Among the items which were saved by Heritage Malta from the previous Malta Shipyards were three World War II sirens. These sirens were used to signal shifts and breaks in the Cospicua and Marsa yards until the closure of said shipyards.
One of these sirens has been restored by Heritage Malta and installed within the precincts of the National War Museum. Starting from the 11th of June, to mark the day of the first aerial attacks on Malta, the siren will be sounded daily in remembrance of the fallen of both world wars.
Those who lived during the terrible years of World War II surely remember the sound of the air raid siren as it provided warning of an imminent attack on Malta by enemy aircraft. At the same time, the Rediffusion would announce an ‘Air Raid Warning’. At the end of an air raid, the ‘Raiders Passed’ signal was indicated by a long note of the sirens while the Rediffusion would also announce the ‘Air Raid Passed’.
In many Maltese villages petards were also fired by policemen from Police Stations to advice people of the approaching enemy aircraft. Manual air raid sirens were also used, and at a later stage electrical sirens were introduced. On display at the National War Museum one can view examples of a manual and an electrical air raid system.
With respect to the other two sirens salvaged by Heritage Malta, one will be displayed at the Naval Dockyard section within the Malta Maritime Museum’s Royal Navy Hall, while the other has been included within the Industrial Heritage collection of Heritage Malta.