(Return to Mary Muscat biography)


Mary Muscat started nursing at Cottonera Hospital, then nursed at St Patrick’s Camp (San Gwann)  before returning to Cottonera in 1917.  In both hospitals she was with her friend Violet Briffa, who later became of Matron of St Edward’s College, when it took over the buildings in 1929.

Cottonera Hospital and Malta as the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’     

(Times of Malta article in  2014)

Further information about ‘Malta – Nurse of the Mediterranean’

British Army Medical Service And the Malta Garrison 1799 – 1979

Malta Military Hospitals 1915-1917

Malta – The Nurse of the Mediterranean – Arthur MacKinnon 1916


Photos of Cottonera Hospital from Mary’s WW1 album (click on photo and scroll left and right) – with thanks to Mary’s nephew John Muscat and his daughter Anne (descendants of Carlo Maria Muscat).


Several descendants of Edward Tancred Agius are alumni of St Edward’s  and, most notably, his grandchildren Edward and John Arrigo were pupils No 1 & 2 in 1929.   Their cousin,  Joe Mompalao de Piro , followed at No 37, and then a number in the next generation.



Fr Dolly Brookes / Dom Rudesind Brookes OSB OBE (1898-1984)

A further connection between the Agius family in England and St Edward’s in Malta was that a monk of Downside Abbey , Dom Rudesind ‘Dolly’ Brookes, was Headmaster of St Edward’s  1956-1966.

Fr Dolly had two stints in Malta. Having served in WW1 he then became ADC to Governor Lord Plumer in Malta and was present when the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) visited in 1921 to open the new Parliament.  At this time he met Senator Lt Col Achilles Samut  (father of Maggie (Samut) Agius)  and his family.

In 1925 he became a monk of Downside Abbey. In WW2 he served as a Chaplain and was awarded the MC. In 1955 he found himself back in Malta as a chaplain, arriving at about the same as his friend from Downside , Dom Denis Agius, who was on holiday visiting his two Maltese families – Agius and Samut.

In 1956, he was persuaded to take on the role of Rector of St Edward’s College (Headmaster), which he did for the next 10 years. He was then Abbot Procurator in Rome for 11 years.

He returned to England for his final retirement years back at Downside. His ghosted autobiography ends up by telling of his last years, drinking night-time cocoa with Dom Denis and remembering his time in Malta.

He is buried in the monks cemetery at Downside.