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Tal-Ħandaq Nostalgia

Memories of the Royal Naval School, Malta, 1947 - 1978.


Wartime Valleta

Paul_Fuller.jpg Staples.jpg ambulance.JPG coastal.JPG Rinellagunw.jpg
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Martin Powell   [Feb 03, 2008 at 07:12 AM]
V pleased you are including some wartime coverage Prefect. I feel ashamed that I went to two RN schools not so very long after the end of the war, staffed by serving RN officers, yet we were not told a thing about Malta's wartime suffering or the role played by the Navy in the Med. I am sure our view of the Maltese people would have been quite different and more respectful, as well as a valuable educational opportunity completely missed. Of course people wanted to forget the war, but we should have had it as part of our curriculum at around age 10-14 before GCE syllabuses loomed. I should have mentioned this to my father, although I was never in his class. Perhaps Liz can tell us how much freedom individual teachers had with the curriculum and how much was handed down from on high.
Prefect   [Feb 03, 2008 at 08:58 AM]
No it wasnt in the curriculum, perhaps it was too recent. Certainly growing up through the 50s we were fed an over glamourised diet of war through films, books and comics, which appealed to most boys. I later had a short experience of the real thing. Quite different!
Martin Powell   [Feb 03, 2008 at 09:14 AM]
All the more reason for the schools to have provided a balanced view. Two photos, of Verdala sailors, I was sent by Les Hutton, a matelot (aged 16-18 at the time) who spent time guarding POWs at Verdala when he wasn't minesweeping. Prefect has now included these.
OldBat   [Feb 04, 2008 at 06:09 AM]
That's true Martin. I'm amazed at the amount I've learned recently about wartime Malta - and also ashamed at how little I knew while I was there. I think at that time it was all still too raw, too painful and too close to be 'history'. It's only in looking back 50-odd years later that we can see it in perspective. I know that when I met my boyfriend (later husband) in 1958 he was still very raw about the death of his brother on the Illustrious in 1941. As for the curriculum, yes, we did have one but it was nothing like as rigid as these days! In the Juniors we were free to interpret it very much in our own individual ways!
OldBat   [Mar 11, 2008 at 06:16 PM]
Linda Tilbury (whose wartime story is mentioned below)** later went back to the island to teach at St Andrews (Army) Junior School from around 1959 - '62. Former TH pupils who were at St Andrews at that time may remember her - a lovely and dynamic character.
admin   [Oct 26, 2016 at 01:27 AM]
For stories from the BBC People's War see THIS PAGE**

See also ANITA HOWARD nee SACKETT

More can be found in a little book by Michael Longyear who was at Floriana Army School. Price £4 incl postage. Contact admin via the contact form.

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