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  • Thanks Chris…wonder if you could ask your grandfather if he has any memories of powdered egg or Spam?? I can't find any references that it was sent to Malta on the convoys. Yes, the ladies made dresses from the parachute silk…and in the winter they made coats from army blankets. There was a very high level of malnutrition in Malta in the civilian population and in the air force personnel stationed on the island..and much ill health as a result…as you say TB, but also I found there was an outbreak of infant paralysis (polio) as well. Ulcers were common and scabies was absolutely rife due to the close living proximity in the shelters and no treatment was available when the stocks of benzyl benzoate ran out. Birthing rooms were built in the shelters and many babies were born in that situation…but amazingly I found that not ONE case of postpartum sepsis occured (or at least was recorded). Many of the sewers were damaged by bombs and raw sewage was all over the place and many households had to use buckets…disposal of the contents being a huge problem. Penicillin was not available then or properly tested…but being tested on the servicemen with infected war wounds (wonder if they even knew or gave their consent to that!).

    Trying to find out about the blackmarket in Malta…but very little information has come to light yet. It would be great if your grandfather had any memories to share about that.

    Posted on 20:51 on 06 June