RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment

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The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment (38th Foot)

Introduction

The South Staffordshire Regiment was formed on 1 July 1881 from the amalgamation of The 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment with The 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment of Foot.

The 38th Foot was raised in 1705 at Lichfield as Colonel Lillingstone's Regiment of Foot. It was numbered 38th in 1751, to which the title 1st Staffordshire was added in 1782.

In 1881, The 1st Staffordshire Regiment became the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment.

The 80th Foot was raised in 1793. It was granted the Battle Honour Egypt 1801 and adopted the Sphinx as its regimental badge. In 1881 it became the 2nd Battalion of The South Staffordshire Regiment.

On 31 January 1959, The South Staffordshire Regiment merged with The North Staffordshire, (64th and 98th), Regiment to become the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's).

The 38th Regiment

1826 38th (1st Staffordshire)

1 Aug Conrad Bingham William Rains son of Brevet Major William Kingdom Rains and Ann Eve, born on 6 March 1821 was buried on 1 August 1826.

1854 38th (1st Staffordshire)

The following were buried in Malta in 1854:

  • 30 Nov Pte George Brown 38th Regiment aged 17 years.
  • 2 Dec Pte George Watts 38th Regiment aged 20 years.

1855 38th (1st Staffordshire)

14 May Pte Henry Walls 38th Regiment, aged 20 years, was buried on 14 May 1855.

The 1st/The South Staffordshire Regiment

1880 38th (1st Staffordshire)

18 Aug 1880 The 38th embarked at Queenstown from the Curragh on 9 August and disembarked in Malta on 18 August 1880.

The 38th Foot had an average strength of 328 men. It had 381 admissions (1161.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 1 death (3.05 deaths/1000 mean strength).

Its average constantly sick was 17.10 (52.13/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 19.08 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 16.42 days.

The high admission rate was attributed to the regiment disembarking at Malta during the hottest part of the year. The diseases were of a mild type.

1881 1st/South Staffordshire

1 July 1881 The 38th Regiment became The 1st Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment.

The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment had an average strength of 702 men. It had 558 admissions (794.8/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (2.85/1000 mean strength). 17 invalids were returned to England.

Its average daily sick was 39.30 (55.98/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 20.29 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 25.52 days.

1882 1st/South Staffordshire

The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment had an average strength of 445 men. It had 367 admissions (824.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths (6.74 deaths/1000 mean strength). 19 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 28.15 (63.25/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 23.08 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 27.99 days.

8 July 1882 The 1st/South Staffordshire embarked for Egypt, where it arrived on 17 July 1882.

The South Staffordshire Regiment was the first regiment to land in Egypt in 1882, after the bombardment of Alexandria. It took an active part in the operations which succeeded, and revisited that country in 1884 to join the Expeditionary Force for the rescue of General Gordon.

1883 1st/South Staffordshire

12 May 1883 The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment left Egypt and disembarked in Malta on 16 May. Dysentery broke out amongst the troops returning from Egypt.

The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment had an average strength of 562 men. It had 504 admissions (896.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (7.11 deaths/1000 mean strength). 12 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 31.25 (55.60/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 20.29 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 22.63 days. The PMO, Surgeon General W Sinclair remarked that the regiment had returned from Egypt where it had gone through the late campaign, and no doubt the men were debilitated by exposure and hard work. Most of the admissions for dysentery occurred among the men of this corps and were mostly of a severe type.

Two men recovered from near drowning when their boat capsized in the Grand Harbour and they were submerged for a while. A soldier committed suicide by cutting his throat while in a state of temporary insanity.

1884 1st/South Staffordshire

The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment had an average strength of 129 men. It had 144 admissions (1601/1000 mean strength) into hospital. 13 invalids returned to England.

22 Feb 1884 The 1st/South Staffordshire Regiment embarked for Egypt. A large number of men where found unfit to proceed to Egypt and were invalided to England.

The battalion arrived in Egypt on 26 February. It embarked from Egypt to Gibraltar on 17 June 1886.

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.
  • TNA:WO 156/113. Register of burials September 1853 to June 1862.
  • TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.