He awarded it in a handwritten letter.
It’s a very special day today as 81 years ago, King George VI awarded the Maltese Islands with the prestigious George Cross (the very one we have on our national flag). The medal is usually awarded from great acts of heroism and courage which was excellently displayed by the Maltese during the trying times of World War II.
King George VI awarded the George Cross on 15th April 1942 (which was instituted just two years prior) in a handwritten letter. “To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.”
In response, Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie responded: “By God’s help Malta will not weaken but will endure until victory is won.”
While the announcement was made in April, the actual ceremony was held months later on 13th September 1942, following the arrival of the Santa Marija Convoy.
What an honour!