Malta GC

#1
Just returned from another of me regular trips to Malta, and was wondering if any old sweats out there ever served in Malta pre 1979, before we pulled out.
Be interested in any old photo's or stories about life for the british army over there.
Must have been pretty rough in the nisson huts in the summer.
Maybe someone should write a book as I cant find any on the subject, only the normal war time stuff.
Cheers
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#2
I was there 74 to 77. :D
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#4
St Georges Barracks, where most of the Army attached to 41 Commando were based. 41 were next door in St Andrews

In St Georges we had: 8 Battery, a troop of 59 RE, a troop of what is now 148 Battery (they were 95 Commando in those days) and a Commando Air Flight. The Loggie part of the Commando stayed with them but were administered pay wise by the Battery.

The non Commando Army were based at Mtarfa, where the Mil hospital was also based.
 
#5
five-minute-fagbreak said:
Just returned from another of me regular trips to Malta, and was wondering if any old sweats out there ever served in Malta pre 1979, before we pulled out.
Be interested in any old photo's or stories about life for the british army over there.
Must have been pretty rough in the nisson huts in the summer.
Maybe someone should write a book as I cant find any on the subject, only the normal war time stuff.
Cheers
Was never there but the regiment was, here is a link to their time there:

http://history.farmersboys.com/Postings/Malta/malta1.htm

Jim
 
#6
Was there in '67 - staging to and from Libya - wonderful place, decent people. Malta GC I meant - not Libya!
 
#7
oldbaldy said:
St Georges Barracks, where most of the Army attached to 41 Commando were based. 41 were next door in St Andrews

In St Georges we had: 8 Battery, a troop of 59 RE, a troop of what is now 148 Battery (they were 95 Commando in those days) and a Commando Air Flight. The Loggie part of the Commando stayed with them but were administered pay wise by the Battery.

The non Commando Army were based at Mtarfa, where the Mil hospital was also based.
I was there with 2 (Malta) Troop 59 Ind Cdo Sqn RE. Luckily I'd joined the troop on the '76 Armagh tour, straight off my AACC, as a reinforcement, and they kept hold of me.
As OB says, we were in St Georges, which was fine, especially as the bay was just behind 8 Alma's HQ. We'd run up Radar Hill (opposite White Rocks, the Hofficer's ghetto) every morning and then finish off with a swim. Before I got there, there were tales of our assault craft being used for shark watch out at the entrance of the bay, but not sure about that. It was a pretty easy existence, we knocked off usually around 1300, rest of the day to ourselves. Like a number of the troop, I married a Maltese girl and recently we marked our 30th Anniversary. A good number of the blokes settled there, including me, but I have got to say the Island has changed completely. The people are just as friendly, but it is just too overcrowded. I'd recommend anyone to go there on holiday, but living there is another thing. In addition, since joining the EU, prices are almost to UK levels, so for Expats and holidaymakers alike, it is quite an expense. Where I live (St Paul's Bay), a number of hotels which would normally be full most of the year are closed down completely.
We (the REs & RA) pulled out in 77, sailing off on RFA LSL L3036 Sir Percivale. 11 days later we docked in Guz, and that was that. The final ship (HMS London) sailed away on 01 April 79 watched by thousands of very emotional Maltese packed around the battlements of Grand Harbour.
Staaken
 
#8
I was there with 1 Royal Sussex in 1964-66 at St. Andrews Bks.
I am a 2386 and we had just recieved our first WOMBAT when they first came out (only one issued initially !)
The Duke of E`s were just up the road.
I was very sad to see most of the Barracks at Pembroke derelict nowadays.
The 41 Commando took over from us.
It was a great posting in those days and I even enjoyed Libya twice.
Does anybody remember the RAF Ammo Guard at Attard ?
Our Regimental Malta GC pics are at : http://www.1royalsussex-3queens.com/royal_sussex_site/pages/maltesse_page.htm

Happy Days !
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#10
staaken said:
oldbaldy said:
St Georges Barracks, where most of the Army attached to 41 Commando were based. 41 were next door in St Andrews

In St Georges we had: 8 Battery, a troop of 59 RE, a troop of what is now 148 Battery (they were 95 Commando in those days) and a Commando Air Flight. The Loggie part of the Commando stayed with them but were administered pay wise by the Battery.

The non Commando Army were based at Mtarfa, where the Mil hospital was also based.
I was there with 2 (Malta) Troop 59 Ind Cdo Sqn RE. Luckily I'd joined the troop on the '76 Armagh tour, straight off my AACC, as a reinforcement, and they kept hold of me.
As OB says, we were in St Georges, which was fine, especially as the bay was just behind 8 Alma's HQ. We'd run up Radar Hill (opposite White Rocks, the Hofficer's ghetto) every morning and then finish off with a swim. Before I got there, there were tales of our assault craft being used for shark watch out at the entrance of the bay, but not sure about that. It was a pretty easy existence, we knocked off usually around 1300, rest of the day to ourselves.
Staaken
So we were In St Georges at the same time.
In in my job at the time we would definitely have come into contact. :D
 
#11
I went there on R&R from El-Adam in 1969, first time I pulled a tranny, I was a bit bone in those days
 
#12
oldbaldy said:
staaken said:
oldbaldy said:
St Georges Barracks, where most of the Army attached to 41 Commando were based. 41 were next door in St Andrews

In St Georges we had: 8 Battery, a troop of 59 RE, a troop of what is now 148 Battery (they were 95 Commando in those days) and a Commando Air Flight. The Loggie part of the Commando stayed with them but were administered pay wise by the Battery.

