(Return to Mary Muscat biography)
St Patrick’s was a temporary tented hospital set up in San Gwann, near the Tal-Balal crossroads, to cope with the rapid expansion in medical requirements for the wounded coming from the Gallipoli campaign. It opened 15th August 1915 with 1000 beds and peaked at 1168 beds before being closed 27th April 1917.
The hospital marquees were laid out on terraced fields some distance from the sea, but the ground was open and easily drained. The ground floor of a large farm house was adapted to take hospital stores, while the rooms on the first floor were converted into a Sisters’ Mess. The hospital had a recreation hall for patients. On 15 August 1915, St Patrick’s Hospital received 466 minor walking cases which were transferred from other hospitals. By the end of month the hospital had filled up 978 of its 1,000 beds.
(From https://www.maltaramc.com/articles/contents/greatwar.html which features a number of Mary Muscat’s photos by permission of the Muscat family. Scroll down to “St Patrick’s Hospital”.)
The footprint of the hospital is now buried under later developments in San Gwann but the clue to its exact location is given by the small chapel shown alongside the camp in two of Mary’s photos. This has been identified as St Margaret’s Chapel , which still exists.