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Regiments of the Malta Garrison
42nd (Royal Highland — The Black Watch)

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The 42nd (Royal Highland — The Black Watch)

Introduction

The 42nd Highland Regiment was raised between 1725 and 1739 as the 1st Battalion The Black Watch. In 1750, its title changed to The 42nd Highland Regiment. In 1758, the Highlanders received the Royal distinction to become The 42nd Royal Highland Regiment of Foot

In July 1861, the name Black Watch was incorporated into the regimental designation, becoming The 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch) Regiment of Foot.

On 1 July 1881, the 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch) Regiment of Foot amalgamated with the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment to become The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).

The 42nd (Royal Highland — The Black Watch)

1832 42nd Royal Highlanders

1 Feb 1832 The 42nd Royal Highlanders arrived from Gibraltar. It replaced the 85th Regiment which embarked for Winchester. The regiment had 16 Officers, 484 men, 52 females and 103 children at Floriana Barracks. Remittent fever prevailed, but the symptoms were mild.

7 Feb 483 men arrived from Gibraltar to replace the 2nd/Rifle Brigade which left for Corfu. The 42nd was affected by intermittent fever shortly after its arrival from Gibraltar.

14 Feb Lt Col Sir Charles Gordon 42nd Foot was sworn in as acting Lieutenant Governor and Garrison Commander. He took over the civil administration of Malta during the absence of Sir Frederick Ponsonby.

The following were married in 1832:

  • 19 Mar Bachelor Pte James McLaren to Johanna Gunn, widow of Pte Alexander Gunn 42nd Royal Highlanders.
  • 23 Mar Bachelor Sgt John Macartney to Ellen Jervis, spinster of the Parish of Tyrley quarter near Market Drayton, in the County of Stafford.
  • 14 Apr Bachelor Pte John Henry Fraser to Mary Carrol, spinster of Bandon, County Cork Ireland, daughter of Pte John Carrol 42nd Royal Highlanders.
  • 3 Nov Bachelor Sgt John Gardiner to Phoebe Allen, spinster residing in Valletta in the family of Dr Irvine RN.
  • 10 Dec Bachelor CSgt James Swanson to Jane Moore, spinster from Gibraltar.

The following were baptised in Malta in 1832:

  • 19 Feb Elizabeth Hill daughter of Pte John Hill and Jane, born on 17 January 1832.
  • 7 Mar Rosanna Lemon daughter of Pte James Lemon and Rose, born on 21 February.
  • 24 Apr Anne Christie daughter of Pte Andrew Christie and Catherine, born on 21 April.
  • 29 Apr Richard Roycroft son of Pte Robert Roycroft and Anne, born on 22 April.
  • 4 May David Dixon Johnstone son of Pte Thomas Johnstone and Mary, born on 17 April.
  • 6 May Thomas Fraser son of Sgt Alexander Fraser and Catherine, born on 29 April.
  • 6 May James Robertson son of Pte James Robertson and Anne, born on 28 April.
  • 3 June John Alexander Stewart son of Sgt John Stewart and Mary, born on 9 May.
  • 2 July Margaret Chisholm daughter of Pte Donald Chisholm and Judith, born on 3 June.
  • 10 Sep Elspeth McKenzie daughter of Pte John McKenzie and Elspeth, born on 7 September.
  • 9 Oct Andrew Thomas Penny son of Sgt Major Thomas Penny and Maria, born on 19 September.
  • 23 Oct Charles Wheatley McHardy son of CSgt Charles McHardy and Jane, born on 4 October.
  • 8 Dec Ellen Tait daughter of Pte George Tait and Ellen born on 1 December.
  • 10 Dec James McLaren son of Pte James McLaren and Johanna born on 10 December.
  • 14 Dec Elizabeth McLennan daughter of Pte John McLennan and Alice born on 7 December.

