Regiments of the Malta Garrison
Lancashire Fusiliers (20th)

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The Lancashire Fusiliers (20th)

Lancashire Fusiliers
An eight–pointed star, on the centre of which is a belt with the motto Omnia Audax surmounted by a crown displacing the uppermost point of the star. The regimental number, the two tens (XX), lies within the belt. Below the lower point of the star is a scroll inscribed The Lancashire Fusiliers 1880–88, 1898–99 (Main Guard Valletta)
Lancashire Fusiliers
The Lancashire Fusiliers
(Milorda Gardens Floriana)

The Lancashire Fusiliers was raised in 1688 in East Devon as Colonel Sir Robert Peyton's Regiment of Foot.

In 1751, the regiment became the 20th Foot to which East Devonshire was added in 1782. From 1782 to 1881 its title was 20th or East Devonshire Regiment. On the reorganisation of the infantry in 1881, the 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot became The Lancashire Fusiliers.

Being a Fusilier regiment it wears the grenade as a badge, the distinguishing feature on the ball being the Sphinx with the word Egypt below, all within a laurel wreath. The Sphinx with Egypt was granted to the 20th Foot by Horse Guards Letter No 170 of 6 July 1802, for service in the Egyptian campaign of 1801. The laurel wreath was received in honour of the Battle of Minden of 1st August 1759. As one of the six Minden Regiments all ranks wear roses in their head dress on the anniversary of that battle (Minden Day).

In April 1968 the Lancashire Fusiliers merged with the 5th (The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers), the 6th (The Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers), and 7th (The Royal Fusiliers – City of London), to form The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

The 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

1855 1st/20th (East Devonshire)

The following were buried at Malta in 1855:

  1. 3 May Pte Denis Minigan 20th Regiment.
  2. 24 Aug Pte Samuel Rutherford 20th Regiment aged 19 years.

The 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

1879 1st/20th (East Devonshire)

Lancashire Fusiliers
A grenade, on the ball a laurel wreath within which is the Sphinx resting on a tablet inscribed Egypt, below a scroll inscribed The Lancashire Fusiliers.

Malta Dec 1879 A detachment of 1st/20th (East Devonshire) arrived from Cyprus. In 1878, the Ottoman Empire ceded Cyprus (1878–1960) to the British for the purpose of defence and administration, but the Sultan retained ownership of the island.

1880 1st/20th (East Devonshire)

11 Oct 1880 The second wing of the 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers disembarked at Malta from Cyprus which had been occupied by British troops between 1878 and 1960.

1881 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

The 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers Regiment had an average strength of 30 men. It had 28 admissions into hospital.

Malta 14 Jan 1881 The 1st Battalion embarked for Queenstown where it arrived on 28 Jan 1881.

The 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

TNA:WO 379/11 Movements 1st/20th Regt. (Courtesy R Sellstrom BEM).

1899 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

27 Aug 1899 On 17 Aug 1899, the 1st Battalion embarked at Southampton from Aldershot on the transport Jelunga. It disembarked at Malta on 27 Aug 1899.

Malta 29 Sept 1899 The 1st Battalion embarked on the Jelunga for Crete where it arrived on 2 Oct 1899.

The 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

1901 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

Lancashire Fusiliers
A rose lies above the regimental number within a belt bearing the regimental motto Omnia Audax. The battle honours entwine a laurel wreath on either side of the belt.
(Milorda Gardens Floriana 1st Bn 1902)

1 Mar 1901 191 men of the 1st Battalion arrived from Crete on the SS Formosa. The men were quartered at Fort Chambray Gozo.

1902 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

Malta 1902 The battalion was at Lower St Elmo Barracks.
Malta 17 Oct 1902 The 1st Battalion embarked for Gibraltar on the Sardinia.

The 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

1st Lanc Fus
TNA:WO 379/15 Regt Movements 1st Bn. (Courtesy R Sellstrom BEM)

1905 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

J H Ashforth
3170 Sgt J. H. Ashforth 1st Bn died 3 Sept 1905 aged 32 yrs (Pieta Military Cemetery)

Malta 26 Feb 1905 About 700 men of the 1st Battalion arrived from Gibraltar on the Dilwara. In Mar they were reinforced by another 100 men. On their arrival the troops were quartered in Polverista Barracks Cottonera. On 20th Mar the men marched to Pembroke Camp, and on 30th Apr 1905 to Mellieha Camp.

