WO Boundary Stones

Posted on March 2, 2024 / 4
Listing Type : Miscellaneous
Location : Malta

There are two WO (War Office) Boundary Stones on what appears to be the counterscarp of the dry moat in front of St James Bastion, Cottonera Lines.  The inscription on the Boundary Stones is ‘WO‘, not the usual ‘WD‘ or earlier ‘BO‘.  The Boundary Stones are WO 19 and WO 18 with a Broad Arrow.  These are possibly unique as no other WO stones have been found.  If any one has seen any WO Boundary Stones please let us know on john@pinkroutes.com.

This could be just a simple error by the stone mason, but it is believed that this was deliberate.  This area was enhanced by the British in the 1850s when building Verdala Barracks and the St Clements Retrenchment.  It is likely therefore that these stones were mount about 1860.  The War Office (WO) was created in 1855 as one of the root and branch reforms that came about as a result of failings in during the Crimean War.  The War Office was often called the War Department (WD) with both names being used interchangeably.   In respect of Boundary Stones WD was adapted as the correct abbreviations with the Boundary Stone Number.  It is therefore believed that these two Boundary Stones were carved on the creation of the War Office (Department) and that the ‘WO’ was used on the Boundary Stones.

Interestingly,  Mario Farrugia of Wirtartna has three other WO Boundary Stones, Number 52, & and 45A which are on display in Rinella Battery.

The War Office replaced that old Board of Ordnance which was established in about 1460 and was largely responsible for the new gunpowder artillery.  The abbreviation ‘BO’ was used and from 1699 it tended to be used in conjunction with the Broad Arrow.  The Board of Ordnance remit extended to include the manufacture of guns and ammunition,  and the building of fortifications, barracks and associated military building.

WO Boundary Stones
There are two WO (War Office) Boundary Stones on what appears to be the counterscarp of the dry moat in front of St James Bastion, Cottonera Lines.  The inscription on the Boundary Stones is ‘WO‘, not the usual ‘WD‘ or earlier ‘BO‘.  The Boundary Stones are WO 19 and WO 18 with a Broad Arrow.  These are possibly unique as no other WO stones have been found.  If any one has seen any WO Boundary Stones please let us know on john@pinkroutes.com.

This could be just a simple error by the stone mason, but it is believed that this was deliberate.  This area was enhanced by the British in the 1850s when building Verdala Barracks and the St Clements Retrenchment.  It is likely therefore that these stones were mount about 1860.  The War Office (WO) was created in 1855 as one of the root and branch reforms that came about as a result of failings in during the Crimean War.  The War Office was often called the War Department (WD) with both names being used interchangeably.   In respect of Boundary Stones WD was adapted as the correct abbreviations with the Boundary Stone Number.  It is therefore believed that these two Boundary Stones were carved on the creation of the War Office (Department) and that the ‘WO’ was used on the Boundary Stones.

Interestingly,  Mario Farrugia of Wirtartna has three other WO Boundary Stones, Number 52, & and 45A which are on display in Rinella Battery.

The War Office replaced that old Board of Ordnance which was established in about 1460 and was largely responsible for the new gunpowder artillery.  The abbreviation ‘BO’ was used and from 1699 it tended to be used in conjunction with the Broad Arrow.  The Board of Ordnance remit extended to include the manufacture of guns and ammunition,  and the building of fortifications, barracks and associated military building.

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