His­toric wartime shel­ter in Mtarfa to open its doors to the pub­lic

Malta Independent - - News -

A large wartime shel­ter found be­neath the ex-Bri­tish Naval Hos­pi­tal in Mtarfa will open its doors to the gen­eral pub­lic for the first time dur­ing this year’s edi­tion of Mil­i­tary Mtarfa.

The event will be held on Sun­day 11th Novem­ber — which hap­pens to be the 100th an­niver­sary from the sign­ing of the Ar­mistice be­tween the Al­lies and Ger­many. Mil­i­tary Mtarfa will be held be­tween 10.30am and 5pm, at the ex-Bri­tish Naval Hos­pi­tal, which was built pur­posely to serve Mil­i­tary ca­su­al­ties dur­ing WWII.

Mil­i­tary Mtarfa is be­ing or­gan­ised by the Mtarfa Lo­cal Coun­cil, with the sup­port of the Val­letta 2018 Foun­da­tion.

“The huge shel­ter be­neath the ex-Bri­tish Naval Hos­pi­tal served as an im­por­tant hide­away and es­cape route for all pa­tients and staff dur­ing the war. This mag­nif­i­cent unique shel­ter, which is 6 floors deep, has never been opened to the pub­lic since the end of WWII. The shel­ter also in­cludes an emer­gency op­er­at­ing theatre. This will be a unique op­por­tu­nity to get a glance of this his­tor­i­cal mas­ter­piece,” a V18 Foun­da­tion state­ment read.

The event will start off with a visit to the Mtarfa Mil­i­tary Ceme­tery, where 238 Com­mon­wealth buri­als were made dur­ing WWII. A wreath shall be laid in hon­our of these in­di­vid­u­als, fol­lowed by a sa­lute by the Mtarfa Scout Group. A con­voy of at least 20 mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles will then drive to­wards the of­fi­cial venue.

The main event will fea­ture reen­ac­tors per­form­ing var­i­ous drills, bat­tle sim­u­la­tions and skir­mishes be­tween Bri­tish and Ger­man forces. Vis­i­tors may also see a WWII field hos­pi­tal and field kitchen to­gether with a typ­i­cal Vic­tory Kitchen, amongst other at­trac­tions. Vis­i­tors will also be able to in­ter­act with soldiers as they walk through the trenches which sur­round the venue, which per­fectly sim­u­late life at the front line as well as at re­treat camps.

Pho­tos by V18 Foun­da­tion

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