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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
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SEE EVENTS- 2017 PAGE FOR DETAILS OF UPCOMING EVENTS INCLUDING THE MALTA 2017 REUNION AND ALSO THE BRANCH PAGES
NEWS & OBITUARIES
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CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT
The forthcoming Annual Reunion
It is once again an honour and my privilege to meet you in the George Cross Island for our annual reunion, particularly when we are commemorating the dramatic events which occurred on the Island exactly seventy five years ago.
Our forebears, military and civilian, had reached the end of their tether, having been subjected to ceaseless indiscriminate bombing for months on end and with food and ammunition rations dwindling to vanishing point. The disaster that befell the March convoy, when all four ships were sunk either within reach of the Island or after reaching port, but before much of their valuable cargo could be unloaded, certainly did not help to boost the morale of the besieged garrison and inhabitants.
The few Spifires that had reached the Island in March had been decimated in the air or destroyed on the battered airfields and the defense was mainly left to the gunners of the Royal Artillery and the Royal Malta Artillery whose daily expenditure of rounds was severely rationed.
Mindful of the precarious situation, King George VI on the 15th of April intervened with the effective morale booster in the shape of the award of the George Cross Medal to the people and this helped in no small way to raise the spirits of the islanders.
The subsequent substantial reinforcement of the RAF with Mark V Spitfires five days later and on the 9th May further gave encouragement to a people which was on the verge of starvation. The air battle on the 'Glorious Tenth of May' was the turning point of the air war over Malta though several more months of privation were still to be endured.
These are the events which the few who survived the ordeal and we, their relatives and descendants who are active members of the George Cross Island Association,
will be commemorating with pride during our reunion.
Our numbers may be dwindling as the years take the inevitable toll but we who are left are determined more than ever 'to remember them' at the going down of the sun and in the morn.
Joseph Galea Debono.
GEORGE CROSS ISLAND ASSOCIATION.