Malta 5 Apr 1905 The battalion reported its first case of Mediterranean Fever 37 days after its landing at Malta. It had its second admission on 17 April. Another 18 admissions occurred following their move to St Elmo Barracks. During the same period the Essex Regt had had 50 admissions.

Malta 8th May 1905 The men of the 1st Battalion returned to their barracks at Polverista from Mellieha training Camp. They remained at Polverista until their removal to Lower St Elmo Barracks. Six companies occupied Lower St Elmo Barracks and replaced the 2nd/Essex Regt which marched to Mtarfa Barracks on 8th July. B Coy and D Coy 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers moved into Fort Manoel Hutments.

Malta 9 Aug 1905 From 9 Aug to the end of Sept, 19 cases of Mediterranean fever occurred in the six companies stationed at Lower St Elmo Barracks, and 3 cases in the two companies occupying Manoel Island Hutments. H Coy had 7 cases between 11 July and the end of Sept following their occupation of Lower St Elmo Barracks.

The following was buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1905:

  1. 8 March L/Cpl Jasper Gordon aged 25 years 10 months, died at Polverista Barracks.

1906 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

Malta 30 April 1906 The 1st Battalion was suddenly ordered to proceed to Egypt with the 4th/Worcestershire Regiment. It embarked on the Dilwara and the SS City of Athens.

Malta 18 Dec 1906 The battalion returned to Malta on the Braemar Castle.

1907 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

Malta 27 Nov 1907 The 1st Battalion embarked for Karachi on board the Dongola.

The 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

1898 2nd/Lancashire

TNA:WO 379/11 Movements of Regts 1859-1900. (Courtesy R Sellstrom BEM)

The 2nd/Lancashire Fusiliers arrived at Crete from Egypt on 11 Oct 1898 from the Nile Campaign. It served in Crete for 2 1/2 months.

It had an average strength of 187 men with 479 admissions (2561.5/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 9 deaths (48.13/1000 mean strength). 9 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 16.77 (89.68/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 32.73 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 12.78 days.

The following was buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1898:

  1. 10 Dec Pte William Henry Whitehead aged 24 years, died at Cottonera.

1899 2nd/Lancashire

Lionel Carden
2nd Lt Lionel Carden died 30 Aug 1899 aged 20 yrs at Cottonera Hosp of enteric fever. (Ta' Braxia Cemetery Pieta)

Malta 1 Jan 1899 Strength: 908 men at Fort Chambray Gozo.

Malta 1 July Strength: 768 men at Pembroke Camp.

Malta 6 Sept 1899 The 2nd Battalion embarked for Chatham via Southampton.

The 3rd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

1898 3rd/Lancashire Fusiliers

3rd Lanc Fus
TNA:WO 379/15 Movements 3rd Bn. (Courtesy R Sellstrom BEM)

The 3rd/Lancashire Fusiliers was formed at Preston on 1 Apr 1898 and disbanded on 15 May 1907. It embarked at Southampton on 26 Aug 1898 and arrived at Malta on 4 Sept 1898.

It had an average strength of 281 men with 221 admissions (786.5/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 2 deaths (7.12/1000 mean strength). 1 invalid returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 11.58 (41.21/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 15.04 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 19.13 days.

The men were quartered at Mtarfa Barracks for 4 months.

The following was baptized in Malta in 1898:

  1. 1 Nov Percy Dunne born on 7 October 1898, son of QM Frederick Dunne and Louisa, resident at Mtarfa.

The following was buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1898:

  1. 28 Dec Pte Herbert Gatehouse aged 22 years, died at Cottonera.

1899 3rd/Lancashire Fusiliers

William Cross
Pte William Cross 3rd/Lancashire Fusiliers died 2 Aug 1899 aged 20 yrs.
Robert Fenton
Drm Robert Fenton died 26 Aug 1899 aged 16 yrs.

The following were baptized in Malta in 1899:

  1. 4 Feb Sarah Valentine born on 11 January 1899, daughter of Pte George Proctor Valentine and Eliza Jane, resident at Cottonera.
  2. 12 Oct Lilian Ada Wood born on 25 August 1899, daughter of Sgt Drm Harry Wood and Ada, resident at Mtarfa.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1899:

  1. 23 Aug Pte John Walkden aged 21 years, died at Cottonera.
  2. 15 Sept Pte Robert Todd aged 21 years 4 months, died at Cottonera.

Malta 2 Oct 1899 Detachment of the 3rd Battalion was at Crete.

