Regiments
Of the Malta Garrison
The 3rd
(East Kent–The Buffs)

The 3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) Regiment

Buffs
A Dragon above a scroll inscribed The Buffs. The Royal Warrant of 1 July 1751 confirmed The Dragon as the "ancient badge" of the Buffs.

The origins of the 3rd (The Buffs) Regiment of Foot dates back to 1665, when some independent companies drawn from the Train Bands of the City of London, served in the Netherlands to reinforce the Dutch in their struggle against Spain. The Holland Regiment (1665 – 1689) returned to England, where in 1708 became the Buffs (1708 – 1751).

In 1751, it was numbered The 3rd (The Buffs) in the infantry order of precedence. Its nickname of The Buffs, taken from the colour of its uniform facings, was incorporated into its title.

In 1782, the title East Kent was added, so that the regiment became The 3rd (East Kent – The Buffs) Regiment of Foot.

On 1 July 1881, the infantry were given a geographical connection with an appropriate territorial title in place of the regimental number. The 1st/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) Regiment of Foot became The 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment; the 2nd/3rd Foot became The 2nd Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

The title Royal was granted in 1935 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V and the regimental name changed to The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment).

In March 1961, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) merged with The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, to form the Queen's Own Buffs The Royal Kent Regiment.

The Buffs received the badge of the Dragon for its valour displayed under the Duke of Marlborough, in the campaigns against Louis XIV, and for which it was awarded the battle honours Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. Its Regimental Motto is Veteri Frondescit Honore (May it flourish through its ancient honour).

The 1st/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

1851 1st/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

9 Apr 1851 On 5 Apr 1851, HQ Division consisting of 294 men, 22 women and 22 children embarked at Queenstown on the Athenian. The regiment arrived at Malta on 9 April. It relieved The 44th Foot.

1 Nov 1851 559 men of 1st/3rd Foot occupied Floriana Barracks.

Baptisms in 1851:

1852 1st/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

Georgina Bridge
Georgina Bridge daughter of Capt Bridge died 2 June 1852 aged 4 yrs. (Quarantine Bastion Cemetery)

1852 Strength: 524 men. The battalion moved from Floriana Barracks to Fort Lower St Elmo Barracks. The officers were quartered at the Auberge de Bavarie.

Marriages in 1852:

Baptisms in 1852:

Burials in 1852:

1853 1st/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

Jan 1853 Strength: 439 men. A draft of three officers and 21 men left Castlebar Depôt for Dublin on 15 January 1853 to embark for Malta.

24 Jan A draft of three officers and 20 men embarked at Deptford on board transport John Oldham for Malta.

13 Oct 1853 HQ company moved from Lower St Elmo Barracks to Fort Manoel. Two companies occupied Fort Ricasoli, one company moved from Fort Tigne to Fort St Angelo.

Baptisms in 1853:

Burials in 1853:

1854 1st/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

3 Mar 1854 HQ and 1 coy from Manoel Island and 2 coys moved from Fort Ricasoli to Auberge Bavarie and Fort Lower St Elmo vice the 49th Regiment.

18 Apr During the Crimean War the Buffs formed part of the Malta Garrison. They were kept in reserve at Auberge de Bavarie and Lower St Elmo Barracks until required in the East.

20 May The Steamer Karnak left Cork on 20 May with 60 private soldiers, 3 women and 10 children of 3rd Regiment of Foot, 5 private soldiers, 7 women and 15 children of 9th Regiment of Foot, 102 private soldiers, 6 women and 9 children of 62nd Regiment of Foot, and 47 private soldiers, 2 women and 0 children of 68th Regiment of Foot. The ship was under the medical charge of Assistant Surgeon Andrew risk 23rd Regiment. It arrived at Malta on 31 May 1854. There had been no casualties or sick during the voyage other than a single case of measles.

10 Oct The 1st/3rd moved to Fort Verdala Barracks vice the 9th Foot.

12 Nov 1854 The 1st/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) embarked for Athens on the Ajax to relieve the 97th Foot, under orders to join the allied forces in the Crimea.

