA throw the siege serving with the BUFFS.can any body give me any info.HIS name was john tighe.

  19. Kay Bright

    February 7, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    My grandfather, Sidney George Hayward was stationed on Malta with my mother and grandmother who were evacuated suddenly. I have been told that he was mentioned in dispatches and understand that he was somehow separated from the rest of the Royal West Kent Regiment and escaped Malta by sea. Does anyone have any information or know how I can find out more.?

  20. Anthony Tickner

    February 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Hi kay bright you can get information from either the Maidstone museum or from the royal West Kent regiment at the new invicta barracks in Maidstone Kent

  21. Anthony Tickner

    February 12, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Kay bright I don’t understand what you mean by he escaped from Malta by sea as there was no need for him to escape from Malta as they were not invaded

  22. Chris Glanville

    March 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    My Grandfather was on Malta for the duration,and was involved with HMS St Angelo in 1942.
    For his part in the action he was awarded the DSM.
    His name was Sergeant William James Caleb Glanville,Royal Marines,and his number was Po.X.112.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  23. Chris Carter

    April 19, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I beleave my uncle served with the QUEENS OWN ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT IN MALTA. He was a member of the concert party entertaining the troops. His name was Wilfred Carter any information would be greatly appreciated,

  24. mgbmgb4126

    January 17, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I would like to receive the diary of
    the raids during
    the year 1941

    • Anthony Tickner

      January 20, 2016 at 9:27 am

      I wonder if you can help me I was born in the military families hospital at M’tarfa on the 19th February 1940 and would like someone to enlighten me to where the maternity wards were situated were they in the actual hospital or close by in the hospital grounds if there is someone who can help me maybe you can let them have my email address which is a and I would like to receive the diary of the year 1941 many thanks Tony tickner

      • mgbmgb4126

        January 21, 2016 at 2:12 am

        even I would like to receive the daiy diary for the whol
        e year 1941

  25. A Oliver

    July 20, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Hugely interesting!

  26. Walter E. Sullivan

    June 26, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I find your site interesting and very nostalgic. I served in the KOMR 2nd Bn in 1942 and I hope to continue receiving War Diary

    • Simon Bisley

      June 29, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Hello Mr Sullivan did you work closely with the British Army forces on the island during that time? As my oldest uncle who was KIA in the War was on Malta during the siege and served with the 1st bn the Dorset regiment.

      • Walter Sullivan

        July 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

        Not really. We were mainly on beach posts and we were on patrol duty day and night as we were expected to be invaded at the time. We did not have a lot of contact with the British Services. Sorry I can’t help. Walter

  27. Gillian McTavish

    February 25, 2019 at 5:20 am

    I am wondering if there would be any information about Donald Sherwood McTavish. He was Squadron leader of air traffic control during this time. He was awarded a medal from Britain and N. Africa. I would appreciate any information you have. He was my father.

  28. Doris

    June 25, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Great website. My dad, Emanuel Spiteri was in the Royal Malta Artillery and was awarded the George Cross Medal for bravery. Unfortunately, we have no other information about him while in service. Is there someone I can reach to and acquire such information. We would really appreciate any information that goes with his medal. Thank you.

    • Simon Bisley

      July 7, 2020 at 6:39 pm

      Hello ,
      If you’re father was in the British army then you can apply for his army service records, you can find the details on the internet on how to contact them, I believe it that the department that is responsible for holding them is based in Scotland.
      If he wasn’t it still might be worth asking as they might be able to direct to the right place to find out.
      Hope this helps, my oldest uncle was stationed on Malta during the war he served with the 1bn the Dorset Regiment for the whole of the siege.
      Unfortunately he did not survive the war and was kia in Normandy in 1944
      Good luck with your search

  29. William Dewison

    November 3, 2020 at 12:30 am


    For some reason the daily War diary posts have stopped, I have found no fault with my email, My email address is ( ) if possible I would like to continue to receive the daily War diary posts, I have to say that it is a very informative way of viewing the siege on a daily basis.
    My father George Dewison 1st Batt 22nd Cheshire regiment served in Malta during the WW2 siege and my many visits to Malta have allowed me to understand the war time conditions the seige brought about
    William Dewison

    • maltagc70

      November 4, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Thanks for the alert. We are aware of this and have contacted the site host to try and rectify it as soon as possible.


      November 9, 2020 at 6:46 pm

      I was born in Malta in 1940 just before the siege started my father was a seargant in the Royal West Kent regiment 2nd battalion we were repatriated in March 1943 unfortunately I can only remember a few things and the only people in my family who could are unfortunately not with us anymore many regards Tony Tickner

  30. jayne cockcroft

    January 16, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Im looking for any photos or information regarding Marsaxlokk and the R.A.F during WWII please. My father had been an R.A.F armourer there. I know the base is now under the container port but that is all.

    • maltagc70

      January 16, 2022 at 9:37 pm

      The base is referred to in the Malta War Diary as Kalafrana. Ed.

  31. Catherine Vella

    April 17, 2022 at 1:04 am

    Lovely memories, my father was in the MALTA RMA and THE ROYAL MALTA ENGINEERS in WORLD WAR11. love to read about our WW11 history etc.
    Thank you

    • Bruce McNair

      May 5, 2022 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Catherine- not sure if my earlier message was transmitted so I’m sending this repeat, just in case. My Dad flew with 126 Squadron in Malta from Feb ‘42 until June ‘42. He was very fond of Malta and the folks he met. He maintained some friendship after the War. He continued buying tickets for the Maltese Sweepstakes for decades. He never won. He visited Malta just before he passed away in 1971. This blog is a fine testament to those who fought, those who perished and all those who supported the war effort. MacQueen and Dad looked amazingly alike. Take care. Cheers.
      Bruce McNair

  32. lenfen

    May 7, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Love reading these Comments, brings some memories, as I was born in 1935


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