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Defence of Malta Casualty , Killed during the Bombing of Hospitals 25th April 1942


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Defence of Malta Casualty , Killed during the Bombing of Hospitals 25th April 1942

Sergeant V. J. N. Moore, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, attached Royal West Kent Regiment, who was killed in action on 25 April 1942 on Malta when the enemy systematically bombed the Red Cross Hospitals – Moore being killed at No. 45 General Hospital, St. Andrews Barracks

General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Palestine, 7584502. Cpl. V. Moore. R.A.O.C.; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; 1939-45 War Medal.

Vernon John Norman Moore was born in 1915 and served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Palestine from January 1938 – March 1939.

He served attached to the 2nd Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment during the gallant defence of Malta, the island being awarded the George Cross on 15 April 1942.

That month the enemy flew some 9,500 sorties with 282 air raid alerts crammed into the month during which over 6,000 tons of bombs were dropped.

One of the most appalling attacks was on 25 April, when 246 enemy raiders made 19 attacks, dropping 1000 bombs totaling 317,486kg. That day the record stated the attack as it went in at 0730hrs:

’26 JU88 bombers carry out heavy bombing raids on the Pembroke area, including No 45 General Hospital at St Patrick’s and No 39 General Hospital at St Andrew’s. Pilots were seen to target bombs directly at the large red crosses which identify the location of the hospitals from the air.


Lieutenant George Carroll, a Bomb Disposal Officer was in his ward at No. 45 General Hospital, St Patrick’s, recovering an emergency surgery and best described the scene:

’The dressings were all removed and I was told I could get up. I dressed in the morning and, with my new freedom, I went out onto the balcony in the sunshine, looking out over the sea. As I looked out I saw the silhouette of a Stuka dive-bomber, headed directly towards our hospital. I saw two black objects, released by the plane and obviously bombs. This was clearly an attack on the hospital.

I ran into the ward and picked up one of two helmets and gave it to the naval officer in the bed opposite mine whose leg was in traction, and I dived under the bed in the corner. The next moment, all the windows came shattering across the room. He was hurt but I was unharmed. The matron came round to check if there were any casualties. She put her head round the door into the ward and asked, ‘Anybody hurt?’ I said, ‘I’m all right but my friend here has been cut by glass, I think.’ 

It was particularly surprising that the hospital was bombed, although the enemy might claim it could be a store in disguise. But right outside our ward there was a huge circle of white stones with a red cross – about 30 feet across. He was diving down towards the hospital with the red cross right in front of him. One can only conclude that it was deliberate; some Germans acted in disregard of who or what was damaged.”


Moore was originally posted missing but was later confirmed as having been killed during the attack, he is buried in the Pieta Military Cemetery; sold with copied research.

Medals – VF