Members of the George Cross Island Association to hold reunion at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester to remember Malta veterans
DOZENS of veterans who served in Malta during the Second World War are to hold a poignant reunion at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.
Members of the George Cross Island Association (GCIA) West Branch will arrive in Cirencester, the home of the group’s president, to commemorate the courage shown by the Mediterranean island during the war.
David Branch, a member of the GCIA, who will be attending the event on the first weekend of September, told the Standard just how important Malta was to victory in Europe.
The 78-year-old said: “Malta was the centre of the Mediterranean so I can’t stress how important it was. More bombs fell on Malta than fell on London.
“If Malta had fallen, I think we all would have.”
On the last day of the three-day long reunion, a memorial service will be held to remember those who died during conflict in Malta.
It is anticipated that around 35 people will attend the reunion, which is being held from September 6 to September 8.
Mr Branch said: “It’s quite encouraging to think that so many of the veterans are still able to travel at all.
“Obviously it won’t all be veterans. I’m 78 but we turn up to honour the courage of the Maltese people and to keep the association going.”
Around 7,000 civilians and military personnel died during the course of combat in Malta.
In April 1942, King George VI presented the people of Malta with the George Cross medal for bravery.
For more information on the reunion, visit www.georgecrossisland.org.uk.
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