RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The Royal Irish Rifles

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The Royal Irish Rifles (83rd/86th)

Introduction

The Royal Irish Rifles was formed on 1 July 1881, through the amalgamation of The 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot, with The 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot.

Both regiments were raised in 1793. The 83rd became The First Battalion of The Royal Irish Rifles. The 86th became The Second Battalion of The Royal Irish Rifles, although neither regiments had been rifle units.

In 1920 the regimental name changed to The Royal Ulster Rifles.

On 1 July 1968, The Royal Ulster Rifles merged with The Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's), and The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers to form The The Royal Irish Rangers.

The 2nd/The Royal Irish Rifles

1 July 1881 The 86th Regiment became The 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles.

1891 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

27 Mar 1891 The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles embarked in Egypt on 22 March and arrived in Malta on 27 March 1891.

It had an average strength of 611 men, with 468 admissions (766/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 1 death (1.63/1000 mean strength). 5 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 22.54 (30.89/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 13.46 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 17.58 days.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles moved into Pembroke Camp, Fort Chambray Gozo and Isola Barracks.

5 Dec 1891 Frances Greer aged 28 years, died at Fort St Angelo and was buried in Rinella Military Cemetery.

1892 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles had an average strength of 1050 men.

It had 777 admissions (740/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 9 deaths (8.57/1000 mean strength). 30 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 63.72 (60.68/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 22.21 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 30.02 days.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles was at Pembroke Camp with detachments at Fort St Angelo for 3 months. It was in Isola District for 6 months and at Fort Manoel and Hutments for 3 months with a detachment at Marsamxetto Barracks.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1892:

  • 23 Apr Joseph Isaac aged 22 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 12 May John Stevenson aged 28 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 16 May Alice Simmonds aged 1 year 2 months, died in Cottonera.
  • 19 June James Hawkins aged 22 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 5 July Cpl F J Cramp died in Cottonera.
  • 18 Aug Pte S Magee aged 24 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 28 Aug Frederick Graham aged 6 months, son of Sgt Graham died in Cottonera.

1893 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles had an average strength of 952 men.

It had 560 admissions (588.2/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 13 deaths (13.65/1000 mean strength). 19 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 37.58 (39.47/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 14.41 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.49 days.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles was at Fort Manoel and Hutments for 12 months.

1894 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles had an average strength of 847 men. It had 409 admissions (482.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths (3.54/1000 mean strength). 4 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 37.88 (32.91/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 12.01 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.88 days.

10 Mar 1894 Thomas Bradley died in Cottonera and was buried in Rinella Military Cemetery.

23 May Bugler Ramsay 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles was granted a compassionate sum of £25 for having his leg amputated when a wall collapsed on him at the Lazaretto.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles was at Fort Manoel and Hutments.

18 Nov 1894 The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles embarked for Bombay on the transport Victoria where it arrived on 2 December 1894. It was relieved in Malta by the 2nd/Leinster Regiment which arrived from England. The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles served in India until 25 January 1899, when it embarked for Belfast.

1895 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

A detachment of 174 men was left in Malta when the regiment embarked for India.

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 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.