RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment

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The 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment

Introduction

The 64th Regiment of Foot was derived from the 2nd/11th Regiment of Foot. The 2nd Battalion was raised in 1756 at the onset of the Seven Years War with France, but two years later became an independent regiment as the 64th Regiment of Foot.

In 1782 it was granted its county affiliation with Staffordshire.

In 1856 the 64th served in the Persian Gulf region in suppressing piracy. The honours Reshire, Bushire, Koosh-ab refer to their service in Persia.

On 1 July 1881, The 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment merged with the 98th Regiment of Foot to form the 1st Battalion of The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire) Regiment. The 98th Foot becoming the 2nd Battalion.

In 1920 the title The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment) was altered to The North Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's).

On 31 January 1959, The North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales's) Regiment merged with The South Staffordshire Regiment to form The Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's).

The 64th (2nd Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot

1867 64th Foot

4 Feb 1867 The 64th embarked at Kingston from Templemore Ireland and disembarked in Malta on 20 February. It relieved the 84th Foot which was ordered to the West Indies.

In 1867, the regiment had an average strength of 533 men. There were 559 hospital admissions (1048.8 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 7 deaths in hospital and 3 out of hospital (18.76 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).

Continued fevers prevailed to a great extent from June to September. The 64th Regiment had 186 cases of continued fevers with 3 deaths.

The 64th Regiment was quartered at Fort Ricasoli, Fort St Salvatore and Zabbar Gate Barracks.

Spasmodic cholera broke out in Malta between September and November 1867; the 14th Regiment bearing its brunt. One severe case of cholera occurred in the 64th Foot at Zabbar Gate Barracks. There were in total 22 deaths from cholera among the men in the garrison and 6 from choleraic diarrhoea, all the latter occurring in September. The distribution of the deaths were: 15 in Sept, 5 in Oct and 2 in Nov. Among the women, the average number of which was 551, there were six cases of cholera and 4 deaths. There were 9 deaths among the 880 children in the garrison.

1868 64th Foot

1868 The 64th occupied Fort Ricasoli and Zabbar Gate Barracks. From June to September, the regiment had 103 admissions for continued fevers, with 2 deaths.

The average annual strength in 1868 was 717 men. There were 565 admissions into hospital (788/1000 mean strength) with 14 deaths in hospital, 3 out of hospital and 1 among the invalids (25.10/1000 mean strength).

1869 64th Foot

Barracks Occupied by 64th Regiment in 1869
Barracks Average Strength Fever Admissions Percentage Sick Soldiers Deaths
Lower St Elmo 408 80 19.60 1
Fort Manoel 144 4 2.77 0
Floriana 351 4 1.11 0
Notre Dame Huts 38 0 0 0
Table 1: Barracks occupied by the 64th showing the average strength, number of hospital admissions from fever, and the percentage of sick soldiers during the period each barrack was occupied.

23 Apr–22 Sep 1869 A detachment of the 64th Regiment was at Fort Manoel and Marsamxetto Barracks. It moved to Floriana Barracks on 22 September.

23 Sep–31 Dec 1869 Head Quarters Coy 64th Regiment was at Lower St Elmo Barracks, Floriana Barracks and Notre Dame huts. A proportion of the troops at Lower St Elmo Barracks slept under canvas to reduce overcrowding. Surgeon Francis Odell described the quarters at Lower St Elmo as dark and gloomy, and totally unsuitable as accommodation for the troops.

Floriana Barracks were somewhat better, in that it was located outside the town, but the barracks consisted of a series of large casemates, 80 feet in length, with a door and two windows at one end, and a window at the other. The rooms were numbered 1 to 12, and held between 46 to 54 men per room.

Families were confined to the Horn Works of Floriana and Notre Dame Ravelin. Their quarters were uncomfortable, consisting of wooden huts which were hot in summer and cold and damp in winter.

Simple Continued Fever gave rise to 98 admissions and one death in 1869. The great majority of fever cases was the ordinary, self limiting Maltese Fever, the result of sand-fly fever.

64th Regiment – 1 January to 31 December 1869
Month Strength 1st day of the month Hospital Admissions Total
Deaths
January 670 30 1
February 664 26 0
March 664 35 2
April 658 20 1
May 657 34 1
June 655 26 2
July 626 30 0
August 625 31 0
September 622 9 1
October 621 24 1
November 602 18 0
December 603 12 0
Table 2: Regimental strength on the first day of the month, showing number of admissions to hospital per month, and the number of deaths recorded. (TNA:WO 334/62)

The average annual strength in 1869 was 639 men. There were 295 admissions into hospital; 8 died in hospital; 1 died out of hospital; 1 death among the invalids. The ratio per 1000 strength of those admitted was 461.7 and for deaths 15.65.