Marriages in the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta in 1854:

Baptisms in 1854:

Burials in 1854:

1855 1st/3rd East Kent–The Buffs

27 Mar 1855 On 24 March 1855, 570 men embarked at Piraeus Greece. They arrived at Malta on 27 March.

14 Apr 1855 The 1st/3rd East Kent–The Buffs embarked for the Crimea. It served in the Crimea until 10 May 1856, when it embarked for the Ionian Islands.

Baptisms in 1855:

Burials in 1855:

East Kent Militia

1855 East Kent Militia

On 25 April 1855, 547 men, 50 women and 45 children of the East Kent Militia arrived to form part of the garrison.

Baptisms in 1855:

Burials in 1855:

1856 East Kent Militia

The East Kent Militia served in Malta from 25 April 1855 to 4 June 1856.

Baptisms in 1856:

The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment

1882 – The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment

11 Sep 1882 The 1st/The Buffs left Aldershot and embarked at Portsmouth on 11 September 1882. It disembarked at Malta on 20 September.

20 Sep Soon after its arrival, 8 Coys, HQ Coy, 25 officers, 47 Sgts, 16 Trumpeters or Drummers, 724 Rank and File and 5 horses, embarked on the transport Iberia for Queenstown where The Buffs disembarked on 29 September 1882.

1884 – The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment

17 Oct 1884 The 1st/The Buffs moved to Buttevant. On 29 January 1885, it left Buttevant and embarked for Malta.

1885 1st/The Buffs (East Kent)

29 Jan 1885 The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment embarked at Queenstown for Malta. 1,037 men (8 coys) disembarked in Malta on 9 February 1885.

The 1st/East Kent Regiment had an average strength of 580 men. It had 564 admissions (972.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 12 deaths (20.68 deaths/1000 mean strength). 14 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 37.20 (64.13/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 23.41 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.07 days.

A corporal killed himself by slashing his throat. No motive or mental aberration could be discovered in this case.
A canteen sergeant shot himself through the head after irregularities were discovered in the accounts.

12 Sep The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment embarked for Singapore, arriving there on 9 October 1885.

A detachment of 192 all ranks (173 rank and file) was left at Malta when the regiment sailed for Singapore.

1886 1st/The Buffs (East Kent)

June 1886 The detachment of 111 men left Malta Command.

The 2nd/The 3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) Regiment of Foot

1858 2nd/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

16 Apr 1858 The 2nd/3rd Foot embarked at Cork and Portsmouth for Malta.

1 May Strength: Rank and File 498 (6 Coys Effective), 480 (Established).
Together with the 10 Coys of the 2nd/2nd Regiment, the 10 Coys of the 28th Foot, and the 6 Coys of the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment, the 3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) formed part of 2nd Brigade.

1 Sep Strength: 35 Officers, 42 NCOs, 19 Buglers/Drummers, 787 rank and file, 883 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 4,849 rank and file). A detachment was at Fort Ricasoli.

1 Dec 1858 Strength: 37 Officers, 42 NCOs, 19 Buglers/Drummers, 778 rank and file, 876 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 4,618 rank and file).

Marriages in the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta in 1858:

Baptisms in 1858:

Burials in Ta' Braxia Cemetery Pietà in 1858:

Burials in Floriana Cemetery in 1858:

1859 2nd/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

G Browne
Pte George Browne the Buffs.
(St Margherita Cemetery Rabat)

1 Jan 1859 Strength: 37 Officers, 42 NCOs, 19 Buglers/Drummers, 757 rank and file, 855 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 4,537 rank and file).

1 Apr – 26 Aug Location: Floriana Barracks.

1 Aug Strength: 37 Officers, 45 NCOs, 21 Buglers/Drummers, 806 rank and file, 909 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 6897 rank and file).

msida bastion
Msida Bastion Cemetery Floriana (TNA:MFQ 1/220).

27 Aug – 31 Dec Location: Isola Gate, San Francesco de Paola Barracks, and St Elena Gate Vittoriosa.

In 1859, the regiment had 233.2 admissions from fever per 1000 of mean strength with 4.64 deaths from fever per 1000 of mean strength.

1 Dec 1859 Strength: 39 Officers, 44 NCOs, 21 Buglers/Drummers, 808 rank and file, 912 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 7,044 rank and file).

