Malta honours the fallen of the First World War

Special ceremonies have been in Malta to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

The President of Malta led tributes at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Armistice.

Dozens of wreaths were laid during a ceremony at the monument in Floriana following a two-minute silence at exactly 11am led by the Armed Forces of Malta.

They were joined by officers and sailors from the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond which was berthed in the Grand Harbour.

Veterans and VIPs from Malta, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, South Africa and France also joined the parade and church service.

Why was Malta known as ‘The Nurse of the Mediterranean’?

During the First World War, Malta was home to 27 military hospitals with more than 25,000 beds for wounded soldiers.

The first batch of patients from the battlefields of Gallipoli in Turkey arrived in Valletta’s Grand Harbour in March 1915.

At a safe distance from the front line, Malta became a hospital island for more than 136,000 British, Australian, New Zealand and allied soldiers.

At its peak, almost 1,000 nurses were based in Malta, caring for up to 20,000 wounded and sick patients a day.

By the end of the war it had earned itself the nickname the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’.

Photos: Bay RetroArmed Forces of Malta (AFM)Archdiocese of Malta

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