RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The King's Own Light Infantry
(South Yorkshire Regiment)

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The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment)

Introduction

The 51st Foot was raised in the West Riding of York, in December 1755, at the start of the Seven Years War. It was renumbered 51st in 1757, after two intervening regiments were disbanded.

The 51st Regiment became a Light Infantry Corps in 1809 when it was designated the 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding Light Infantry) Regiment.

In 1821, it added the title The King's Own to its name to become The 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding The King's Own Light Infantry) Regiment.

On 1 July 1881, the 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding The King's Own Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot merged with the 105th (Madras Light Infantry) Regiment, to become The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment).

The 51st became The First Battalion The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment).

The 105th became The Second Battalion The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment).

On 1 June 1887, the regimental title altered to The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

In 1959 the regiment became The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

On 10 July 1968, the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry (53rd Foot and 85th Foot), the Durham Light Infantry (68th Foot and 106th Foot), and the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, merged to form The Light Infantry.

The 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) or The King's Own Light Infantry

1854 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding KOLI)

Mar 1854 The 51st arrived in Malta.

6 Apr A detachment of 220 men left for Turkey.

1855 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding KOLI)

Oct 1855 The detachment returned to Malta. It encamped on the Horn Works outside Floriana.

The following were buried in 1855:

  • 19 Sep Pte George Leech 51st Regiment aged 24 years.
  • 30 Oct Pte Francis Ross aged 24 years.

1856 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding KOLI)

1856 Strength 740 men. The battalion was at Floriana Camp.

9 June 1856 The 51st embarked for England.

The following were buried in 1856:

  • 2 Jan Pte Thomas Holt 51st Regiment aged 22 years.
  • 15 Jan Pte James Harisson 51st Regiment aged 27 years.
  • 6 Mar Pte James Roe aged 27 years.
  • 7 Mar Pte Charles Vedmore aged 22 years.
  • 27 May Pte John Leonard aged 31 years.

The 2nd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) (South Yorkshire Regiment)

1 July 1881 The 105th Regiment became The 2nd Battalion The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment).

1885 2nd/King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment)

27 Dec 1884 The 2nd/King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) left York for Portsmouth on 26 December 1884 and embarked for Malta. The regiment disembarked in Malta on 6 January 1885.

The 2nd/South Yorkshire Regiment had an average strength of 841 men.

It had 888 admissions (1055.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 16 deaths (19.02 deaths/1000 mean strength). 11 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 51.88 (61.63/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 22.40 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 21.30 days.

At the beginning of April, five companies of the 2nd/South Yorkshire Regiment were moved from Verdala Barracks Cottonera to the forts on the eastern extremity of the island, about 5 miles distant. The men were encamped on the glacis of the forts, but during the day occupied the rooms within and had their dinners there. This move was said to have improved the health of the men.

1886 2nd/King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire)

The 2nd/South Yorkshire Regiment was stationed in Valletta for 12 months with detachments at Gozo and Pembroke Camp. It had an average strength of 1030 men.

It had 924 admissions (897.0/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 11 deaths (10.67/1000 mean strength) including 1 among the invalids.

20 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 59.66 (57.92/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 21.14 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 23.56 days.

26 Dec 1866 Captain David Bruce AMS carried a postmortem examination on a twenty year old private soldier of the regiment who had died from undulant fever. Bruce prepared stained sections of spleen, and identified micrococci in enormous numbers.

1887 2nd/King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire)

The 2nd/South Yorkshire Regiment had an average strength of 122 men.

It had 88 admissions (721.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 1 death (8.19/1000 mean strength). 4 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 5.77 (47.29/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 17.26 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 23.93 days.

18 Feb 1887 The 2nd/King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) embarked for Karachi where it disembarked on 7 March 1887.

27 Dec Pte A Bartlett aged 30 years was buried in Pietà Cemetery.

31 Dec 1887 Pte G Coates aged 25 years was buried in Pietà Cemetery.

The 2nd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

1902 2nd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

13 Oct 1899 The 2nd/Yorkshire Light Infantry arrived in South Africa.

28 Oct 1902 The 2nd/Yorkshire Light Infantry embarked at Durban on the Staffordshire on 7 October and disembarked in Malta on 28 October 1902.

1903 2nd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

1903 The battalion was stationed at St Georges Barracks Pembroke.

11 Dec 1903 Pte Arthur Fitch aged 23 years, died at Pembroke and was buried in Rinella Military Cemetery.

1904 2nd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

1 Mar 1904 HQ Coy, "A" Coy, "B" Coy, "F" Coy and "H" Coy embarked for Crete on the Dunera. A wing of 500 men remained in Malta.

The following were buried in 1904:

  • 21 Mar Sgt Arthur Lingwood "E" Coy aged 24 yrs 2 mths died on 18 March 1904 and was buried in Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 4, Row 3, Grave 3).
  • 15 June Mary Vier aged 2 hrs daughter of Sgt Herbert Vier in Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 1, Row 1, Grave 14).
  • 15 July Pte J. W. Smith aged 24 yrs in Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 4, Row 3, Grave 6).
  • 29 July Pte Charles E. Hoult "G"Coy aged 27 yrs 7 mths died at Citta Vecchia Hospital on 28 July 1904 and was buried in Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 4, Row 3, Grave 7).
  • 30 July Alfred Charles Noel Audsley aged 7 mths child of Farrier Sgt Audsley 2nd/Yorkshire Mounted Infantry in Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 1, Row 1, Grave 15).

1905 2nd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

Jan 1905 The battalion was in Crete with a wing of 500 men on rear party at Malta.

1 Mar The 2nd/Yorkshire Light Infantry embarked for England.

The 3rd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

1901 3rd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

June 1901 The 3rd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) arrived from England.

The following were buried in 1901:

  • 3 July George Taylor aged 23 years, died at Cottonera and was buried in Rinella Military Cemetery.
  • 8 July R. Ed. Cecil Hewes aged 5 months, died at Cottonera and was buried in Rinella Military Cemetery.
  • 9 Sep Maud Elsie Holliday aged 6 years of Mtarfa Barracks was buried in Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 1, Row 1, Grave 5).
  • 19 Dec Pte Walter Pemberton aged 19 yrs in Gozo Cemetery.

1902 3rd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

23 Mar 1902 The 3rd/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry) embarked for England.

The 1st/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

1921 1st/King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

1 Apr 1921 Strength: 28 officers, 720 rank and file.

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 156/113. Register of burials September 1853 to June 1862.
  • TNA:WO 156/115. Register of burials in the military cemetery Rinella from January 1890 to January 1908.
  • TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
  • Record of the Services of British Regiments - Fifty first (Second York West Riding) or the King's Own Light Infantry Regiment. The Naval and Military Magazine (1827) i; 367. London 1827.