Was it worth it? – The George Cross is coming to Marsa

When studying history, it is natural to start with bookshelves. For the Second World War, there is a variety of professional publications, and several books have also been written locally. However, as a re-enactment group, even such sources fall short of the detail we strive for.

No text can tell you what it feels like to march in hob-nailed boots for miles on end, the baffling sound of continuous gunfire, and the effort needed to go through the day on the brink of starvation. 80 years ago, these are just some of the experiences people living on the islands experienced daily.

The age-old adage is that a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’. For us, it certainly is. Some images turn the tide on well-known aspects of the war. From simple variations in uniform to forgotten moments caught on camera.

This year, in the near absence of national ceremonies for the George Cross and other major events in 1942, one picture caught our attention. An anti-aircraft battery, its gunners holding up a sign. Flanked by Malta’s two crosses on either side the phrase ‘Was it Worth it?’ appears.

As opposed to the traditional commemorations of wreath laying, and outdated forms of remembrance, Battlefront will explore this war-time question through a one-day exhibit. On the 16th of October, artefacts from local private collections will be exhibited for the first time. In collaboration with the Marsa local council, various re-enactments, original war-time vehicles, and tours will take place.

The aim is to help visitors come up with their own interpretation of the question: ‘Was it worth it?’. By creating a space where history enthusiasts and families can reflect on the conflict through exhibited objects and living history, some sense of empathy with the gunner’s question can be felt.

Event Details

Leading to the full-scale re-enactment of the exhibition of the George Cross, there will be numerous activities:

  • Public talk in the square about wartime experiences
  • Hourly historical tours on a vintage bus
  • Ongoing weapons demonstrations and military vehicles display
  • Kids’ activities
  • Exhibition of original historical artefacts.
  • Local Bands will start playing at 3:45pm in anticipation of the arrival of the George Cross.

Location

The event will start at the Marsa Trinity Church Square from 11.30am onwards.



The views expressed in this article are those of the author and are not reflective of ‘A Bird’s Eye View’ as a whole.


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