The following were buried in 1832:

  • 18 Feb William McDougall aged 7 weeks, son of Pte William McDougall.
  • 13 June Richard Roycroft aged 2 months, son of Robert Roycroft.
  • 19 June Mary Johnstone aged 34 years, wife of Pte William Johnstone.
  • 20 July Thomas Fraser aged 3 months, son of Sgt Alexander Fraser.
  • 16 Aug Jean Fraser aged 22 months, daughter of David Fraser.
  • 29 Sep Nancy Christie aged 17 months, daughter of William Christie.
  • 15 Oct Robert Mackay aged 3 years, son of Sgt Alexander Mackay.
  • 31 Oct Pte Alexander McKay aged 24 years.
  • 21 Dec Pte David Levack aged 38 years.

1833 42nd Royal Highlanders

In 1833, the 42nd Highlanders was quartered in the Cottonera District. There was no accommodation for married soldiers and their families in the barracks. Families were lodged instead in private houses in the streets and lanes of Bormla and Isola. Their quarters often consisted of small, damp, and poorly ventilated rooms.

2 Dec 1833 Bachelor Pte Daniel Glenn married Mary Ann Rose, spinster daughter of Sgt George Rose 42nd Regiment.

Dec 1833 The 42nd marched to Lower St Elmo Barracks Valletta. The upper storeys of Lower St Elmo Barracks were dry and were suitable as accommodation for the men; the rooms in the basement were damp as the floor level was just above the high water mark. These rooms were considered unsuitable for use as dormitories, but some of them were nonetheless used as married quarters due to insufficient accommodation in the barracks. The kitchens and an orderly room were also at this level.

In the beginning of the year, a draft of 24 men joined the 42nd from the Ionian Islands, increasing the strength of the regiment to 506 rank and file. By December 1833 the regimental strength dropped by 47 men to 459 men. 18 men who had been engaged on limited service only were discharged. Four men had completed their long service engagement and received their release from the army. Seven men were invalided on the recommendation of a Medical Board. Seven men died, and eleven men returned to the Depôt.

There were 491 men on the sick list during the year, with an average of 29 sick in hospital per day. The following diseases were recorded:

  • Phlegmon and Abscess — 24 (Total in garrison 139)
  • Cynauche Tonsillaris — 14 (Total in garrison 51)
  • Acute Hepatitis — 2 (Total in garrison 20)
  • Chronic Hepatitis — 1 (Total in garrison 4)
  • Rheumatismus Acutus — 12 (Total in garrison 92)
  • Chronic Rheumatismus — 4 (Total in garrison 7)
  • Catarrhus Acutus — 69 (Total in garrison 513)
  • Chronic Catarrh — 1 (Total in garrison 23)
  • Pneumonia — 5 (Total in garrison 146)
  • Phthisis Pulmonalis — 4 (2 †) (Total in garrison 22)
  • Cholera — 8 (Total in garrison 21)
  • Diarrhoea — 34 (Total in garrison 184)
  • Dysenteria Acuta — 3 (Total in garrison 17)
  • Ulcera Penis — 71 (Total in garrison 107)
  • Bubo Simplex — 34 (Total in garrison 74)
  • Gonorrhoea — 33 (Total in garrison 115)
  • Hernia Humoralis — 14 (Total in garrison 45)
  • Morbi Oculorum — 12 (Total in garrison 77)

There were 19 cases of Remittent Fever, with one death. In most, fever was preceded by morning rigors with exacerbations in the evening, cold shivering, frontal headaches and epigastric pain. There were only two cases of Common Continued Fever during the year, none proved fatal.

There were 160 cases of ophthalmia. Five men were invalided to England due to loss of their sight or visual impairment.

