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Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The Seaforth Highlanders (72nd/78th)

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The Seaforth Highlanders (72nd/78th)

Introduction

The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross–shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's) Regiment was formed on 1 July 1881 through the merger of The 72nd (Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders) Regiment of Foot with the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot (The Ross-shire Buffs).

The 72nd became the First Battalion Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany's) Regiment. The 78th became the Second Battalion. In 1884, Prince Leopold the Duke of Albany, became colonel-in-chief.

On 7 February 1961, the Seaforth Highlanders amalgamated with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, to form The Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons).

The 1st/Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) The Duke of Albany's

1897 1st/Seaforth Highlanders

1 July 1881 The 72nd Regiment became The 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders (Ross shire Buffs) The Duke of Albany's.

26 Jan 1897 The 1st/Seaforth Highlanders embarked at Southampton from Aldershot. It disembarked in Malta on 3 February.

It had an average strength of 870 men. It had 1395 admissions (1603.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 18 deaths (20.69/1000 mean strength). 16 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 64.07 (73.64/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 26.88 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 16.76 days.

22 Mar 1897 Embarked for Crete. British troops formed part of the Cretan International Force and were encamped in Crete from 24 March 1897 onwards.

The first detachments were 1 Coy 1st/Seaforth Highlanders at Canae and HQ and 5 Coys at Kandia. The remaining companies of the 1st/Seaforth Highlanders and HQ and 4 coys of the 2nd/Royal Welch Fusiliers joined on 8 April. A Coy of the Seaforth Highlanders disembarked at Canae, and the rest of the reinforcements were at Kandia. On 26 April, No 4 Mountain Bty RA arrived at Crete, and was joined in early Aug by the rest of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

22 Nov 1897 Embarked in Crete for Malta. On 25 November 1897, 4 Mountain Bty RA and the Seaforth Highlanders arrived in Malta and were quartered at Lower St Elmo Barracks.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1897:

  • 20 Aug Cpl D McGregor aged 24 years, died at Cottonera.
  • 30 Aug John Cormack aged 21 years 6 months, died at Cottonera.
  • 9 Sep Edward Gordon McPherson aged 26 years 6 months, died at Cottonera.

1898 1st/Seaforth Highlanders

The 1st/Seaforth Highlanders had an average strength of 26 men. It had 26 admissions (1000/1000 mean strength) into hospital. 13 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 5.74 (220.77/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 80.58 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 80.58 days.

5 Jan 1898 The 1st/Seaforth Highlanders was at Lower St Elmo Barracks. It embarked for Egypt, where it arrived on 10 January.

The following were buried in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1898:

  • 13 June Alfred Clyde Delworth Kerr aged 13 months, died at Cottonera.
  • 4 July Frederick Launcelot Dudley Watts aged 17 months, son of School mistress of Seaforth Highlanders died at Cottonera.

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 156/115. Register of burials in the military cemetery Rinella from January 1890 to January 1908.
  • TNA:CO 158/319. Seaforth Highlanders from India dated 16 January 1897.