This article is about the Pembroke Military Cemetery, Malta and some of the soldiers buried there. I have also written other articles about Malta and the First World War which can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
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Pembroke Military Cemetery
If you are used to the uniformity of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s cemeteries on the Western Front, you will find Malta’s cemeteries to be very different. Pembroke Military Cemetery is typical of the variety of graves you will find in military cemeteries in Malta. It contains graves dating from the early years of the 20th century until the present day, though most of the graves date from the two world wars. In total, there are 322 identified Commonwealth casualties in the cemetery.
There are also graves and a memorial to 17 Maltese soldiers who were killed in a plane crash at El Adem, Libya on 10 October 1961. The Catholic Church refused to allow any of the dead who were Labour Party (Malta) supporters to be buried in a Catholic cemetery due to a political dispute at the time.
The majority of graves for from the two world wars in Malta are buried in collective burials. There is very little soil in Malta, and most graves had to be cut directly into the limestone below. This was an arduous process and was very dangerous during the Second World War when burial parties had to contend with air raids. However, it is not unusual to come across single burials, typically of officers, in Maltese cemeteries.
The Cross of Sacrifice contains the Pembroke Memorial, consisting of marble plaques commemorating 52 servicemen who are buried elsewhere in Malta and whose graves are difficult to maintain. All names of the memorial date from the Second World War. A busy road runs directly behind the wall which provides a constant hum of traffic.The vast majority of graves in the Pembroke Military Cemetery are from the Second World War. There are only 9 graves from the First World War, with the majority of burials taking place at the Pieta Military Cemetery near Valletta. Most of the soldiers who are buried in the cemetery lost their lives during the Siege of Malta between June 1940 and November 1942.