Mtarfa
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A look inside one of Malta’s Royal Naval Hospitals

Description

The Royal Navy Hospital Mtarfa, also known as David Bruce Royal Naval Hospital is a former British naval hospital in Malta.

On 6 January 1915, the Governor of Malta Sir Leslie Rundle laid the foundation stone of the new hospital.

By April 1915, the construction of the main block of the hospital was in hand. It was opened in June 1920 with beds for six officers and 190 other ranks.

The new hospital was taken over by 30 Coy RAMC on 23 June 1920. The old Barracks Hospital at Mtarfa, adjacent to Q Block, became a Families’ Hospital. The former Families’ Hospital moved from Valletta in 1920 and Cottonera Hospital was transformed into the public school, St Edward’s College.

In 1941, the hospital took on a war role and changed its name to 90 British General Hospital. It increased its beds from 200 to 2000 beds by taking over the whole of the infantry barracks for hospital wards, and the pitching of tented wards on the football pitch.

In 1951, the hospital was renamed The David Bruce Military Hospital, after the discoverer of the root cause of brucellosis in 1887. In 1962, the David Bruce Military Hospital was handed over to the Royal Navy Medical Services. After the closure of Royal Naval Hospital Bighi, Mtarfa became the main services hospital in Malta.

It was modified and re-opened as the David Bruce Royal Naval Hospital Mtarfa on 2 October 1970 and remained as the only military hospital in Malta until the Royal Navy departed in 1979.

It was then converted to a state secondary school named after Sir Temi Zammit, part of St Nicholas College. The school moved to new premises in 2015. There are now plans to re-open the building as an international school.

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