Assistant Inspector of Hospitals John Davy described Acute Rheumatism as those cases such as commonly occur in Malta, and chiefly in the winter season, marked generally by pain and difficulty of motion, and some derangement of general health, and very rarely indeed attended either by redness or swelling of the affected part or by a pyrexial state. The texture affected appears to be more commonly the muscular fibre. The disease yields readily to treatment but is apt to recur.4

Acute catarrh was endemic in Malta. It affected the native population as well as troops. Acute catarrh first appeared among the 42nd in the early winter of 1832 when the regiment was stationed at Floriana Barracks. Early in 1833, it spread to the 7th Foot soon after the regiment relieved the 42nd at Floriana. In the 42nd, acute catarrh was very common from July to September. By the end of the year it became the dominant complaint among the men in Lower St Elmo Valletta. The officers almost entirely escaped it. In many instances acute catarrh was accompanied by a cutaneous eruption similar to urticaria. The PMO thought that acute catarrh was the same disease as the influenza which had prevailed in Malta and in almost every part of Europe during that year.

Two fatal cases occurred in barracks in the last quarter of the year. One died from a ruptured aneurysm of the thoracic aorta, the other from apoplexy. A fatal case of peritonitis occurred in the 42nd Regiment, probably secondary to pancreatitis. The man had been drunk on the night previous to his death. The PMO said that although it could not be ascertained, it was not improbable that the soldier had received a blow over the region of the pancreas, which resulted in a pancreatic bleed and death in less than 24 hours.

The winter of 1833 was cold, wet, and miserable. Women and children huddled in their lodgings. Inflammatory diseases, such as coughs, catarrh and pneumonia broke out among them towards the end of April, even though the weather had by then become mild and temperate. In July and August, the weather turned hot and sultry and bowel complaints became very common among the children. There was one fatal cases of fever among the women. Towards September, ophthalmia and measles appeared among the children.

The following were baptised in 1833:

  • 17 Mar Margaret Wood daughter of Pte Thomas Wood and Margaret, born on 7 March 1833.
  • 28 Apr Alexander Tennant son of Pte Dugald Tennant and Margaret, born on 20 April 1833.
  • 2 May Jane Christie daughter of Pte William Christie and Mary, born on 28 April 1833.
  • 2 June Harriet Selina McKenzie daughter of Sgt Donald McKenzie and Eliza, born on 8 May 1833.
  • 3 June John McDougal son of Hospital Sgt John McDougal and Agnes, born on 2 March 1833.
  • 16 June Isabella Smith daughter of Pte James Smith and Anne, born on 5 June 1833.
  • 8 Sep William McKenzie son of Pte John McKenzie and Anne, born on 19 August 1833.
  • 2 Oct Georgina Maria Bassey Middleton daughter of Major William Middleton and Mary Ann, born on 30 June 1833.
  • 19 Oct James McLaren twin son of Pte James McLaren and Joanna, born on 19 October 1833.
  • 19 Oct Peter McLaren twin son of Pte James McLaren and Joanna, born on 19 October 1833.
  • 30 Oct Janet Christie daughter of Pte Andrew Christie and Catherine, born on 26 October 1833.
  • 4 Nov Margaret Ann Bands daughter of Sgt William Bands and Margaret, born on 28 October 1833 was privately baptised by Archdeacon John Thomas Howe Le Mesurier and publicly admitted into the church on 18 February 1834.
  • 24 Nov David McDougall son of Pte David McDougall and Margaret, born on 12 November 1833.
  • 2 Dec Daniel Glenn son of Pte Daniel Glenn and Mary Ann Rose, born on 13 November 1833.
  • 24 Dec John Gordon Morris son of Pte John Morris and Mary Ann, born on 7 December 1833.

