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Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The 8th (The King's Regiment)

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The 8th (The King's Regiment)

Introduction

The King's Regiment was raised in 1685 during the Monmouth Rebellion as The Princess Anne of Denmark's Regiment of Foot. In 1702 Queen Anne ascended the throne and the regimental title changed to The Queen's Regiment of Foot.

In 1716 King George I renamed it The King's Regiment or the King's Hanoverian White Horse.

From 1751 to 1881, The King's Regiment became The 8th (The King's) Regiment. In 1756 the 8th Regiment of Foot raised a 2nd Battalion which two years later became a regiment in its own right – the 63rd Regiment of Foot.

On 1 July 1881, The 8th (The King's) Regiment became The King's (Liverpool) Regiment.

In 1921 the regimental title changed to The King's Regiment (Liverpool).

On 1 September 1958, The King's Regiment (Liverpool) linked with The Manchester Regiment (63rd) to form The King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool).

In 1969 it was designated The King's Regiment.

The 1st/8th (The King's Regiment)

1802 1st/8th (The King's) (Dundas' Regiment)

1 Jan 1802 Strength: 21 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 75 NCOs, 311 rank and file fit for duty, 119 rank and file sick, 542 total officers and men, 712 establishment.

The 1st/8th (The King's) Regiment

1818 1st/8th (The King's)

2 Mar 1818 The 1st/8th (The King's) arrived from Ireland with 774 men.

1819 1st/8th (The King's)

1819 Strength: 823 men.

Jan 1819 The 1st/8th embarked for Corfu.

1820 1st/8th (The King's)

The following was baptised in Malta in 1820:

1823 1st/8th (The King's)

The following was baptised in Malta in 1823:

1824 1st/8th (The King's)

The following were baptised in Malta in 1824:

The 1st/8th (The King's) Regiment

1866 1st/8th (The King's)

18 Jan 1866 Pte Thomas Gribble aged 19 years 11 months and Bandsman Thomas Lovell 2nd/8th King's Regiment aged 21 years, drowned 18 Jan 1866 off Fort St Elmo by the capsizing of a small skiff. His body was not recovered. (Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Floriana).

20 Mar 1866 The 1st/8th Regiment disembarked in Malta from Kingstown, Ireland and relieved the 2nd/4th Foot which embarked for Nova Scotia.

In 1866, the regiment had an average strength of 520 men. There were 825 hospital admissions (1586.5 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 10 deaths in hospital (19.23 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

The 1st/8th had 68 cases and one death recorded under the heading of remittent fever, but the PMO considered that they should have been returned as continued fevers.

It had 202 admissions (388/1000 mean strength) for continued fevers with 6 deaths (11.54 deaths/1000 mean strength). The sequelae of fever were such that the surgeon of the 8th regiment had never before encountered them. He enumerated cases of orchitis, neuralgia and rheumatism among them. These symptoms were consistent with an infection with Brucella melitensis.

The regiment was quartered at Isola Gate, St Francesco de Paola and Polverista Gate Barracks.

During the year, ophthalmia in the garrison was chiefly confined to the 1st and 2nd Battalions 8th Regiment and to the 100th Regiment.

In the 1st/8th, it first appeared among the women and children and was alleged to have been contracted from some Maltese with sore eyes who had been employed in the married quarters to assist with the washing.

1867 1st/8th (The King's)

In 1867, the regiment had an average strength of 690 men. There were 829 hospital admissions (1201.5 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 26 deaths in hospital, 2 out of hospital and 1 death among the invalids (42.08 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

Continued fevers prevailed to a great extent from June to September. The 1st/8th had 157 cases of continued fevers during the year with 9 deaths. It was quartered in Lower St Elmo Barracks.

13 Jan 1867 Pte Amos Frowen 1st/8th King's Regiment died 13 Jan 1867, aged 27 years 5 months. (Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Floriana).

17 Sept 1867 A soldier of the 1st/8th Foot encamped at Floriana died of cholera.

1868 1st/8th (The King's)

1868 The battalion was quartered at Lower St Elmo Barracks.

The average annual strength in 1868 was 568 men. There were 583 admissions into hospital; 4 died in hospital, and 1 from the invalids. The ratio per 1000 mean strength of those admitted was 1026 and for deaths 8.80.

10 Oct 1868 The 1st/8th embarked for Bombay, where it arrived on 3 November.

Memorial erected at Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Floriana in memory of those who died during the tour of 1st/8th King's Regiment in Malta:

The 1st/8th (The King's) Regiment

1926 1st/The King's (Liverpool)

Dec 1926 8 officers and 709 men arrived at Malta.

