No book, film or doumentary about the Second World War fails to bring up Malta’s role in disrupting enemy supply lines to North Africa. But there is one story that has not been fully told yet – the part the Times of Malta played in keeping the people’s morale high. Strickland House, Book Two, tells Malta’s war story as it unfolded through the eyes of the newspaper. Ace pilot Laddie Lucas describes the Times of Malta’s wartime record as one of ‘Malta’s wartime wonders.’
Book Two brings up very sensitive episodes in which Strickland house newspapers were directly involved, such as Mabel Strickland’s ‘intrigues’ against wartime governor William Dobbie, and the part they played in the internment and deportation of a number of Maltese nationals during the war. It traces the island’s bonds with the Royal Navy and explores the wartime role and work of Mabel Strickland whose newspapers symbolised endurance and hope in the face of merciless bombing.
This volume also deals with Lord Strickland’s obsession to kill the Daily Malta Chronicle as the island’s leading English-language newspaper; his stormy relationship with its editor and, later, his deputy in the Constitutional Party, Augustus Bartolo; the frictions over the General Worker’s Union’s open support to the Labour Party; the dissolution of the Constitutional Party; and the Labour Party’s sweeping election victory in 1947.