Il-Wasla tal-George Cross fil-Marsa
On the 16th of October 2022, Battlefront Living History Group organized a series of events in commemoration to the award of the George Cross to Malta in 1942. The event focused on the George Cross’ forgotten afterlife when it toured every town and village for the people of Malta to witness up close.
The public attending had a unique opportunity of being part of the Exhibition of the George Cross in Marsa, in the same location as its visit in 1942. This interactive re-enactment in the Marsa Holy Trinity Square, featured a cheerful atmosphere with music and an authentic setting enticing the entire family.
Apart from re-enactments and mounted guard with the George Cross, the public was able to see in person various artifacts from local private collections never before exhibited in public. Under the title ‘Was it worth it?’, attendees were able to visit our exhibition and experience the second world war from new perspectives. Other activities throughout the day included:
- Original Military vehicles convoys and static displays;
- Maltese and British Re-enactors performing scenes from wartime Malta;
- Traditional Maltese games for kids;
- A debate on the wartime experience with the participation of the public;
- Historical tours onboard vintage buses around Marsa;
- Firing demonstrations of various ww2 firearms.
All activities took place throughout the day, free of charge, in Marsa on the 16th of October 2022.
‘Il-Wasla tal-George Cross fil-Marsa‘ was organised by Marsa Local Council together with Battlefront Malta,
with the support of the Ministry For The National Heritage, The Arts And The Local Government, Malta Tourism Authority and with the participation of Marsa Historical and Cultural Group, Soċjeta’ Mużikali Trinita’ Qaddisa Marsa, Maria Regina Socjeta’ Muzikali Marsa, the Marsa Scouts Pipes and Drums and the Association of Maltese Arms Collectors and Shooters.
Participation in the George Cross public exhibition reconstruction
The George Cross awarded to the people of Malta was toured around the island right after the official presentation. Marsa was no exception. The preparations on the day for welcoming the medal and the citation from the King were made by local organisations of the village or the district. But a common sight on many occasions was the presence of a police or military marching band, police officers performing sentry duties and distinguished guests, military officers and local leaders of local organisations.
For our 2022 reconstruction in Marsa, we welcomed the participation of the “Soċjeta’ Mużikali Trinita’ Qaddisa Marsa” and “Maria Regina Socjeta’ Muzikali Marsa” that will liven the streets in preparation for the arrival of the George Cross; The Marsa Scouts Pipes & Drums lead the way for the guards and the award.
However, as ceremonious and festive as the scene was, with the street decorations and patriotic music, the main focal point was the opportunity where the public saw the George Cross awarded to their forefathers in the same arrangement as it happened 80 years ago.
It’s as if a window back in time has opened where the public can step in and re-live, but with a modern twist.
The full programme of events
Here is the up-to-date list of activities that one could partake in on Sunday 16th October:
9am: The opening of the Commemorative exhibition titled “Was it worth it?” at the Marsa Local Council premises. The exhibition remained open till 6pm.
10-11.30am: A Royal Engineers Malta Bomb Disposal re-enactment and a static outdoor exhibition of military vehicles near Maria Regina parish church. The convoy of military vehicles will depart from the area and move to Marsa Cross road near Holy Trinity church, where the public was able to view them.
11.30am-12.30pm: A debate on the wartime experience with the participation of the public and organised by the Marsa Historical and Cultural Group.
1-1.45pm: Heritage trail. This includes an explanatory tour around the historical sites of Marsa through the use of vintage buses.
2-2.45pm: Heritage trail
3-3.45pm: Heritage trail
3.45pm-4.20pm: Bands Playing
4.30-4.45pm: Re-enactment of the presentation of the George Cross in Marsa as in 1942.
4.45-5.45pm: Exposition of the George Cross medal for public viewing.
5.15-6pm: Heritage trail.
Firing demonstrations, military vehicle exhibition and free kids traditional games will be available between 12.30pm and 3pm in Holy Trinity Square.