Gibraltar evacuations remembered

COMMEMORATION: Gibraltar’s monument to the evacuation of citizens during World War II.

TO commemorate the 75th anniversary of the wartime evacuations from Gibraltar, Gibraltar’s Archives will soon include audio tracks recorded by people with first-hand experience of one of the most important moments in the Rock’s history.

These oral histories will complement the Archives’ evacuation project that was launched last year. In total, 27 evacuees’ testimonies will be available online and as each track plays it will be linked to a relevant wartime poster. The audio archive will also feature songs of the period sung by children from St Joseph’s school.

“Since we started the evacuation project in October, we have received many messages of congratulations and support,” said Anthony Pitaluga, the government archivist. “These oral histories are an important record of that time.”

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the evacuation of the majority of the Gibraltarian civilian population during The Second World War. It was felt that the Rock needed more British soldiers and as a result all those in non-essential jobs were evacuated to various places including Morocco, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Madeira and Jamaica. Evacuees began arriving back to Gibraltar in 1944, and the last were back by 1951.

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