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The George Cross Island Association Originally came into being to commemorate and bring together veterans and families of the Siege of Malta (1940 to 1943) and particularly those who took part in the Pedestal Convoy so that comrades and friends could share their experiences. However, today we welcome members from all walks of life who have an interest in Malta and want to see history promoted and maintained. So if you have an interest in history, particularly the Mediterranean during WW2, do join us – we would love to hear your memories and experiences or simply share ours with you. Please use the Membership page to complete a form which will automatically be sent to the membership secretary who will send on all the relevant information.
We are honoured to have as Patron, his Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, Prince Philip who himself served in Malta and both he and HM The Queen have a great affection for Malta and her people.
More information about the GCIA can be found on the page tabs across the top, and also information about upcoming events, photographs of past events and a membership form. All our members receive a quarterly newsletter which gives information on upcoming events, past events and include contributions from members.
Through this website we aim to help maintain and provide an historical and educational resource for future generations, as well as to be a focal point to bring together all our members and interested parties.
Within our branches in the UK and in Malta many of our members have relatives who took part in the Pedestal Convoy or who served in Malta or were in Malta during WWII and afterwards; they share with us their memories and experiences and take part in the various commemorative events we organise each year. All are welcomed at our events whether they have any military background or not and including non-members of the GCIA.
Along with other events, the Association holds a reunion in Malta every year to commemorate the award of the George Cross and remember over 7,000 civilians and serving men who were killed during this bitter and prolonged siege. The branches (see our membership page) also hold their own commemorative events and get together regularly at social meetings you will find these on the branch pages of this site.
We welcome contributions to this site from our members or from any one who has an interesting article. Please send your contributions to:firstname.lastname@example.org
SEE EVENTS PAGE FOR DETAILS OF UPCOMING EVENTS ALSO THE BRANCH PAGES
NEWS & OBITUARIES
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CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT
74th Anniversary of Operation Pedestal – August 1942 Commemoration.
Malta’s highest authorities have commemorated the 74th Anniversary of the arrival of the five surviving supply ships to the Island in the largest relief convoy of the second World War in August 1942.
Between August 13 and 15 , 1942, four battered cargo ships and the American Texaco tanker OHIO trickled through the welcoming breakwater arms into Malta’s Grand Harbour to the joy of the starving Maltese and British garrison. The arrival of the last ship on August 15, 1942 – the iconic OHIO, has become immortalised in war history books as this vessel was practically carried into the harbour by its destroyer escort and attendant tug boats.
It coincided with the religious feast of the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary giving Operation Pedestal another unofficial but more evocative title among the Maltese : the Santa Maria Convoy.
Malta’s President, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca headed the congregation at the Memorial at Ta’ Liesse on the Valletta shoreline and laid a commemorative wreath followed by Government Ministers, members of the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of the veteran organizations.
Wreathes were also laid by the President of the George Cross Island Association, Judge Joseph Galea Debono and the Chairman of the Malta Branch of GCIA , Mr. Peter Robinson.
Operation Pedestal was the last overwhelming effort to relieve the Island and prevent its surrender which was only a fortnight away. It had the biggest escort of Royal Navy ships, including four aircraft carriers, two battleships and numerous cruisers and destroyers.
Sadly only five of the 14 supply ships made it through the narrows between Sicily and Tunisia where it was severely attacked by Axis air and naval units on the 12th and 13th August.