Regiments
Of the Malta Garrison
4th The King's Own
Royal Lancaster

The 4th The King's Own Royal Regiment

4th King's Own (Royal Lancaster)
The 4th (the King's Own Royal Regt) with the Battle Honours Salamanca, Peninsula, Alma, Sevastopol, Vittoria, Bladensburg, Inkerman, Abyssinia. (Main Guard Valletta)

The 4th or The King's Own Regiment traces its origins to the 2nd Tangier Regiment of Foot. This was raised in Devonshire in 1680, by Charles, Earl of Plymouth, son of Charles II, to defend Tangier which had been ceded to Charles II on his marriage to Catherine of Braganza, Infanta of Portugal. The 2nd Tangier Regiment returned to England in 1684.

In 1684, the 2nd Tangier Regiment became The Duchess of York and Albany's Regiment. The following year, this was altered to The Queen's, on the Duchess becoming Queen Consort. In 1715, after King George I ascended to the throne, another alteration took place to The King's Own.

the 4th King's Own (Royal Lancaster)
The Lion of England from the Royal Arms is believed to have been granted to the regiment by William III and confirmed by the Royal Warrant of 1 July 1751.

The 4th Foot was the first regiment to join William of Orange on his landing at Torbay on 4 November 1688. King William granted the regiment the title the King's Own and directed to be borne on its Colours The Lion of England as the badge of the regiment. On 1 July 1690, the 4th was at the battle of the Boyne.

From 1704 to 1710, it served as a Marine Corps on board the fleet as the Queen's Marines. It was present at the capture of Gibraltar (1704–05). In 1715, the regiment resumed its position among the Land Forces of the Crown as The King's Own Regiment.

From 1751 to 1867, the regiment bore the title of The 4th or The King's Own Regiment. In 1867, it became The 4th (The King's Own Royal) Regiment. A second battalion was formed in 1858.

On 1 July 1881, the infantry were given a geographical connection with an appropriate territorial title in place of the regimental number. The 4th (The King's Own Royal) Regiment became The 1st Battalion The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) and adopted the Red Rose of Lancaster as one of its badges.

In 1920 the regimental title changed to the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster).

On 1 October 1959 the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) amalgamated with the Border Regiment, to form the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.

The King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) bears the Battle Honour Malta 1941–42.

The 1st Battalion/The 4th or The King's Own Regiment

1854 1st/4th Regiment

25 Apr 1854 The 1st/4th Regiment embarked at Scotland with 814 men fit for duty. It encamped on the Horn Works outside Porte de Bombes.

10 Apr The battalion left for Turkey on board the Emue for service in the Crimea.

Baptisms in 1854:

Burials in 1854:

1855 1st/4th Regiment

Burials in 1855:

1856 1st/4th Regiment

Burials in 1856:

The 1st/The 4th or The King's Own Regiment

The 1st/4th The King's Own Regiment arrived at Barbados from Gibraltar in January 1879. In November 1881, it returned to England from the West Indies having been ordered home on account of the prevalence of yellow fever at that station, and in consequence of the officers and men of the corps having suffered very severely from the disease.

1895 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster)

map mtarfa
Plan of Mtarfa Barracks 1911 (TNA:T 161/874).

24 Sep 1895 The 1st/Royal Lancaster Regiment left Bowerham Barracks, Lancaster. It embarked at Portsmouth and disembarked in Malta on 4 Oct 1895.

It had an average strength of 126 men with 152 admissions (1206.30/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 1 death (7.94/1000 mean strength).

Its average constantly sick was 8.37 (66.43/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 24.25 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 20.10 days.

The 1st/Royal Lancaster Regiment was quartered at Pembroke Camp for 3 months.

Burials in 1895:

Baptisms in 1895:

1896 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster)

John Kelly
4636 Pte John Kelly F Coy 1st Roy King's Own Regt died 6 Dec 1896 aged 20 yrs (St Margerita Cemetery Rabat).

The 1st/Royal Lancaster Regiment had an average strength of 872 men. It had 760 admissions (871.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 10 deaths (11.47/1000 mean strength). 20 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 51.09 (58.59/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 24.44 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.60 days.

The 1st/Royal Lancaster Regiment was quartered at Mtarfa Barracks for 12 months. It was the first regiment to occupy the newly constructed barracks. In July 1896, there were nine cases of enteric fever with five deaths at Mtarfa Barracks (Imtarfa).

The regiment also had 116 cases of malarial fevers in a large draft which had arrived from India in February. There were no deaths.

Baptisms in 1896:

Burials in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1896:

Burials in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1896:

1897 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster)

Alfred V Clarke
Alfred Vincent Clarke
QM Sgt 1st Bn King's Own Regt died 28 Aug 1897 aged 33 yrs. (Ta' Braxia Cemetery)

The 1st/Royal Lancaster Regiment had an average strength of 858 men. It had 714 admissions (832.2/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 6 deaths (6.90/1000 mean strength). 32 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 50.34 (58.67/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 21.42 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 25.73 days.

The 1st/Royal Lancaster Regiment was quartered at Mtarfa Barracks for 3 1/2 months and Lower St Elmo Barracks for 7 months. It embarked for Hong Kong on 25 Nov 1897, where it arrived on 26 December.

