Military Mtarfa has now become part of the national calendar and is the main activity which commemorates the British rule in the Maltese Islands. Although very small and quiet, Mtarfa is the lure of many British tourists who want to learn more about their birth place or the town where close relatives or friends were posted during WWII.
This year, the event shall be held on Sunday 11th November 2018 between 10:30am and 5pm at the ex-British Naval Hospital, which was built purposely to serve Military casualties during WWI. The date chosen happens to be the 100th anniversary from the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and Germany.
The event shall start off with a visit to the Mtarfa Military Cemetery in order to remember the fallen during the First and Second World Wars. The Mtarfa Military Cemetery contains 238 Commonwealth burials from WW2. A wreath shall be laid in honour of these individuals. A salute by the local Scout Group will follow shortly afterwards, after which a convoy of at least 20 military vehicles will drive towards the official venue.
The main event shall feature re-enactors performing various drills, battle simulations and skirmishes between British and German forces. There shall also be a WW2 field hospital and field kitchen together with a typical Victory Kitchen amongst other things. Members of the general public will be able to interact with the soldiers as they walk through the trenches which surround the venue, and which perfectly simulate life at the front line as well as at their retreat camps.
A special attraction will be the unprecedented opening of the shelter beneath the ex-British Naval Hospital which served as an important hideaway and escape route for all patients and staff during the World War. This magnificent unique shelter, which is 3 floors deep and includes an emergency operating theatre, has never been open to the public and this will most probably be the only occasion when they get a glance of this historical masterpiece.
Furthermore, visitors will enjoy various displays of WWI and WWII memorabilia, including authentic weapons, radio equipment, and official attire. Several other entities, such as the Armed Forces, the Police Force, and the Civil Protection will participate in the event, providing a unique insight into their role during WWII. There shall also be an interesting display by the Malta Railway Foundation, which is especially significant given that the British Railway Service used to start from its Mtarfa Station.
Moreover, the Mtarfa Local Council is in full cooperation with its local entities, assisting them in adding on to their props and wardrobes while giving them the opportunity to involve all of their members during Military Mtarfa 2018. Such cooperation and representation in this national event further nourishes the sense of pride and belonging to this historical northern town.
Check out the below map for further details including times and venues!