The following were buried in 1833:

  • 4 Jan Ann Roycroft aged 32 years, wife of Pte R. Roycroft.
  • 4 Jan James McLaren aged 3 weeks, son of Pte James McLaren.
  • 18 Jan Pte Thomas Reid aged 33 years.
  • 6 Feb Rosanna Lemon aged 11 months, daughter of James Lemon.
  • 23 Mar Elizabeth Christie aged 18 months, daughter of Charles Christie.
  • 20 Apr Pte John McLean aged 25 years.
  • 20 Apr Sgt Ronald Campbell aged 27 years.
  • 24 Apr Elizabeth Hill aged 15 months, daughter of Acting Cpl John Hill.
  • 16 July Pte Samuel Bell aged 25 years.
  • 3 Aug Harriet Smith aged 20 months, daughter of John and Alice Smith.
  • 3 Aug Charles McHardy aged 10 months, son of Charles and Jane McHardy.
  • 21 Aug Andrew Thomas Penny aged 11 months, son of Thomas and Maria Penny.
  • 25 Aug Margaret Wood aged 40 years, wife of Thomas Wood.
  • 14 Oct Pte Malcolm McInnes aged 34 years.
  • 21 Oct James McLaren 1 day old twin son of Pte J. McLaren.
  • 21 Oct Peter McLaren 1 day old twin son of Pte J. McLaren.
  • 22 Nov Donald McKenzie aged 2 years, son of Donald McKenzie.
  • 16 Dec Mark Burnett aged 3 years, son of James Bissett.
  • 26 Dec Drm John Kay aged 23 years.

1834 42nd Royal Highlanders

1 Jan 1834 Strength 475 men.

4 Dec The 42nd Royal Highlanders embarked for Corfu on the transport Jupiter. It was relieved in the garrison by the 1st/60th (The King's Royal Rifle Corps).

The following were married in 1834:

  • 5 Feb Bachelor Captain Robert Douglas Macdonald eldest son of Colonel Robert Macdonald of Inckenneth Argyllshire to Mary Ann Carleton, spinster daughter of Mr Edward Carleton of the Quarantine Port. The nuptials were celebrated in the Government Chapel Valletta.
  • 29 Mar Bachelor Sgt John McLellan to Elizabeth Armstrong, spinster of the Parish of Portsea Hampshire.
  • 13 Nov Bachelor Pte Peter Smith to Teresa Borite, spinster of the Parish of St Paul in the City of Valletta, Malta.

The following were baptised in 1834:

  • 2 Jan Thomas John McHardy son of QM Charles McHardy and Jane, born on 8 December 1833.
  • 4 Feb William Bain son of Pte James Bain and Amelia, born on 30 January 1834.
  • 4 Feb Catherine Dryden daughter of Cpl Gavin Dryden and Catherine, born on 11 January.
  • 4 Mar Rosanna Baxter daughter of Pte George Baxter and Eliza, born on 7 March.
  • 9 June Thomas Christie son of Pte Charles Christie and Mary, born on 27 May.
  • 13 July Elizabeth Hill daughter of Acting Cpl John Hill and Jane, born on 6 July.
  • 7 Sep James Mclaren son of Pte James McLaren and Joanna, born on 2 September.
  • 14 Sep Thomas Roberts Penny son of Sgt Major Thomas Penny and Maria, born on 24 August.
  • 22 Sep Thomas Johnstone son of Pte Thomas Johnstone and Mary, born on 15 September.
  • 23 Nov Christiana Petrie daughter of Sgt David Petrie and Eliza, born on 13 November.
  • Dec Birth of a son to Captain Robert Douglas Macdonald.

The following were buried in 1834:

  • 14 Jan Pte John Nesbit aged 25 years.
  • 12 Feb Pte Donald McPherson aged 30 years.
  • 21 Feb David McDougall aged 3 months, son of Pte D. McDougall.
  • 7 Mar Pte John Watt aged 36 years.
  • 3 June Drm Hector McCallum aged 36 years.
  • 18 June Pte William Kitchen aged 25 years.
  • 23 June Pte John McDonald aged 31 years.
  • 23 June Pte Donald Chisholm aged 34 years.
  • 28 June Cpl David McEwen aged 26 years.
  • 30 June Thomas Gardiner aged 9 months, son of Pte John Gardiner.
  • 4 July Pte William Watt aged 28 years.
  • 27 July George Dryden aged 4 years, son of Gavin Dryden.
  • 3 Aug Catherine Dryden aged 7 months, daughter of Gavin Dryden.
  • 8 Aug Anne Foddrin aged 16 months, daughter of George Foddrin.
  • 12 Aug School Master Sgt David Munro aged 34 years.
  • 13 Aug Janet Christie aged 9 months, daughter of Pte Andrew Christie.
  • 21 Aug William McKenzie aged 1 year, son of John McKenzie.
  • 28 Aug Isabella Smith aged 15 months, daughter of J. Smith.
  • 2 Sep William Hossack aged 4 years, son of John Hossack.
  • 25 Sep Jane Christie aged 16 months, daughter of Pte William Christie.
  • 23 Oct William Baxter aged 3 years, son of George Baxter.
  • 12 Nov Pte James Brown aged 30 years.

