Paolo Bonnici AM

b. 24/12/1882 Zabbar, Malta.  d. 04/04/1959 Zabbar, Malta.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 31/05/1909 Zabbar, Malta.

Paolo Bonnici AM

Little is known about the life of Paolo Bonnici, except for the incident which led to the award of the Albert Medal. He was presented with the medal on 20th February 1910 in the Palace Square, Valletta, by the Governor of Malta, Sir Leslie Rundle.



On the night of the 31st May, 1909, and the early morning of the following day, men were engaged in emptying the cess pit of certain premises at Zabbar, Malta. The foul air in the pit rendered any lengthened period of work impracticable, and resulted in one of the men losing his life. Antonio Dingli was the first man to descend, but he was compelled in a short time to return to the surface, for another to take up the task. The next man to descend had almost regained the surface after a shorb absence, when he collapsed and fell back into the pit. Dingli

descended at once, and succeeded in getting him to the pit opening when he himself lost consciousness, and both fell back into the pit. Bonnici then tied a rope round his waist and descended to the rescue of his comrades. As he was unable to lift Dingli, a rope with a hook attached was lowered, and the rope having been made secure, Dingli was hauled up to the pit head in an apparently lifeless condition. Bonnici was rescued by means of the rope. The third man succumbed before he was brought to the surface. The presentation of the Medals, in the name of His Majesty, was performed by the Governor of Malta, on the Palace Square, Valletta, on the 20th ultimo.