The West Branch of the George Cross Island Association today (Friday) commemorated the award of the George Cross to Malta at an event the Royal British Legion Club, Ferndown .
The event remembered the bravery and courage shown by the people of Malta, the men and women who defended the Island during the Siege of Malta during 1940 to 1943 and those who served on the Pedestal Convoy which helped save the Island from starvation by bringing in essential supplies of food, medicines and fuel. There were many that were based in Dorset at the time including the Devon, Dorset and Hampshire Regiments who were very much part of the clean up operation during the bombing of the Island. They built three airfields and stone hangers, unloaded convoys, built dumps, collected unexploded bombs, defended beaches and hit at the enemy bombers with small arms and Bofors, bringing many down
After an Act of Remembrance, wreathes were laid by The Mayor of Ferndown, Councillor Pauline Reynolds, on behalf of Ferndown and Dorset Veterans, Mrs Julia Gaw, National Chairman of the GCIA and Operation Pedestal Veteran Charles Grant.
The West Branch of the G.C.I.A. includes the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire, Isle Of Wight, West Hampshire, South & Mid-Wales.