The 42nd Royal Highland Regiment

1843 42nd Royal Highlanders

30 Jan 1843 HQ Coy 1st/42nd Foot embarked at Cephalonia for Malta.

9 Feb Sgt William Brunker 43nd Foot fell and was killed instantly while walking on the bastion of Fort St James. He was interred with military honours. A child belonging to Cpl Woods of the same regiment was buried at the same time, forming a rare but melancholy spectacle.3

11 Feb Ensign James McLachlan 42nd Regiment, was dining at the Main Guard Valletta when he threw some orange pips out of the window. Unfortunately for him, the viatico or the taking of the host to the dying was passing at the time and the lead man was hit. McLachlan was charged with committing an offence against the religion of the island and was imprisoned for six months. He had denied the charge, and the judge had recognised that there had been no malicious intent to profane the Holy Sacrament. As a result of this incident the governor ordered the windows of the Main Guard to be closed up.3

16 Feb 13 Officers, 345 men, 32 women and 44 children 1st/42nd Foot arrived from Corfu. They disembarked at Malta on 20 Feb 1843.

17 Mar 248 men, 23 women, and 42 children of 1st/42nd embarked at Zante. They arrived at Malta on 27 March 1843.

1 Nov Bachelor Pte Thomas Cooper of Lanark, Lanarkshire Scotland married Lucy Gun, of Gibraltar, a minor with the consent of her guardians.

The following were baptised in 1843:

  • 30 July Margaret McKay born on 25 July 1843, daughter of Pte David McKay 1st/42nd and Margaret.
  • 10 Sep Charles Hepburn born on 18 August 1843, son of Pte David Hepburn and Mary.
  • 15 Oct Margaret Weston Vigrow born on 12 September 1843, daughter of Sgt Alexander Vigrow and Amelia.
  • 15 Oct William Macintosh Smith born on 23 September 1843, son of Pte James Smith and Janet.
  • 29 Oct Eliza Langley born on 26 July 1843, daughter of Sgt Thomas Edward Langley and Margaret.
  • 12 Nov Charles Faulds Jameson born on 21 October 1843, son of Pte Charles Jameson and Isabella.
  • 12 Nov Benjamin Glen born on 10 June 1843, son of Pte Donald Glen and Mary Ann.

1844 42nd Royal Highlanders

15 Jan 1844 The colonel of the 42nd was charged with compelling his men to attend the church of the Venerable Archdeacon John Thomas Howe Le Mesurier, Chaplain to the Forces in Malta, instead of being allowed to go to the Free Church of Scotland, lately set up in Malta, or to some other dissenting places of worship.2 By an order from Horse Guards, the Reverend Mr MacKail, minister of the Scotch Free Church in Malta has been called on to officiate to the 2nd/42nd Royal Highlanders, in the same way as his predecessor the Reverend Julius Wood.1

On enlistment, the religion of the troops was noted and the men were regularly marched to the church of their professed tenet. This happened every Sunday in Malta, when catholic soldiers and protestant soldiers went to the Normal School, the place where for many years they had been accustomed to listen to the Archdeacon, who for upwards of thirty years had been the Government Chaplain to the Forces. The 42nd Royal Highlanders and the 90th Regiment attended the church of Archdeacon Le Mesurier. For years they sat under his communion. In 1843, however, the Free Church of Scotland seceded from the Church of Scotland. This church was not acknowledged by HM Government as the Church of Scotland, established by law, but a church dissenting from the Church of Scotland.

