RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
Connaught Rangers (88th/94th)

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Introduction

The 88th Foot was raised in Connaught, Western Ireland, on 25 Sep 1793, on the outbreak of war with revolutionary France.

On 1 July 1881, the 88th (Connaught Rangers) Regiment, merged with The 94th Regiment of Foot to become the First Battalion of The Connaught Rangers.

The 88th became the 1st Battalion, the 94th became the 2nd Battalion of the Connaught Rangers.

The Connaught Rangers disbanded in April 1922 on the formation of the Irish Republic.

The 88th (Connaught Rangers)

1840 88th (Connaught Rangers)

1 Dec 1840 640 men, 44 women and 59 children embarked at Cork. Six companies of the 88th (Connaught Rangers) arrived at Malta on 1 January 1841 and relieved the 47th Foot which sailed for the West Indies.

1841 88th (Connaught Rangers)

5 Mar 1841 Death of Paymaster Hay 88th Foot.

10 June Adjutant Lieutenant Fowler aged 21 years drowned in Valletta Harbour. He was sailing with his brother officers and a Maltese seaman when a sudden squall capsized their boat. Of the whole party three reached a boat from HMS Calcutta, but the deceased, who was a strong swimmer, drowned having received a blow to his head. His body was recovered to Bighi hospital, where every means was tried to restore animation, but the vital spark was already extinct. He was interred at the Protestant Burial Ground Floriana with military honours.2

12 Oct 1841 Pte Edward McGahan, quartered at Floriana barracks, fell to his death from the bastion near the Capuchin Convent while in a state of intoxication. He had been observed by two capuchin friars at the edge of the wall and had just been pulled back from the brink, when he made a second successful attempt at going over.3

The following married in Malta in 1841:

The following was baptised in Malta in 1841:

1842 88th (Connaught Rangers)

2 May 1842 The 88th Foot marched from Floriana Barracks to the Cottonera District on the morning of 2 May. It replaced the 19th (1st Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot.

The following married in Malta in 1842:

The following were baptised in Malta in 1842:

12 Aug 1842 Strength 597 men.

1843 88th (Connaught Rangers)

6 Mar 1843 Inspector of Naval Hospitals Martin was shot and killed by Pt John Naylon 88th Foot. Naylon was acquitted on the grounds of monomania and was placed in a lunatic asylum.

May 1843 The 88th moved from Isola Barracks to Floriana Barracks, Fort Ricasoli and Tigne. It had 17 officers and 583 men at Cottonera with an officer and 58 men at Fort Ricasoli.

The following was baptised in Malta in 1843:

1844 88th (Connaught Rangers)

1844 The regimental strength was 562 men.

Dec 1844 In December 1844 soldiers of the 88th complained of pulmonary symptoms.

1845 88th (Connaught Rangers)

28 Apr 1845 The 88th marched from Fort Lower St Elmo to Floriana Barracks which had been vacated by the 1st/42nd Foot.

1846 88th (Connaught Rangers)

May 1846 The 88th moved from Floriana Barracks to Fort St Elmo during the annual rotation of regiments in the command.

The following were married in Malta in 1846:

1847 88th (Connaught Rangers)

1846–47 Two soldiers drowned, and another was accidentally killed.

14 Jan 1847 543 men, 36 women and 53 children embarked for the West Indies on the transport Herfordshire. The troops embarked at 08:00 hrs at Kalkara under a pelting shower. The band of the 42nd Regiment played on the square on the passing regiment as a sign of respect.1

The 88th was replaced in station by the 1st/97th (Earl of Ulster's) Regiment.

The 88th (Connaught Rangers)

1854 88th (Connaught Rangers)

18 Apr 1854 The 88th arrived from Liverpool by the Cunard Company's steamer Niagara.

Nov 1854 The regiment had 19 officers and 522 men serving in the Crimea. In November, it had a large number of men sick with bowel complaints and cholera. Surgeon James Guy P Moore attributed the disease to wet and exposure, severe duty, insufficient shelter, inadequate clothing, scanty rations with no means of cooking them, the young soldiers frequently eating their salt pork raw.

1855 88th (Connaught Rangers)

The following were buried at Malta in 1855:

The 1st/Connaught Rangers

1 Dec 1899 The 1st/Connaught Rangers arrived in South Africa. It embarked in Capetown for Southampton on 28 January 1903, and served in Mullingar County Westmeath, Ireland, from 17 February 1903 until 12 March 1907.