The non Commando Army were based at Mtarfa, where the Mil hospital was also based.
I was there with 2 (Malta) Troop 59 Ind Cdo Sqn RE. Luckily I'd joined the troop on the '76 Armagh tour, straight off my AACC, as a reinforcement, and they kept hold of me.
As OB says, we were in St Georges, which was fine, especially as the bay was just behind 8 Alma's HQ. We'd run up Radar Hill (opposite White Rocks, the Hofficer's ghetto) every morning and then finish off with a swim. Before I got there, there were tales of our assault craft being used for shark watch out at the entrance of the bay, but not sure about that. It was a pretty easy existence, we knocked off usually around 1300, rest of the day to ourselves.
Staaken
So we were In St Georges at the same time.
In in my job at the time we would definitely have come into contact. :D
Roger. See attached 2 Troop 59, you might recognise some of the boys.
I took an "after action" photo about three years ago of (almost) the same bunch at a 59 reunion at Chiv.
Oh. My. Gawd! We are ready for the bus pass.....
 

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#14
Ah Malta. Nice place. Me and me lads had just finished a range clearance job on Cyprus (polymedia ranges) and had fiddled the paperwork to show that we had a couple of days of work left, so that we could actualy go and piss it up for two days before we left the island, when a dispatch rider arrived. Signal for Cpl matt. It read (between the lines) sorry to fu ck up your two days on the beach, but get yer arses to Malta.

So 24 hours later we present ourselves at airtrooping at some crab air airport in Cyprus - I think there were two but was too pissed at the time to remember which one we were at.

Anyway it was funny as **** as we werent actualy booked on the flight, but had some kind of operational priority. So two crab families were offloaded from the plane - I kid you not - amid the most horrendous dripping and whinging (one bunch was an RAF flight sergeants family and you should have HEARD them). Our kit was loaded on and we took off. A few minutes after take off the Captain announced that Turkey was invading Cyprus from the air, so if we saw any strange aircraft in the sky not to worry as we had been guaranteed safe passage.

Fast forward to arrival on Malta: I was introduced to the Maltese eod team who were clearing the new runway at Luqa airport. They had found a number of ww2 German bombs and were dealing with them using the same kit as was used in the blitz on London. And it was spic and span too. But they had no means of detecting deep buried sh it. So out came our magnetometers (of German design and manufacture) and we set to work, with some bloody good Maltese EOD guys.

So when you land at Luqa airport - it was a joint Malta / UK eod team that made it possible to extend the runway to take bigger jets.

Anyway, as we were coming to the end of the job a suit turns up who identifies himself as the Minister for Home Affairs. Tells us good job blah, blah and what can he do for us. I say, nowt, we are here to help no need for any blandishments. He puts his Mercedes car and chauffeur at our disposal for all of the next day and says that the whole island is ours for free. Whatever we need, food, booze entry to museums etc will all be paid by the chauffeur. The next day we spend a morning walking though museums, ancient ruins etc and after lunch we decide on a pub crawl. We find a bar, the beer is cold, the girls are willing, we get the chaufeur pissed. About 4 in the afternoon a grey suited bloke walks into the bar and asks for a word with me. Several words actualy. There appears to be some problem about having a ministers car parked outside a brothel all afternoon. Oops!

Nice peeps, great place. Miss the girls!
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#16
staaken said:
Roger. See attached 2 Troop 59, you might recognise some of the boys.
I took an "after action" photo about three years ago of (almost) the same bunch at a 59 reunion at Chiv.
Oh. My. Gawd! We are ready for the bus pass.....
Yes couple there I remember.
My office was in the main Battery office block.

I went to a reunion at the Citadel last year, met a load of 8 Bty guys I'd not seen since those days. Most of us have our bus passes & either no or silver hair. :)


Edit to add.
Did we really wear shorts that short? :roll:
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
3 Para where there I think in the Late 60's or early 70's
I used to go out with a girl whose dad had married a Maltese girl during the tour

Has to be one of the best things ever listening to a nice woman who had been taught English by a Para
Two of her sisters had married squaddies aswell
One a Guardsman, and one a Cav lad
Refered to by her mother as 'ats :D
 
#18
the_boy_syrup said:
3 Para where there I think in the Late 60's or early 70's
I used to go out with a girl whose dad had married a Maltese girl during the tour

Has to be one of the best things ever listening to a nice woman who had been taught English by a Para
Two of her sisters had married squaddies aswell
One a Guardsman, and one a Cav lad
Refered to by her mother as 'ats :D
:D :D A great posting
 
#20
Only just come across this photo of 2 Troop in Malta. Brings back a lot of memories, especially the happy hours in St Julians. Talking about getting bus passes, I've already got mine and will be ready for my OAP soon! It's great to see some of the old faces from long lost days and I hope everyone is doing alright.

By the way, I'm on the front row, second from the left (Scouse).
 
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