The Award of the George Cross to Malta, 1942 AD
commemorative ceremony and historical reenactment
Malta commemorates the award of the George Cross, the second highest award of the United Kingdom honours system, by a live re-enactment and a narrative son-et-lumiere in Valletta downtown. A celebration of Maltese fortitude and bravery "to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history", and at the same time the chance to enjoy the amazing heritage and beautiful landscape of a unique Mediterrranean gem...
The George Cross (GC) is the second highest award of the United Kingdom honours system, ranking immediately after the Victoria Cross. The GC is the highest gallantry award for civilians, as well as for members of the armed forces in actions for which purely military honours would not normally be granted. The GC was instituted on 24 September 1940 by King George VI At this time, during the height of the London Blitz (the strategic bombing of the United Kingdom by Germany during WWII), there was a strong desire to reward the many acts of civilian courage. The existing awards open to civilians were not judged suitable to meet the new situation, therefore it was decided that the George Cross and the George Medal would be instituted to recognise both civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action and brave deeds more generally.
The actual George Cross was awarded on a collective basis to the island of Malta in a letter dated 15 April 1942 from King George VI to the island's Governor Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie, and later brought over to Malta by Lord Viscount Gort, VC., who had just been appointed and sent to Malta as Governor and Commander-In-Chief. It was presented to the people of Malta during a ceremony that was held on 13 September in St George’s Square, Valletta. Chief Justice Sir George Borg received the medal on behalf of the Maltese nation as a sign of appreciation by the British Monarchy for the bravery and tenacity shown by the Maltese people throughout the war. The cross and the messages are today found in the War Museum in Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta. The fortitude of the population under sustained enemy air raids and a naval blockade which almost saw them starved into submission, won widespread admiration in Britain and other Allied nations. The George Cross is woven into the Flag of Malta and can be seen wherever the flag is flown. The Malta Tourism Authority will be presenting a commemorative celebration that will recall this historic episode. On April 15, a son-et-lumiere will be held in St George’s Square, Valletta. Together with this there will be a ceremonial re-enactment that will be participated in by the Armed Forces of Malta band, the Malta Police Force and band and some 50 actors who will be re-evoking this historic episode.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Venue: St George's Square – Valletta
Time: 19.15 – 21.00 hrs.
For further information please call +356 22915440/1
Valletta and Malta on Google maps:
Video reportages from the event: