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