Baptisms in 1859:

Burials in Floriana Cemetery in 1859:

Burials at Ta' Braxia Cemetery in 1859:

Burials at Rock Gate Cemetery in 1859:

1860 2nd/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

Admissions and Deaths during 1860
Average Strength Admissions Hospital Deaths Admissions/1000 Deaths/1000
859 971 14 1130 16.29
Admissions into hospital and deaths during the year with ratio of admissions and deaths per 1000 of strength. The average strength of the troops, exclusive of the Royal Malta Fencibles, was 5,950 men.
rockgate
Fortifications of the Cottonera showing Rock Gate leading from Zabbar Gate between Windmill Bastion and Firenzuola Bastion (TNA:MPH 1/889).

1 Jan 1860 Strength: 39 Officers, 43 NCOs, 21 Buglers/Drummers, 808 rank and file, 911 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 7018 rank and file).

The 2nd/3rd Foot was quartered in Fort Verdala, Cottonera.

The regiment had the largest number of deaths in the garrison. 248 soldiers were admitted with continued fevers with 6 deaths. In June, when admissions from continued fevers became very numerous, tents were pitched for 200 of the men to sleep in with a view to diminish the over crowding in barracks. As this approach appeared to prove satisfactory, it was adopted in July by the 1st/22nd Foot, the 23rd Foot and Rifle Brigade and the rooms on the ground floor of Lower St Elmo Barracks were vacated by the married men of the 23rd Regiment.

On 20 September, detachments were sent by the various regiments to Pembroke Camp for rifle practice and the barracks were thus relieved for the remainder of the year by about 1200 men.

The 2nd/3rd Regiment had 216 admissions into hospital for ophthalmia. The disease took the form of a simple inflammation of the conjunctiva.

Burials in Floriana Cemetery in 1860:

Burials in Rock Gate Cemetery in 1860:

1861 2nd/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

In 1861, the regiment had an average strength of 873 men, 678 hospital admissions (777 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 2 deaths among the invalids (2.95 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

The 2nd/3rd Regiment occupied Lower St Elmo Barracks in which continued fever had been so prevalent and fatal in 1859 but which in 1861 only accounted for 90 admissions (103 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with no deaths. To avoid overcrowding, four companies were sent to Pembroke Camp during the summer months.

Burials in Rock Gate Cemetery in 1861:

Burials in Floriana Cemetery in 1861:

Burials in Ta' Braxia Cemetery Pietà in 1861:

1862 2nd/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs)

In 1862, the regiment had an average strength of 382 men, 184 hospital admissions (482 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 1 death in hospital and 1 among the invalids (5.24 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

The 2nd/3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) occupied Lower St Elmo Barracks during the first half of the year.

11 June 1862 The 2nd/3rd Foot embarked for Gibraltar where it arrived on 18 June 1862. It was relieved by The 1st/25th (The King's Own Borderers) Regiment from Gibraltar.

Burials in Ta' Braxia Cemetery in 1862:

Burials in Floriana Cemetery in 1862:

The 4th/The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)

1940 4th/Buffs (Royal East Kent)

10 Nov 1940 HMS Barham and other ships arrived at Malta from England via Gibraltar with over 2000 Army personnel on board including 4th/Buffs and 12 Field Regiment Royal Artillery.

1941 4th/Buffs (Royal East Kent)

J Boorman
6096441 Pte James Boorman The Buffs died 15 April 1941 aged 26 years. (Mtarfa Military Cemetery)

31 Mar 1941 Strength: 32 officers and 663 men. Commanding officer Lt Col Marshall. In June 4th/Buffs were at Attard and Cowsheds.

14 Apr Numerous bombs fell in the are around Attard. B Coy 4th/Buffs sustained four battle casualties which were evacuated to Medical Aid Post Attard. Two were moved to General Hospital Mtarfa where No 6096441 Pte James Boorman died form his multiple injuries.

30 Sep Strength: 35 officers and 1105 men.

1942 4th/Buffs (Royal East Kent)

Siviour E R
6288229 Pte Raymond Edwin Siviour. (Mtarfa Military Cemetery)

21 Mar 1942 No 6288229 Pte Raymond Edwin Siviour aged 26 years was killed in action.

1943 4th/Buffs (Royal East Kent)

6 Sep 1943 The 4th/Buffs left Malta.

The 1st/5th/The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

1915 – 1st/5th/The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Burials in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1915:

Bibliography