Report - Mortuary at Royal Naval Hospital, Mtarfa, Malta - September 2015

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Bertie Bollockbrains

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Sep 1, 2014
Well my week in Malta was supposed to have been all about diving, with the plan to do the wreck of the HMS Southwold (70+m deep) and the wreck of the submarine HMS Stubborn (54m deep), but as luck would have it, I came down with the flu the day before I flew out - and this wasn't normal flu but the dreaded MAN FLU! Yes I know the ladies are now telling me to man up - but it is a proven scientific fact that man flu is a real phenomenon that causes a feeling of imminent death. Ladies do not experience this, just a few sniffles. That's a scientific fact as stated here.

Anyways diving was out, especially because the planned dives were very deep and technical, which meant I spent the week exploring instead. And it will take me till Christmas to get the reports up. I will start with the Royal Naval Hospital at Mtarfa - the only explore that I planned for before I flew out.


The British navy hospital at Mtarfa was the main hospital for British Forces in the eastern Mediterranean until 1978. The hospital was commissioned in 1912 as a replacement for the ageing Valletta Hospital. It was used during WW1 to hold injured Australian and New Zealand troops from the failed 1915 landings at Gallipoli. In June 1920 all patients from the other Maltese military hospitals were transferred here allowing for the closure of those hospitals. It was expanded further during the Second World War and built up to accommodate 1200 beds.

During the 1950s, it was renamed the David Bruce Royal Naval Hospital, after the doctor who discovered the root cause of Malta Fever or Brucellosis. It has now been converted to a state secondary school.

Whilst this place is now a secondary school, there's still a few outbuildings round the back to explore. Malta has already been, in my opinion, a country which is a bit strange (and I spent a lot of my youth here). And so it proved yet again. I can think of nowhere else in the world where it would be considered appropriate to have a mortuary located smack bang in the middle of a school playground.


This explore took me about 2 hours to do - of which about 1 hour and 50 minutes of that was trying to get out! It was easy to get in, but I just couldn't get out. I tried and tried but just couldn't get back out of the hole that was so simple to get in. Of all the places to be stuck in, it would have to be a mortuary. I feeling a bit embarrassed about this and hoping that somebody is going to confess that they too have had a similar experience. Please!

Anyways the Navy Hospital dominates the town of Mtarfa. Unfortunately for us, it's a school now


Round the back is this


And inside...




Must be that healthy Mediterranean diet and climate, there's only one slab in here


The tools of the trade... cloth, gloves and a tub of formaldehyde


And next door a small chapel. Why the sentry box in the corner I have no idea



Again it must be that healthy Mediterranean Diet and climate, the body fridge is tiny.



Thanks for reading, lots more Maltese reports coming from me soon

Oxygen Thief

Staff member
Oct 17, 2005
That's an amazing little place mate, nicely found and nicely done, well, apart from getting stuck.

I bet there's thousands of explores in Malta, can't wait to see more of your reports.

One question though, did you do the huge bunker?

Bertie Bollockbrains

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Sep 1, 2014
Resurrecting this thread for the benefit of anyone heading out to Malta soon, as myself and The Devil Child have since been looking more closely at the Royal Navy Hospital Mtarfa and we think there's much more to see.

In this report I said that the main hospital building is now a secondary school. True - but only on the ground floor! We thinks the upper floors are still preserved Royal Navy Hospital, and given the good condition of this mortuary outbuilding, it could be very special and worthwhile. Just need to figure out now the best way to get to the upper levels passing through the school. Anyone has a spare Maltese School Uniform lying around?