6 Mar Bachelor Pte John Biglie married Margaret Wilson, widow of Pte Charles Wilson 1st/42nd Royal Highland Regiment.

The following were baptised in 1844:

  • 14 Jan Jane Clark born on 28 December 1843, daughter of Pte William Clark 1st/42nd and Isabella.
  • 28 Jan Martha Elizabeth Buchan born on 12 January 1844, daughter of Sgt John Buchan and Elizabeth.
  • 25 Feb Elizabeth Paterson born on 14 February 1844, daughter of Cpl Robert Paterson and Elizabeth.
  • 3 Mar Jane Collins born on 23 February 1844, daughter of Cpl John Collins and Elizabeth.

1845 42nd Royal Highlanders

28 Apr 1845 The 42nd Royal Highlanders marched from Floriana Barracks to relieve its Reserve Battalion at Isola Gate.

3 June Bachelor Armourer Sgt James Pattison of Drumachose in the County of Londonderry, Ireland married Mary Holran, spinster of the Town of Newark in the County of Nottingham.

1846 42nd Royal Highlanders

May 1846 During the rotation of regiments in the command, the 42nd moved from Isola Gate, St Salvatore Bastion and St Francesco de Paola to Floriana Barracks. There was one accidental death in 1846.

24 July At St Paul's Collegiate Church Valletta Bachelor Cpl Robert Wilson of the Parish of Douglas, Lanarkshire, Scotland married Caroline Parkinson, spinster born at Dover Kent, daughter of John and Ellen Parkinson.

1847 42nd Royal Highlanders

27 Feb 1847 485 men, 32 women and 54 children from the 1st Bn and the Reserve Bn 42nd Foot embarked for Bermuda.

16 Mar 469 men, 26 women and 38 children from the Reserve Bn 42nd Foot left for Bermuda.

The 42nd Royal Highland Regiment

1855 42nd Royal Highlanders

The following were buried in 1855:

  • 16 May Pte James Carden 42nd Regiment aged 37 years.
  • 6 Sep Capt R C Cunninghame 42nd Regiment aged 26 years.
  • 6 Nov Pte James Gleen aged 18 years.

The 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch) Regiment

1874 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch)

14 Nov 1874 The 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch) Regiment embarked at Portsmouth and disembarked in Malta on 27 November. It relieved the 1st/13th Regiment which embarked for the Cape of Good Hope on 3 December 1874.

The 42nd Regiment had an average strength of 62 men. It had 61 admissions (983.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with no deaths (5.81 deaths/1000 mean strength).

1875 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch)

The 42nd Foot had an average strength of 663 men.

It had 634 admissions (956.2/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths including 1 among the invalids (6.04 deaths/1000 mean strength). 25 invalids were returned home for discharge from the service.

Its average daily sick was 25.72 (38.79/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 14.81 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 14.81 days.

The 42nd Regiment had 5 cases of remittent fever which were relapses of West African fever.

26 officers, 43 Sgts, 21 Drummers and pipers, and 630 rank and file occupied Isola Gate Barracks.

1876 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch)

The 42nd Regiment had an average strength of 648 men.

It had 867 admissions (566.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 5 deaths (7.72 deaths/1000 mean strength).

11 invalids were returned to the Royal Victoria Hospital Netley for discharge from the service.

Its average daily sick was 23.42 (36.14/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 13.19 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 23.29 days.

Soldiers from the regiment lined the route during the visit of The Prince of Wales to Malta.

1877 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch)

The 42nd Foot had an average strength of 718 men. It had 575 admissions (800.8/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 5 deaths (6.96/1000 mean strength). It had 17 invalids returned to England.

