Monday, February 11, 2008

Some of the fallen defenders of Malta G.C.



A photograph of the grave of some of the defenders of Malta G.C.
(Photograph by J.B. Wright)


Traditionally, Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta was the main garrison cemetery of the island and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains it. Although most of those buried or commemorated here are casualties of WW1, there are some WW2 graves, including the one shown in the above photograph. The graves are organised differently to most of those maintained by the CWGC. Because of the shallow soil cover of much of the island, war graves on Malta had to be cut into rock. Hence, many collective and joint burials were carried out, eventually marked by flat tablets with several inscriptions on each.

This particular grave is Collective Grave E.23. It contains the graves of six Artillery Men who lost their lives defending Malta G.C. in May 1942 - at the time of its greatest peril. Three of those buried in this particular grave are British (Royal Artillery) and three are Maltese (Royal Maltese Artillery).

(For additional information about those buried in Collective Grave E.23 click on 'Comments' below)

1 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

These are some additional details of five of the six casualties buried in
Collective Grave E.23, Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta

1. Gunner GEORGE JAMES O'BRIEN
Service No 1777080, 4 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Artillery
Died on 25 May 1942
The son of George James O'Brien and Nellie O'Brien, of Welling, Kent.
Remembered with honour PIETA MILITARY CEMETERY

Gunner O’Brien’s epitaph reads:

“Eternal Rest give unto him O Lord,
And let Perpetual Light shine upon him”.

2. Gunner WILLIAM KELLY
Service No 3850045, 4 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Artillery
Died age 39 on 25 May 1942
Son of Thomas and Mary Alice Kelly, of Bolton, Lancashire.
Remembered with honour PIETA MILITARY CEMETERY

Gunner Kelly’s epitaph reads:

“He gave his life for those he loved
And those he loved remember”.


3. Gunner JOHN FITZSIMONS
Service No 3598158, 5 Bty., 4 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Artillery
Died age 23 on 25 May 1942
Son of William and Catherine Fitzsimons, of Bransty, Whitehaven, Cumberland.
Remembered with honour PIETA MILITARY CEMETERY

Gunner Fitzsimons’ epitaph reads:

“Sleeping across the Ocean Foam
He died for his loved ones far from home”.


4. Gunner MICHAEL SAMMUT
Service No 40469, 11 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Malta Artillery
Died on 10 May 1942
Remembered with honour PIETA MILITARY CEMETERY

5. Gunner PETER PORTELLI
Service No 20099, 11 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Malta Artillery
Died on 9 May 1942
Remembered with honour PIETA MILITARY CEMETERY
NB –
There is one other serviceman buried in this grave, but I cannot make out the name from the photograph.
The Maltese servicemen have no epitaph on their grave.

“May they all rest in peace. They gave their lives so that others may live. Long may they be remembered”.


[Thanks to Mr John B. Wright for researching the information about Malta in WW2]

Monday, 11 February, 2008  

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