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Villa for RAF officers

In my research for my book about Luqa airfield, I found various accounts mentioning Ariel House, of which I am attaching an aerial photo, courtesy of the Department of Information.

This villa was built by the RAF to accommodate its highest officers: the Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and their families from the late 1940s. It was situated up the hill at the prestigious area known as Kappara and was built on five acres of grounds.

The first occupant was Air Vice-Marshal N.B. D’Aeth (AOC Malta between 1949 and 1952), who, upon retiring, from the RAF entered the priesthood and was eventually ordained deacon in December 1957.

Visiting RAF dignitaries such as Air Marshal Sir Dermont A. Boyle stayed there as guest of AOC Edward Chilton in January 1959. In February 1960, a Roman tomb was found during works with two skeletons, which was researched by the then Director of Archaeological Department, David Trump. During Dom Mintoff’s time as Prime Minister in 1981, it was leased to the Soviet government to house its Embassy in Malta.

Perhaps readers can further illuminate me on this house or maybe possess a plan/photo that can be shared with me. I shall appreciate any information regarding this and maybe other houses occupied by the RAF before their withdrawal from Malta in 1979, such as Marlborough House in Ta’ Xbiex or their enlistment house in South Street, Valletta.

I can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected].

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