Its average daily sick was 30.44 (42.4/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 15.48 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 19.31 days.

25 July 1877 A large draft of 13 corporals, 2 drummers, and 271 privates from the 79th (Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders) joined the 42nd at Malta, the 42nd being linked to the 79th under the brigade depot system.

1878 42nd Royal Highland (The Black Watch)

The 42nd Foot had an average strength of 477 men. It had 298 admissions (624.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (4.92 deaths/1000 mean strength). 20 invalids were returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 16.28 (34.13/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 12.46 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 19.94 days.

9 Jan 1878 In 1878 the regimental establishment was increased to 1,103 all ranks. The right half battalion moved to Fort Chambray Gozo on the anticipated arrival of the Indian Expeditionary Force in May.

5 Feb Headquarters Coy and the left half battalion moved from Pembroke Camp, to Fort Manoel.

18 July The 42nd Royal Highlanders along with half a battalion of the 101st Regiment formed part of Lieutenant-General Sir Garnet Wolseley's Expeditionary Force to Cyprus. It embarked on HMS Himalaya on 18 July, and arrived in Cyprus on 23 July 1878. The total number of troops landed in Cyprus amounted to 2,643 British, and 5,015 Indian, including in the latter, one company of European artillery. They arrived at Larnaca on the 22 July 1878. The Indian contingent remained in Cyprus for a very short time before re-embarking for India.

19 Nov 1878 The 42nd left Cyprus for Gibraltar after 120 days on the island. The men lived under canvas. Malaria was rife. Out of a strength of 727 men, there were 1258 admissions for disease with 12 deaths, or a rate of 1730/1000 for admissions, and 16.5/1000 for deaths.

The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) Regiment

1 July 1881 The 42nd Regiment became The 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

1886 The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

1 May 1886 The Black Watch embarked in Egypt following operations in the Sudan. It had been in Egypt since 20 August 1882, and was at Trinkitat (Sudan), Suakin, and Lower Egypt. It disembarked in Malta on 5 May 1886.

The 1st/Royal Highlanders was stationed in Cottonera for 8 months. It had an average strength of 523 men.

It had 303 admissions (579.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (3.82/1000 mean strength). 3 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 18.70 (35.75/1000 mean strength).

The average sick time to each soldier was 13.05 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 22.52 days.

1887 The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

The 1st/Royal Highlanders had an average strength of 849 men. It had 419 admissions (493.5/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths (3.53/1000 mean strength). 17 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 29.64 (34.91/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 12.74 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 25.82 days.

The following were buried in Pieta Cemetery in 1887:

  • 7 July Pte Hugh Dixon aged 24 years.
  • 1 Aug Child Silas Henry Simpson aged 2 months, son of L/Cpl Simpson.
  • Aug Child Constance Ellen Mabel Scott aged 3 months, daughter of Barrack Master Scott.

1888 The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

The 1st/Royal Highlanders had an average strength of 821 men. It had 455 admissions (554.2/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (4.87/1000 mean strength). 15 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 30.45 (37.08/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 18.57 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.49 days. The battalion was quartered at Lower St Elmo Barracks Valletta with detachments at Forrest Station Hospital.

In 1888, the Malta Garrison included two Scottish Regiments, the Black Watch and the Gordon Highlanders.

1889 The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

The 1st/Royal Highlanders had an average strength of 520 men. It had 209 admissions (401.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (3.85/1000 mean strength). 17 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 16.12 (31.00/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 11.31 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 28.15 days.

8 Aug 1889 The 1st/Royal Highlanders was quartered at Lower St Elmo Barracks and Marsamxetto Barracks Valletta. It embarked for Gibraltar where it arrived on 13 August.

The Black Watch Regiment

1963 The Black Watch

The 2nd/42nd Reserve Battalion Royal Highland Regiment

1843 2nd/42nd (Reserve Bn)

1 Jan 1843 535 men, 36 women, and 38 children of the 2nd/42nd (Reserve Bn) arrived from Portsmouth.

1843 15 officers and 537 men were at Valletta with a detachment 26 men at Fort Tigne.

