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Shelter of Peace
Shelter of Peace

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The Shelter of Peace commemorates the awarding of the George Cross to the Mediterrranean island of Malta during World War Two. The Shelter of Peace was erected in 1994 by the governments of Australia and Malta, the City of Melbourne and the Maltese community of Melbourne. The Shelter features several plaques paying tribute to Malta's heroism. Eight values are listed on the memorial: faith, hope, charity, peace, fortitude, temperance, justice and prudence.

Malta was the first British Commonwealth country to receive the bravery award - second only in ranking to the Victoria Cross - which is normally only awarded to individuals. The people of Malta were awarded the George Cross in 1942 in recognition of their continuing heroic struggle against enemy attack.

From 1 January to 24 July 1942 there was only one 24-hour period when no bombs fell on Malta. The population spent so much time in their underground shelters that health standards declined, malnutrition spread and scabies was rife.

Food was running desperately short. Malta depended on the convoy ships for supplies but many of the boats sent to the island between August 1940 and August 1942, were sunk and others damaged. In May 1942 the Germans prematurely declared Malta had been "neutralised". The Luftwaffe were diverted to other areas of the war.

In the brief lull which followed 61 RAF Spitfires arrived on the island together with other reinforcements. The Germans launched another all-out offensive to take the island in October 1942 but failed.

From November 1942 conditions began to steadily improve as supplies began to get through. When the Axis forces capitulated in North Africa in May 1943 the siege of Malta was finally lifted.


Address:Birdwood Avenue, Kings Domain, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.827497
Long: 144.973256
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 11th December, 1994
Source: MA,RSLV, VHD
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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