Baptisms in 1897:

Burials in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1897:

Burials in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1897:

25 Nov 1897 The 1st/Royal Lancaster Regiment embarked for Hong Kong, leaving 12 men in Malta with 8 in hospital. It arrived in Hong Kong on 26 December 1897.

1898 – 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster)

Baptisms in 1898:

The 1st/The 4th or The King's Own Regiment

1901 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster)

19 Nov 1901 The 1st Battalion Royal Lancaster Regiment arrived in Aldershot on 26 March 1900.
On 19 Nov 1901, it embarked at Southampton on the Sicilia, disembarking at Malta on 28 Nov 1901.

1902 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster)

Baptisms in the Garrison Church in 1902:

John Jennings
Pte John Jennings C Coy accidentally shot on Pembroke Range on 11 Feb 1903. (Pieta' Military Cemetery)

Burials in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1902:

1903 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster)

J Turner
6955 Pte John Turner accidentally drowned whilst bathing at Ghajn Tuffieha 27 Apr 1903. (Mtarfa Military Cemetery)

Baptisms in the Garrison Church in 1903:

17 Sep 1903 The 1st/King's Own (Royal Lancaster) embarked on the Soudan for Bombay, where it arrived on 2 Oct 1903.

Burials in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1903:

Burials in 1903:

The 2nd/The 4th or The King's Own Regiment

1864 2nd/4th The King's Own

4 June 1864 The 2nd Battalion The King's Own Regiment arrived from Corfu. The regiment had served in Corfu and Cephalonia since 2 June 1859.

In 1864, the regiment had an average strength of 450 men, 365 hospital admissions (811 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 3 deaths in hospital and 3 out of hospital (13.33 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

1865 2nd/4th The King's Own

Floriana
Floriana Barracks

In 1865, the regiment had an average strength of 743 men. There were 587 hospital admissions (790 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 21 deaths in hospital, 1 out of hospital and 1 death among the invalids (32.30 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

The 2nd/4th Regiment occupied Floriana Barracks; their families were in old badly constructed and dilapidated huts on the Hornwork of Floriana, which they shared with the families of the 100th Regiment. Floriana Barracks had been an old casemated store house, which had been adapted to accommodate the infantry. It was bounded on one side by a parapet which overlooked on to the Ospizio dei Vecchi and St Salvatore Counter Guard. On the other side was the Civil Hospital.

Floriana
Plan of Floriana showing barracks in 1865. Black dots denote cholera cases

On 13 July an officer's servant and the wife of a private soldier fell ill with cholera. Panic ensued in the barracks which lasted for two days and two nights, when men and women became very agitated and convinced themselves that they had caught the disease. The men were transferred from their barracks and placed under canvas on the Floriana parade ground, three companies moved into huts on Notre Dame Ravelin. A hospital marquee was erected as it was too far to admit patients to the General Hospital in Lower Merchant Street Valletta. Infected bedding was destroyed and the excreta disinfected and buried in pits.

Despite these precautions more cases followed. Surgeon Benjamin Lane urged the removal of the troops to St George's Bay or Citta Vecchia, but the PMO, Inspector General Arthur Anderson placed them under canvas upon the adjoining parade ground. The men persisted in using the barracks by day but slept under canvas at night. From 13 to 20 July, cholera raged among the families. Surgeon Lane suggested all the families to be moved under tents upon the same ground as that occupied by the men.

In July there was a total of 21 sick with 15 deaths. In August 9 fell ill with 7 deaths. The last soldier died on 16 September. The 2nd/4th had a total of 31 sick and 23 deaths. Deaths from cholera occurred at Floriana Barracks (5), Floriana Pavilion (1), Notre Dame Ravelin (4), Horn Works (3), Valletta Hospital (2), and Floriana Encampment (8).

Memorial erected at Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Floriana by B Coy 4th Battalion King's Own Royal Regiment to their comrades who died of cholera in August 1865:

1866 2nd/4th the King's Own

In 1866, the regiment had an average strength of 157 men. There were 68 hospital admissions (433.1 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 1 death in hospital (6.37 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

27 Mar 1866 The 2nd/4th the King's Own embarked for Nova Scotia where it arrived on 21 April 1866. It was relieved in Malta by the 1st/8th Regiment.

The 6th/The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)

1915 – 6th/The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)

The 6th Bn King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was raised in Lancaster on 9 August 1914. It arrived in Gallipoli on 6 July 1915 and formed part of 13th (Western Division) 38th Brigade.

Burials at Pietà Military Cemetery in 1915:

The 8th/The King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)

Salkeld J
3717811 Pte Joseph Salkeld died 21 Apr 1942 aged 30 yrs. (Mtarfa Military Cemetery)

1941 8th/KORR (Lancaster)

2 Aug 1941 The 8th Battalion arrived at Malta. It had 33 officers and 810 men.

1942 8th/KORR (Lancaster)

1943 8th/KORR (Lancaster)

10 Oct 1943 The 8th Battalion left for Palestine. On 30 Jan 1944, it absorbed 58 survivors of the 1st Battalion. This had moved to Leros from Palestine in 1943 and was virtually annihilated in the German assault on the island.

Bibliography