RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The Suffolk Regiment

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The Suffolk Regiment

Introduction

The Suffolk Regiment was raised in 1685 by the Duke of Norfolk to suppress the threatened Monmouth Rebellion. It was numbered 12th in 1751, to which East Suffolk was added in 1782. The 12th was one of the six British Infantry Regiments at Minden in 1759.

In June 1836, The 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment was granted permission to bear on its Colours the word India in recognition of its distinguished conduct during its services in the East Indies from 1797 to 1807.

In December 1836, the regiment was permitted to carry on its Colours the word Gibraltar, the Castle and Key, being part of the armorial bearings of that fortress, together with the motto Montis Insignia Calpe in commemoration of its distinguished service during the siege of 1778–83.

The Castle, Key and motto of Gibraltar were granted to Gibraltar by Henry IV of Castile in 1462, after the Duke of Medina had captured the Rock from the Moors. The key alludes to the Rock of Gibraltar being the key to the Mediterranean

On 1 July 1881, The 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment became The Suffolk Regiment.

In 1959, The Suffolk Regiment linked with the Royal Norfolk Regiment to form The 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk).

In 1964, it became the 1st (Norfolk and Suffolk)/The Royal Anglian Regiment, and in 1968, The 1st/The Royal Anglian Regiment.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment

1 July 1881 The 1st/12th Regiment became The 1st Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment.

1897 1st/Suffolk

10 April 1897 The 1st/Suffolk embarked at Southampton from Aldershot and disembarked in Malta on 19 April.

It had an average strength of 485 men. It had 403 admissions (830.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 8 deaths (16.49/1000 mean strength). 6 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 30.73 (63.36/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 23.13 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 27.83 days.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment was quartered at Mtarfa for 6 1/2 months and at Isola District for 2 months.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1897:

  • 17 Sep Sgt Harry Booth aged 27 years 1 month, died at Cottonera.
  • 4 Oct Pte William John Ransom aged 19 years, died at Cottonera.
  • 30 Nov Pte Edward Cadman aged 21 years, died at Cottonera.

1898 1st/Suffolk

7 Jan 1898 The men forming the draft of the 2nd/Somersetshire who were leaving for India, were entertained by their comrades of the Northamptonshire draft.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment had an average strength of 919 men. It had 900 admissions (979.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 8 deaths (8.70/1000 mean strength). 44 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 60.11 (65.41/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 23.87 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.38 days.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment was quartered at Fort Manoel and Hutments for 12 months. On 1 Dec 1898, it received orders to embark for Dover.

The following were baptised in 1898:

  • 23 Oct Richard Wharfe born on 9 October 1898, son of Pte John Wharfe and Sarah Ann, resident at Tigné.
  • 23 Oct Beryl Millicent Coidon born on 25 September 1898, daughter of Sgt Robert Coidon and Eleanor, resident at Tigné.
  • 2 Nov Joseph Wilfred Shepherd Cooke born on 11 October 1898, son of Sgt Joseph Henry Cooke and Annie Elizabeth, resident at Tigné.

The following were buried in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1898:

  • 1 Jan L/Cpl Herbert William Rudland aged 21 years, died at Cottonera.
  • 8 Jan Pte Herbert Hooper aged 22 years, died at Cottonera.
  • 25 Feb Hannah Jude aged 30 years, died at Cottonera.
  • 27 Apr Pte John Fawsey aged 21 years, died at Cottonera.

1899 1st/Suffolk

Strength: 678 men. The men were at Fort Manoel Island.

2 Jan 1899 The 1st/Suffolk embarked for Southampton on the transport Jelunga. The regiment moved to Dover on 11 January and to Capetown from Dover on 12 November 1899.

10 Feb Baptism of Melita May Ranson born on 22 January 1899, daughter of Sgt George Arthur Ranson and Mary Ann, resident at Tigné.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment

1907 1st/Suffolk

27 Nov 1907 The 1st/Suffolk left Woolwich on 20 Nov 1907, and embarked on the Dongola at Southampton. It disembarked at Malta on 27 Nov 1907.

1908 1st/Suffolk

1909 1st/Suffolk

6 Nov 1909 The 1st/Suffolk held a boxing competition at the gym in Valletta.

1910 1st/Suffolk

Aug 1910 Towards the end of August, The 1st/Suffolk Regiment was hit by a sudden outbreak of Paratyphoid B infection.

The fever was preceded by a few isolated cases of diarrhoea earlier in the year. The first case appeared on 4 May. The patient was admitted to hospital on 29 May from St Andrew's Barracks and was returned to barracks on 25 July 1910.

Sixteen days after his discharge, a second soldier fell ill. There followed a further twelve, all from the Suffolk Regiment, except for one soldier from the King's Royal Rifle Corps living in the adjoining St George's Barracks.

The last case occurred on 14 September and the patient was discharged on 12 Oct 1910. The pyrexia varied from 4 to 23 days. Bacillus paratyphoid was isolated in blood cultures.1

1911 1st/Suffolk

25 Jan 1911 The 1st/Suffolk embarked for Alexandria on the Dongola.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment

1937 1st/Suffolk

Nov 1937 The 1st/Suffolk arrived from England on a short tour of foreign service. The regimental strength was 355 men (31 Dec 1937).

1938 1st/Suffolk

30 June 1938 Strength: 455 rank and file.

1939 1st/Suffolk

30 June 1939 Strength: 0 officers, 67 men.

July The 1st/Suffolk embarked for England.

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.
  • 1Babington, M. H., 1912, An outbreak of Paratyphoid B fever in Malta J R Army Medical Corps, Vol 18, pp 38–44.
  • TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
  • TNA:WO 379/15. Stations of Regiments 1901–1920.
  • TNA:WO 156/115. Register of burials in the military cemetery Rinella from January 1890 to January 1908.
  • TNA:WO 156/598. Baptism Register No 16; Malta from 20 February 1898 to 17 July 1916.