DYNASAFE BACTEC HELPS FUND COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE IN MALTA TO HONOUR ROYAL ENGINEERS BOMB DISPOSAL IN WORLD WAR 2.
A commemorative plaque was unveiled on Wednesday 13 September in Valletta, Malta by Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat, in honour of those who served in Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal on the Island in World War 2. In just two years between 1940 and 1942, a maximum of two officers and 30 men dealt with 7300 unexploded bombs – some ten times the average across all theatres of war.
The plaque and unveiling ceremony were funded entirely through donations and sponsorship from families, Royal Engineers veterans’ organisations and charities, including Dynasafe BACTEC.
Families of the RE Bomb Disposal Sections in World War 2 and other veterans travelled to Malta for the unveiling. They were joined by former and current bomb disposal officers of Armed Forces of Malta who were also recognised on the plaque for their work since the war. As well as the Prime Minister of Malta, the unveiling was attended by 90 guests, including the Minister of Culture and the British High Commissioner to the Island. Informed of the plaque project in her role as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Engineers, Her Majesty the Queen sent her good wishes to all those involved in the project.
Addressing guests at the unveiling ceremony, the Prime Minister spoke of the enormous challenge facing the Bomb Disposal Sections in World War 2, when 17000 tons of bombs were dropped on the Island. More bombs fell on Malta in the month of April 1942 than in an entire year of the blitz on London.
The location of the plaque in the Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta, is one of the most popular attractions in Malta, visited by thousands of tourists and locals every year. The unveiling was marked by an eight-gun salute which echoed across Grand Harbour from the Saluting Battery located immediately below the plaque site.
Thanking the Malta Government and donors like Dynasafe BACTEC who made the plaque possible, Project Co-ordinator Susan Hudson said: “In 1940, when the first bomb disposal men began their work, their courageous actions were repeatedly recognised as outstanding and many medals were awarded. But extraordinary actions became the day to day – though each took no less exceptional courage to perform. So this plaque will, I hope, stand as fitting recognition for all of those extraordinary individual acts of courage, to be acknowledged for generations to come.