Malta George Cross Memorial

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Malta George Cross Memorial in London Malta George Cross Monument, London.jpg
Malta George Cross Memorial in London

The Malta George Cross Memorial, also known as the Maltese Memorial, is a war memorial in London, built to commemorate the Siege of Malta in the Second World War, which led to the island's being collectively awarded the George Cross in April 1942. The memorial was unveiled in 2005, near All Hallows by the Tower.

War memorial type of memorial

A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in a war.

Siege of Malta (World War II) military campaign in the Mediterranean Theatre of the Second World War

The Siege of Malta in the Second World War was a military campaign in the Mediterranean Theatre. From 1940–42, the fight for the control of the strategically important island of Malta, then a British colony, pitted the air forces and navies of Italy and Germany against the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy.

George Cross award for bravery in the United Kingdom

The George Cross (GC) is the second highest award of the United Kingdom honours system. It is awarded "for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger", not in the presence of the enemy, to members of the British armed forces and to British civilians. Posthumous awards have been allowed since it was instituted. It was previously awarded to residents of Commonwealth countries, most of which have since established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians including police, emergency services and merchant seamen. Many of the awards have been personally presented by the British monarch to recipients or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

The memorial is constructed from a large rectangular monolithic block of limestone from the Maltese island of Gozo. The block stands 3 metres (9.8 ft) high and weighs 8.5 tons. It bears an inscribed black slate panel on each of its four sides. The main panel to the southeast recounts the Siege of Malta from 1940 to 1943, and the consequent loss of 7,000 lives of Maltese civilians and Allied and Commonwealth service personnel. A Maltese cross is displayed above this main panel. Further details of the siege are inscribed on a second panel on the northwest face of the memorial. The panel to the northeast gives details of the award of the George Cross, and the panel to the southwest has a map illustrating the Allied operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

Monolith Stone block made of one single piece; object made of one single rock piece.

A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock, such as some mountains, or a single large piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument or building. Erosion usually exposes the geological formations, which are often made of very hard and solid igneous or metamorphic rock.

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolostone, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In fact, in old USGS publications, dolostone was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolostones or magnesium-rich limestones.

Gozo Island of Malta

Gozo, known locally as Għawdex and in antiquity as Gaulos, is an island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is part of Malta. After the island of Malta itself, it is the second-largest island in the archipelago. Compared to its southeastern neighbour, Gozo is more rural and known for its scenic hills, which are featured on its coat of arms.

The stone was presented by the Government of Malta and erected by the George Cross Island Association in 2005, for the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. It was unveiled on 15 August 2005 by the President of Malta Eddie Fenech Adami, and dedicated by Vincent Nichols, then the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, with a wreath laid by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The date was the 63rd anniversary of the arrival of the last surviving ship of the Operation Pedestal convoy at Valletta Grand Harbour that provided critical supplies during the siege. The unveiling was attended by approximately 100 veterans of the Malta campaign, and representatives of Allied and Commonwealth forces.

The George Cross Island Association is a charitable organisation that was initiated to honour and remember those that suffered during the Siege of Malta . The association has branches across the UK and a branch in Malta. The Patron of the G.C.I.A. is HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, Prince Philip who himself served in Malta.

President of Malta constitutional head of state of Malta

The President of Malta is the constitutional head of state of Malta. The President is appointed by a resolution of the House of Representatives of Malta for a five-year term, taking an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution. The President of Malta also resides directly or indirectly in all three branches of the state. They are part of Parliament and responsible for the appointment of the judiciary. Executive authority is nominally vested in the President, but is in practice exercised by the Prime Minister.

Eddie Fenech Adami Maltese politician

Edoardo "Eddie" Fenech Adami, is a Maltese politician and Nationalist politician who served as Prime Minister of Malta from 1987 until 1996, and again from 1998 until 2004. Subsequently, he was the seventh President of Malta from 2004 to 2009. He led his party to win five general elections, in 1981, 1987, 1992, 1998 and 2003. Staunchly pro-European, Fenech Adami is the longest serving Maltese prime minister since Malta's independence, and was fundamental for Malta's accession to the European Union.

The stone was a bright white colour when it was unveiled, but has been weathered and darkened.

There is a further memorial to the George Cross Island Association at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas near Lichfield, and one in the Peace Garden of the former Anglican Church of St Luke, Liverpool.

The National Memorial Arboretum is Britain's year-round national site of remembrance at Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. It is a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in the British Armed Forces and civilian community.

Alrewas village in the United Kingdom

Alrewas(awl-ree-was) is a village and civil parish in the Lichfield District of Staffordshire, England.

Church of St Luke, Liverpool Church in Merseyside, England

StLuke's Church, commonly known in Liverpool as the Bombed Out Church, is a former Anglican parish church, which is now a ruin. It stands on the corner of Berry Street and Leece Street, looking down the length of Bold Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, England.

See also

Malta Memorial

The Malta Memorial is a commemorative war memorial monument to the 2,298 Commonwealth aircrew who lost their lives in the various Second World War air battles and engagements around the Mediterranean, and who have no known grave.

War Memorial (Floriana)

The War Memorial is a memorial obelisk in Floriana, Malta, which commemorates the dead of World War I and World War II. It was inaugurated on 11 November 1938 by Governor Charles Bonham-Carter to the memory of those killed in World War I, but in 1949 it was rededicated to those killed in both world wars. The monument was designed by Louis Naudi, who was influenced by Antonio Sciortino.

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Coordinates: 51°30′33.89″N0°4′47.63″W / 51.5094139°N 0.0798972°W / 51.5094139; -0.0798972