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Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (32nd/46th)

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The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (32nd/46th)

Introduction

The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry had its origins in Colonel Edward Fox's Regiment of Marines raised in 1702. In 1751 it was numbered 32nd Foot; in 1782 it was designated The 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot.

On 26 February 1858, the 32nd Foot was made into a Light Infantry Corps, in recognition of its services in the defence of the Residency at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny (1857–58).

On 1 July 1881, the 32nd (Cornwall Light Infantry) amalgamated with the 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment, to form the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

The 32nd became the 1st Battalion, the 46th became the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.

In 1959, the the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry linked with the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) to form the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry.

The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (32nd/46th)

1885 1st/Duke of Cornwall's

28 Dec 1885 The 1st Battalion The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry disembarked at Malta from Kingstown. It had an average strength of 7 men with 17 admissions (972.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital and no deaths (20.68 deaths/1000 mean strength).

1886 1st/Duke of Cornwall's

The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was stationed in Cottonera for 12 months with detachments at Pembroke Camp.

It had an average strength of 813 men. It had 695 admissions (854.8/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 7 deaths (8.60/1000 mean strength). 3 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 46.39 (57.06/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 20.82 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.36 days.

1887 1st/Duke of Cornwall's

The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry had an average strength of 874 men. It had 386 admissions (441.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 5 deaths (5.72/1000 mean strength). Four invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 22.29 (25.50/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 9.30 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 21.07 days.

The following were buried in Pietà Cemetery in 1887:

  • 22 June Pte William Worsfold G Coy 1st/DCLI drowned at Pembroke Camp aged 23 years 11 months.
  • 14 July Pte Joseph Vale aged 20 years.
  • 15 July Pte William Grindrod aged 20 years.
  • 30 July Child Thomas Orlando Nestern aged 6 months.
  • 22 Aug Child Lucy Maud Evans aged 1 year 2 months, daughter of Lance Sgt G Evans.
  • 8 Sep Child William Henry Sullivan aged 10 months, son of Sgt Sullivan.
  • 14 Sep Child Lilian M Archer aged 5 years, daughter of Sgt Archer.
  • 21 Dec Pte William Boggis C Coy 1st/DCLI aged 38 years 11 months.
  • 6 Dec Lt Alfred Ernest Bassano only son of Maj Gen Bassano CB was accidentally killed at Malta aged 23 years 11 months. He was buried in Ta Braxia Cemetery Pietà.

20 Aug 1887 The band of the 1st/DCLI played Schubert's overture Rosamunde at St Ignatius College Sliema during the annual exhibition and distribution of prizes. St Ignatius College was an academic establishment run by the Jesuit Fathers for the instruction of male students. It did not receive any subsidy from Government. Parents bore all the expenses for the education of their sons.

1888 1st/Duke of Cornwall's

The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry had an average strength of 74 men. It had 78 admissions (1054/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (27.02/1000 mean strength). 3 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 5.39 (72.83/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 26.65 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 23.29 days.

18 Feb 1888 The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was quartered in Valletta. It left for Bombay on 18 Feb and disembarked in India on 7 Mar 1888.

5 Jan 1888 Pte William Dunn aged 21 years was buried in Pietà Cemetery.

The 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment

1854 46th (South Devonshire)

The following were buried in Malta in 1854:

  • 27 Nov Pte Selles 46th (South Devonshire)
  • 28 Nov Pte John Miles 46th (South Devonshire)

1855 46th (South Devonshire)

The following were buried in Malta in 1855:

  • 21 Mar Pte John Belfield 46th Regiment aged 21 years.
  • 14 Apr Pte John Grimley aged 20 years.
  • 13 Oct William Daniels aged 6 years, son of Sgt Daniels.
  • 27 Oct James Stewart aged 23 years.

1856 46th (South Devonshire)

The following was buried in Malta in 1856:

  • 2 May Pte William Powell 46th (South Devonshire).

1857 46th (South Devonshire)

11 June Rebecca Fryer aged 1 year 2 months, daughter of Armourer Sgt Fryer 46th Regiment was buried in Floriana in 1857.

The 2nd/The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

1882 2nd/Duke of Cornwall's

The 2nd/The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry arrived from England on 18 July 1882. It embarked for Egypt on 20 July, where it arrived on 23 July 1882.

Surgeon–Major Laurence Corban was in medical charge of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in Egypt. He landed in Egypt on 23 July and remained with his regiment until the termination of all active operations by the capture of Cairo, which permitted the withdrawal of the greater portion of the troops. His regiment was always to the front during the campaign, and Dr Corban was in every battle, so that he had ample opportunities of noting deficiencies. Bad and scanty food, the want of blankets and tents, were probably answerable for most of the sickness of the troops.

The 2nd/The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

1921 2nd/Duke of Cornwall's

Bibliography

  • Farmer J. S., 1984. The regimental records of the British Army Reprint Edition, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Crecy Books.
  • Edwards T. J., 1980. Regimental Badges First Edition, Tonbridge, Kent: Ernest Benn Ltd.
  • Famous Units. The National Army Museum. Available from http://www.nam.ac.uk/research/famous-units.
  • TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
  • TNA:WO 156/113. Register of Burials September 1853 to June 1862.
  • The Tablet, a weekly record of ecclesiastical news published 20 August 1887.
  • Experiences of an army surgeon during the Egyptian Expedition of 1882. Brit Med J (1883), 230, (Published 3 February 1883).
  • Register of Burials No 13, September 1887 to 1908.