The National Archives on Thursday issued these two photos to recall the bombing, eighty years ago, of the Royal Opera House, better known as the Teatru Rjal, in Valletta.

The historic theatre was one of several prominent buildings hit in a day of devastation - Tuesday 7 April 1942. Twenty-six soldiers and 13 civilians were killed, including children, the youngest aged four.

The theatre was hit at about 6pm. Also hit that day were the Valletta market, the Auberge de France (where the GWU headquarters was later built), part of the Auberge de Castille and the scouts headquarters in Floriana.

Top photo: Stan Fraser Collection, the National Archives of Malta.

The bottom photo is an internal view of the theatre, taken after the war by British soldier Roger Davis, who was stationed in Malta, between April 1950 and May 1951.  Photo: Philip Pisani Collection, the National Archives of Malta.

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