1927 1st/The King's (Liverpool)

1 Jan 1927 Strength: 29 officers, 823 men.
Oct 1927 The 1st/The King's left for Khartoum, Sudan. A detail of 26 men remained in Malta.

1928 1st/The King's (Liverpool)

1 Jan 1928 Strength: 0 officers, 26 men.
1928 The 1st Bn was in Khartoum, Sudan. The 26 men who remained in Malta left by the end of the year.

The 2nd/8th (The King's) Regiment

1 Jan 1859 The 2nd/8th (The King's) Regiment arrived in Gibraltar.

1863 2nd/8th (The King's)

25 Sep 1863 The 2nd/8th embarked at Gibraltar on the Orontes. It disembarked in Malta on 1 October and relieved the 2nd/23rd Regiment.

In 1863, the 2nd/8th had an average strength of 204 men, 278 hospital admissions (1362.8 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with no deaths. It was quartered at Verdala Barracks.

1864 2nd/8th (The King's)

In 1864, the regiment had an average strength of 801 men, 925 hospital admissions (1192 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 1 death in hospital and 2 out of hospital (3.75 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

1865 2nd/8th (The King's)

In 1865, the regiment had an average strength of 771 men. There were 629 hospital admissions (816 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 10 deaths in hospitals (12.97 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

Cholera broke out in Mecca in May 1865 and spread along the Mediterranean littoral. On 14 June, panic stricken Maltese landed in the Lazaretto after fleeing Alexandria. On 28 June, the first cases of cholera were received in the lazaretto from the ship Wyvern, but it was not until 3 July that the disease was officially recognized as such.

The lazaretto and plague hospital on Manoel Island had been occupied as married quarters by a portion of the 2nd/8th Foot and 34 families of the Royal Artillery. On 20 May, 8 men, 1 woman and 1 child belonging to the companies of the 2nd/8th Regiment suffered from profuse diarrhoea but improved with treatment. Fort Manoel had been occupied by the Head Quarters and three companies of the 2nd/8th Regiment.

On 20 June, Assistant Surgeon William George Ross, 2nd/8th Regiment attended on an eight year old girl who died within seven hours of falling sick. Ross recorded her death as Asiatic Cholera. A woman residing in the same compound fell ill on the 22nd June; in the evening of the 23rd the mother of the eight year old girl fell ill; on the 27th June the man and a child of the 8th Foot also fell ill; and on the 28th another man of the Royal Artillery and a child belonging to the first woman affected. All except one died from cholera.

On 1 July, the families of the 2nd/8th Regiment, most of whom were suffering from diarrhoea, were removed from the plague hospital to the Crown Work on the Floriana Fortifications. No more cases of cholera occurred among them after they had been moved from Manoel Island.

On 19 July, cholera appeared in the troops of 2nd/8th Regiment; the first death was recorded on 20 July. Six soldiers fell ill in July, all died. In August, there were 7 ill with 6 deaths, in September 2 sick with 1 death, in October 2 fell ill, with the last death recorded on 9 October. The 2nd/8th had a total of 17 sick with 14 deaths. The deaths occurred at: Valletta Hospital (1), Pembroke Camp (8), Forrest Hospital (1), and Valletta (4).

1866 2nd/8th (The King's)

In 1866, the regiment had an average strength of 752 men. There were 569 hospital admissions (757.7 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 1 deaths in hospital and 3 out of hospital (5.33 deaths per 1000 of mean strength). It had 120 admissions (160/1000 mean strength) for continued fevers with 1 death (1.33 deaths/1000 mean strength).

The regiment was quartered at Fort Manoel and Pembroke Barracks.

1867 2nd/8th (The King's)

In 1867, the regiment had an average strength of 687 men. There were 517 hospital admissions (752.5 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 7 deaths in hospital and 2 out of hospital (13.10 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

Continued fevers prevailed to a great extent from June to September and proved fatal. The 2nd/8th had 34 admissions for continued fevers with 2 deaths.

The regiment was quartered at Floriana Barracks.

During the year, a large number of soldiers in the 1st/8th and 2nd/8th went down with ophthalmia. The regimental surgeon blamed it on the defective ventilation of Floriana Barracks, the great heat and glare, and the amount of dust floating in the air during the hot weather.

1868 2nd/8th (The King's)

The average annual strength in 1868 was 76 men. There were 44 admissions into hospital; 1 died in hospital. The ratio per 1000 mean strength of those admitted was 579 and for deaths 13.16.

The 1st/8th occupied at Lower St Elmo. From June to September, the regiment had 98 admissions for continued fevers, with no deaths.

24 Feb 1868 The 2nd/8th embarked on the Himalaya for Aldershot via Portsmouth. It was relieved by The 87th Regiment from Gibraltar.

Bibliography