Malta Boy Scouts

Figure 1.--This is a portrait of Malta Cospicua Boy Scouts with their troop leaders. The portrait is undated. We would guess it as taken just before World War I. Cospicua (Città Cospicua / Civitas Cottonera) is a double-fortified harbour city on the southeastern coast of Malta.

Malta is a small island archepeligo (two islands) south of Sicily, about rqial distance from Tunisia and Libya. It has astoried history, one of the most fought over places in European history because of its strategic location. Britain seized Malta during the Napoleonic War (1800). As a British Crown Colony, the British organized a Scout troop quickly after Scouting was founded in Britain (1909). The 1st Sliema Scout Troop applied to be registered by The Boy Scouts Association in the United Kingdom. A year later the Boy Scout Associarion registered as their second overseas troop (1910). The Malta Souts had 338 Boy Scouts and 3 Scoutmasters. Soon after, Malta Scouts just before World War I formed Boy Scouts Association Malta Branch (1913). Because of its location, Malta played a role in the British Mediterranean operations during the war. Most of the Scoutmasters were young men in the servives and thus deployed to the Western Front (1914). The boys volunteered for various war roles, including interpreters, coast watchers and messengers, as well as to serve in hospitals and other support efforts. Soon 84 Scouts were on war duty and only 105 Scouts and leaders remaining on Malta (1915). Membership then rose as boys on the island joined wanting to pitch in with the war effort. Malta Scouts reported 1,200 members with 28 Scout Troops (1917). Malta during World War I was basically a support base for operations in the eastern Mediterranean. The World War II experience was very different. Malta after Italy entered the War was on the front line (1940). Malta played an important role in attacking Axis supply convoys to North Africa. It became the most bombed place of the War. Malta Scouts again pitched in to assist the war effort. They helped Malta survive the bombing abd seige (1940-43). Malta Scouts received a collective award of the Bronze Cross, "in recognition of their courage and devotion to duty in the face of continuous enemy action in the war for freedom". Britain granted Malta independence (1964). As aesult, at nn extraordinary general meeting of The Boy Scouts Association Malta Branch dissolved and the Malta Boy Scouts Association was formed independent from The Scout Association of the United Kingdom (1966).


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Created: 7:01 AM 11/14/2017
Last updated: 7:01 AM 11/14/2017