1907 1st/Connaught Rangers

22 Mar 1907 The 1st/Connaught Rangers embarked on the Braemar Castle at Southampton on 13 Mar 1907. It arrived in Malta on 22 March.

1908 1st/Connaught Rangers

27 Feb 1908 The 1st/Connaught Rangers embarked on the Rewa for Karachi. It arrived at Karachi on 11 Mar 1908.

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers

1 Jan 1859 The 94th Regiment arrived in Bengal on 1 Jan 1859. It embarked in Bombay for Portsmouth on 23 January 1868. On 1 July 1881, it became the 2nd/The Connaught Rangers.

1889 2nd/Connaught Rangers

13 July 1889 The 2nd/Connaught Rangers embarked at Devonport from Aldershot. It disembarked in Malta on 22 July 1889.

The Battalion was quartered at Verdala Barracks Cottonera for 3 and a half months and at Pembroke Camp and Gozo for 2 months.

It had an average strength of 419 men with 378 admissions (902.1/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 6 deaths (14.32 deaths/1000 mean strength). 7 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 30.85 (73.63/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 26.87 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 29.79 days.

Surgeon General Duncan Alexander Campbell Fraser reported that the Connaught Rangers had arrived in July with a number of badly fed and immature boys, who knew nothing about the usual laws of regulation of health. The men exposed themselves recklessly to the sun and chills, idled away their day, and spent their evenings in low grog shops.

The PMO attributed the considerable number of sickness in the 2nd/Connaught Rangers, to the regiment having in its ranks a large number of lads between the ages of 18 and 20 years. The health of many of these youths rapidly gave way from week to week under the climatic changes consequent in their transfer to Malta, at an unhealthy season of the year.

The PMO requested that no man under 19 years of age be sent from England, and that troops should only arrive in Malta during October and the succeeding four months.

1890 2nd/Connaught Rangers

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers had an average strength of 866 men with 431 admissions (497.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 9 deaths (10.39 deaths/1000 mean strength). 36 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 31.51 (36.39/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 13.29 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 26.69 days.

The battalion was at Pembroke Camp and Fort Chambray Gozo for 11 1/2 months and in Valletta for 2 weeks.

1891 2nd/Connaught Rangers

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers had an average strength of 957 men.

It had 751 admissions (784.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 9 deaths (9.40 deaths/1000 mean strength). 38 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 56.99 (59.55/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 21.73 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 27.70 days.

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers was at Verdala Barracks for 12 months.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1891:

1892 2nd/Connaught Rangers

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers had an average strength of 826 men.

It had 534 admissions (646.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (4.84 deaths/1000 mean strength). 25 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 27.21 (45.05/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 16.48 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 25.50 days.

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers was at Fort Manoel and Hutments with detachments at Fort San Salvatore for 9 months. Half the battalion was at Fort Chambray Gozo.

3 Oct 1892 The 2nd/Connaught Rangers embarked for Cyprus, but left four companies in Malta.

1893 2nd/Connaught Rangers

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers had an average strength of 454 men. It had 192 admissions (422.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths (6.60 deaths/1000 mean strength). 9 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 12.68 (27.93/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 10.19 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.11 days.

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers was at Fort Chambray Gozo for 12 months.

1894 2nd/Connaught Rangers

In 1894 there were two epidemics of influenza at Fort Chambray Gozo, with 43 cases in the 2nd/Connaught Rangers in the early part of the year, and 65 admissions after the arrival of the 2nd/Leinster Regiment from England in November.

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers had an average strength of 447 men. It had 215 admissions (481/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths (6.71 deaths/1000 mean strength). 3 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 12.22 (27.34/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 9.08 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 20.74 days.

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers was at Fort Chambray Gozo for 10 months and Fort Manoel and Hutments for 2 months.

1895 2nd/Connaught Rangers

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers had an average strength of 52 men. It had 41 admissions (788.5/1000 mean strength) into hospital. 1 invalid returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 2.37 (19.23/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 16.64 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 21.10 days.

The 2nd/Connaught Rangers was at Fort Manoel and Hutments for 1 month.

14 Feb 1895 The 2nd/Connaught Rangers embarked at Cyprus for Egypt. It left Egypt for Bombay on 26 Jan 1897.

Bibliography