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Title: How “Villa Bichi” became a naval hospital
Authors: Cassar, Paul
Keywords: Hospitals, Naval and marine -- Malta
Royal Naval Hospital Bighi (Kalkara, Malta) -- History
Order of St John -- Malta -- History
Military hospitals -- Malta -- History
Knights of Malta -- Malta -- History
Issue Date: 1971
Publisher: De La SaIle Brothers Publications
Citation: Cassar, P. (1971). How “Villa Bichi” became a naval hospital. In: B. Hilary (ed.), The Malta Year Book 1971. Malta: De La SaIle Brothers Publications, pp. 363-376.
Abstract: As Bighi Hospital closes its doors, after nearly 140 years of service to the Royal Navy, it is appropriate to cast a backward glance to the times of its foundation and to recall some of the events and personalities associated with its early years. Perhaps very few people realise that this hospital owed its origin to Lord Nelson and that its traditional association with the name of an Italian Knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem is purely accidental. In fact that Knight was mowed down by the plague in 1676 and had been dead 127 years before Lord Nelson suggested the establishment of a naval hospital in the former villa and grounds of Bali Fra Giovanni Bichi on the site known as Tas-Salvatur from a small church of the same name in that area. However, though far removed in time from Nelson, Bichi had much in common with him. Like Nelson he was a sailor, who reached the rank of Admiral of the Papal Fleet, and a founder of a seamen's hospital - at Civitavecchia in the Papal States.
Appears in Collections:Malta Yearbook : 1971

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