The following deaths were recorded in 1869:

1870 64th Foot

Barracks Occupied by 64th Regiment in 1870
Barracks Average Strength Fever Admissions Percentage Sick Soldiers Remarks
Floriana 464 61 13.14 Head Quarters from 1 Jan to 6 Oct
Notre Dame Huts 45 2 4.44 From 1 Jan to 6 Oct
Isola Gate 142 7 4.92 Head Quarters from 6 Oct from 31 Dec
Polverista Gate 160 4 2.50 Detachment from 6 Oct to 31 Dec
San Francesco di Paolo 107 2 1.86 Detachment from 6 Oct to 31 Dec
Table 3: Barracks occupied by the 64th showing the average strength, number of hospital admissions from fever, and the percentage of sick soldiers during the period each barrack was occupied.

Polverista Gate Barracks was situated in the outer line of the fortifications. It consisted of long casemated rooms with a door and window at one end, and one embrasure or smaller opening at the other. The rooms lay side by side, each opening on to a long continuous veranda. The barracks had no baths for the soldiers to cleanse themselves.

64th Regiment – 1 January to 31 December 1870
Month Strength 1st day of the month Hospital Admissions Total
Deaths
January 594 11 1
February 629 19 0
March 628 18 0
April 628 15 0
May 609 16 0
June 597 33 0
July 600 46 2
August 596 45 1
September 595 40 2
October 592 19 0
November 577 21 0
December 576 12 0
Table 4: Regimental strength on the first day of the month, showing number of admissions to hospital per month, and the number of deaths recorded. (TNA:WO 334/77)

The average strength of the regiment in 1870 was 602 men. There were 295 admissions into hospital (490/1000 mean strength), with six deaths in hospital and 1 among the invalids (11.63 deaths/1000 mean strength). Most of the sick fell ill during the hot summer months. Of the six deaths, five took place during July, August, and September, with only one death in January. The most common disease was Common Continued Fever, of which there were 83 cases in the hospital. Many were of an ephemeral nature, blamed by the surgeon to changes of temperature and irregularities of diet. Eleven cases of rheumatism were treated, one of which was invalided to England. Over twenty men were admitted into hospital as a result of excessive drinking; of these two had Delirium Tremens. The regimental hospital was opened in Lower Vittoriosa Hospital. This was two private dwellings which had been converted for the reception of the sick.

The average number constantly sick during the year was 24.27 per 1000 strength; the ratio of deaths to 1000 strength was 9.96 per annum. Twenty-three soldiers were invalided to England.

The following soldiers died in 1870:

1871 64th Foot

The 64th Regiment had an average strength of 609 men. There were 452 admissions into hospital (742/1000 mean strength), with 8 deaths in hospital and 1 among the invalids (14.78/1000 mean strength).

The men were at Isola Gate Barracks with detachments at San Francesco de Paola and Polverista Gate Barracks.

It had a high incidence of admissions from continued fevers.

1872 64th Foot

In 1872, the 64th had an average strength of 123 men. It had 56 admissions (455/1000 mean strength) into hospital with no deaths.

16 Mar 1872 The 64th embarked for Queenstown. The troops disembarked on 29 March and marched to Limerick.

The 1st/The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment)

1893 1st/The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire)

22 Mar 1893 The 1st/North Staffordshire Regiment embarked at Mauritius and disembarked in Malta on 8 May.

It had an average strength of 631 men. There were 784 admissions (1242.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 6 deaths (9.51/1000 mean strength). 35 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 47.34 (75.02/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 27.38 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 22.04 days.

The 1st/North Staffordshire Regiment was quartered at Isola Gate for 7 months and Verdala Barracks for 2 months.

The following were buried in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1893:

1894 1st/The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire)

The 1st/North Staffordshire Regiment had an average strength of 972 men. It had 542 admissions (557.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 8 deaths (8.23/1000 mean strength). 10 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 39.91 (41.06/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 14.98 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 26.87 days.

The 1st/North Staffordshire Regiment was quartered at Verdala Barracks for 12 months.

The following were buried in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1894:

1895 1st/The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire)

The 1st/North Staffordshire Regiment had an average strength of 876 men. It had 408 admissions (465.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (4.57/1000 mean strength). 7 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 28.48 (32.51/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 11.87 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 25.48 days.

5 Oct 1895 The 1st/North Staffordshire Regiment was quartered at Verdala Barracks for 1 month and Lower St Elmo Barracks for 3 months. It embarked for Egypt where it arrived on 11 October.

The following were buried in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1895:

1896 1st/The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire)

The 1st/North Staffordshire Regiment left 2 men in Malta on their departure for Egypt.

Bibliography