2 Dec 1843 Bachelor L/Sgt John Renton married Margaret Russell, a spinster of the Parish of Kilbride in the town of Clara, King's County Ireland.

The following were baptised in 1843:

  • 6 Aug Mary McCormick Milne born on 10 July 1843, daughter of Pte James Milne Reserve/42nd and Agnes.
  • 3 Sep Helen Stalker born on 13 August 1843, daughter of Sgt William Stalker Reserve/42nd and Johanna.
  • 19 Sep Elizabeth Myles born on 6 September 1843, daughter of CSgt James Myles and Agnes.
  • 8 Oct Margaret Gardiner born on 15 September 1843, daughter of QM Sgt John Gardiner and Phoebe.
  • 29 Oct Margaret Martha Chalmers born on 8 October 1843, daughter of Pte Quintin Chalmers and Margaret.
  • 3 Dec Anne Wood born on 18 November 1843, daughter of Cpl Walter Wood and Jane.

1844 2nd/42nd (Reserve Bn)

1844 Strength: 536 men.

1845 2nd/42nd (Reserve Bn)

Apr 1845 The regiment marched from Isola Gate to relieve the 88th Regiment at Fort St Elmo.

May Colonel MacDougal, commanding the Reserve Battalion 42nd Royal Highland Regiment fell off his horse fracturing his arm. The colonel was on his rounds when the accident happened while he was riding through Porta Reale Gate Valletta.

25 Dec 1845 Bachelor Sgt Charles Barry of the Parish of Killeen County Meath, Ireland married Emma Hyde, widow of George Hyde born at Stonehouse County Devon.

1846 2nd/42nd (Reserve Bn)

May 1846 During the annual rotation of regiments in the command, the Reserve Battalion 42nd Foot moved from Fort St Elmo to Strada Torre Barracks and St James Cavalier.

5 Dec Bachelor Sgt Archibald McCullum born at Ledgowan Renfrewshire married Mary Anne Blay, spinster born at Iffley, County of Oxford daughter of William and Ann Blay.

1847 2nd/42nd (Reserve Bn)

25 Feb 1847 The 2nd/42nd embarked on the troop ship Resistance for Bermuda. Their embarkation for Bermuda had been delayed by an outbreak of measles.

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.
  • Bruce D., Notes on Mediterranean or Malta Fever (Bacteriology) Br Med J (1893) 2;1136:58-61. (Published 8 July 1893).
  • The Cyprus Report 1 May 1879 Br Med J (1879), 2; 966. 11 (Published 5 July 1879).
  • 1The Malta Times 1844, No 98 (31 December 1844).
  • 2The Malta Times 1844, No 29 (15 January 1844). Church parade.
  • 3Sgt William Brunker The Malta Mail and United Service Journal 1843, No 52 (11 February 1843).
  • 4TNA:WO 334/10, Sick Returns and Reports of the Garrison of Malta from 1 January 1833 to 31 January 1834.
  • TNA:WO 156/113. Register of burials September 1853 to June 1862.
  • TNA:WO 156/122; List of gravestones at the Military and Civil Cemetery 1801–1865 and the Quarantine Bastion Cemetery 1819–1867 compiled by the Rev D B L Foster Assistant Chaplain General Western Mediterranean in May 1939.
  • TNA:WO 156/594. No 2, Marriage Register 1 January 1820 to 12 June 1839.
  • TNA:WO 156/594. No 2, Baptism Register 2 January 1820 to 29 June 1839.
  • TNA:WO 156/595. No 3, Marriage Register 11 July 1839 to 14 May 1859.
  • TNA:WO 156/595. No 3, Baptism Register from 14 July 1839 to 25 December 1859.
  • Register of Burials No 13, September 1887 to 1908.