12 May 2015
28 May 2015

Evacuation Exhibition to honour WWII generation

Venue: John Mackintosh Hall, Main Street

The first event to mark the 75th anniversary of the evacuation of civilians from Gibraltar during WWII is an exhibition on the theme “Honouring a generation”. It will be officially opened by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia this evening at the John Mackintosh Hall and will cover the first evacuation to French Morocco in May 1940 and the subsequent re-evacuations to London, Madeira, Jamaica and Northern Ireland.

 “This exhibition is the first in a series of events that the Government will organise to honour the generation that lived through those turbulent years,” explained Dr Joseph Garcia.

“The forced evacuation of Gibraltar’s women, children, elderly and infirm following the outbreak of the Second 

World War was a landmark in the history of Gibraltar and a spur to our political and constitutional development,” he said. 

The exhibition is made up of some 500 photographic exhibits which have been provided courtesy of 

Joe Gingell and has been set up and will be manned by Government Archivist Anthony Pitaluga, and the staff of the archives.

Dr Garcia believes it is only fitting that the Government should honour those who took part and the memory of those who are no longer with us. 

“Over 700 persons have registered as former evacuees in the Evacuation website and a number selected at random, have been invited to attend the opening of the exhibition tonight, representing those who were sent to London, Madeira, Jamaica and Northern Ireland.”

The exhibition will also include an interactive computer display which will re-produce the Evacuation section of the website of the National Archives. This will allow those who visit the exhibition to search for themselves or their relatives and to retrieve the evacuation data on the spot. 

The original evacuation register will also be on display. The exhibition will also feature a number of display cabinets containing original evacuation material. A 1940s kitchen of the kind used by the people in the evacuation is on loan from the Gibraltar Museum.

Local trio Mount Opera will sing contemporary songs of the 1940s. There will also be recordings of interviews with people who formed part of the evacuation, telling of their experiences.

The exhibition will open to the public as from Tuesday 12 May and will run until Thursday 28 May.