Malta 1 Dec 1899 The battalion was at Mtarfa Barracks with detachments at Fort Chambray Gozo. The regimental strength was 989 men.

The first five burials at Mtarfa Military Cemetery were from the 3rd/Lancashire Fusiliers. The first burial took place on 1 June 1899. (P=Plot, R=R0w, G=Grave):

  • 1 June 1899 Ada Wood aged 3 mths, daughter of Sergeant (P1R1G1).
  • 3 Aug Pte William Cross E Coy, aged 19 yrs 10 mths (P4R2G2).
  • 27 August Band Boy Robert Fenton aged 16 yrs 6 months died at Citta Vecchia (P4R2G3).
  • 15 Sept Beatrice Ellen Parkinson aged 9 mths, daughter of Sergeant Mtarfa Barracks (P1R1G2).
  • 26 October 1899 Maggie McMaster, aged 15 mths, daughter of Sergeant (P1R1G3).

1900 3rd/Lancashire

Ernest Ellis Marsh
2nd Lt Ellis Ernest Marsh 3rd Lanc Fus son of Col H. G. Marsh Late Bengal Staff Corps and Emma his wife died of fever at Malta 28 July 1901, aged 19 yrs. (Ta' Braxia Cemetery)

Malta 2 Jan 1900 Mtarfa (Imtarfa) Cemetery was consecrated by the Rt Rev the Bishop of Gibraltar on Tuesday 2 Jan 1900. HE the Governor General Sir Francis Grenfell and Major General Lord Congleton commanding the Infantry Brigade were present.

Also in attendance were: the Senior Chaplain the Rev Alfred Malim, The Rev D. Nickerson, The Rev W. C. Parr (in charge of Mtarfa), The Rev M. W. Churchward, and The Rev M Jones. The first recorded burial was that of Ada Wood, aged 3 mths, daughter of Sgt Wood 3rd/Lancashire Fusiliers. The service was conducted by the Rt Rev W C Parr on 1 June 1899.

Malta 1 Jan 1900 The battalion was located at Mtarfa Barracks. It had 828 men.
Malta 1 July 1900 The battalion was located at Lower St Elmo Barracks. It had 717 men.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1900:

  1. 19 January Pte John Henry Burns aged 20 years, died at Cottonera.

1901 3rd/Lancashire

Malta 1 Jan 1901 The battalion was located at Lower St Elmo Barracks. It had 767 men.
Malta 25 Sept 1901 Burial of Pte Richard Windle aged 21 yrs, at Mtarfa Cemetery (Plot 4, Row 1, Grave 2).

Malta 29 Nov 1901 The 3rd Battalion embarked for Barbados and Jamaica.

The 11th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers

1941 11th/Lancashire

Owen N M
187022 2nd Lt Norman Makinson Owen aged 30 yrs died on 20 Nov 1941.
Pembroke Military Cemetery

25 July 1941 The 11th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers arrived from Gibraltar. It had 38 officers and 833 men. The 11th Bn defended Valletta and the coastline from Sliema to St Julians. They also worked on the extension of the airstrip at Hal Safi.

Malta 20 Nov 1941 160722 2nd Lt Owen Norman Makinson died in hospital following a bomb explosion during training on the ranges. One other rank was also accidentally injured.

Malta 10 Dec 1941 Captain G. Heap RAMC attached to 15th Fld Amb from 11th/Lancashire Fusiliers.

1942 11th/Lancashire

1943 11th/Lancashire

1944 11th/Lancashire

Malta 21 May 1944 The 11th Battalion left for Naples.


  1. Farmer, J. S., 1984. The regimental records of the British Army Reprint Edition, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Crecy Books.
  2. Edwards, T. J., 1980. Regimental Badges First Edition, Tonbridge, Kent: Ernest Benn Ltd.
  3. Badges of HM Services. WM. Briggs & Co Manchester.
  4. TNA:WO 177/700. War Diaries No 15 Field Ambulance RAMC April 1941 to April 1944.
  5. TNA:WO 156/116. Burial Register Mtarfa Cemetery from 1 June 1899.
  6. TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
  7. TNA:WO 379/15. Stations of Regiments 1901–1920.
  8. TNA:WO 156/115. Register of burials in the military cemetery Rinella from January 1890 to January 1908.
  9. TNA:WO 156/113. Register of burials September 1853 to June 1862.
  10. TNA:WO 156/598. Baptism Register No 16; Malta from 20 February 1898 to 17 July 1916.