Regiments of the Malta Garrison Military Foot Police
The Military Foot Police
The Provost Marshal was responsible for maintaining discipline within the British Army. In June 1855, twelve NCOs from Cavalry Regiments performed duties as Mounted Police, but during the next twenty years there was a substantial increase in numbers. On 1 August 1877, the Military Mounted Police was created as a distinct Corps for home and overseas service.
The Corps of Military Foot Police was established in 1882 for service in Egypt. It became a permanent Corps in 1885.
In 1927, the Mounted and Foot elements were amalgamated to become the Corps of Military Police. It was granted the Royal prefix in 1946 in recognition of its war services.
The Military Prison Staff Corps was organised under Army Order 241 of 1901. It was re-designated Military Provost Staff Corps in 1906. Recruitment to the Corps was by the transfer of suitable NCOs above the rank of sergeant from other regiments and corps.
In 1935, Provost companies were raised with fixed establishments.
In 1937, a Field Security Wing was formed, but this transferred to the Intelligence Corps in 1940.
5 Aug The Detention Barracks at Corradino was closed. Three sergeants and 2 corporals of the Military Provost Staff Corps (MPSC) were sent to work at the Civil Prison. All soldiers under sentence and naval ratings in detention were returned to their units. Capt H. L. Carlton moved from Corradino to St James' Cavalier and took up the duties as Assistant Provost Marshal (APM) Malta Command and the command of the Military Foot Police. On 17 August, he moved his quarters from Corradino to Floriana.
5 Aug 1 NCO and 6 men boarded the German S. S. Erymanthos at the Custom House. Another guard boarded the Austro-Hungarian S. S. Carola on 8 August, but this was withdrawn as war against Austria-Hungary had not yet been declared.
6 Aug The Military Foot Police provided a guard for the Army Service Corps (ASC) preserve store at Sa Maison. On 19 August, another guard was placed over the Royal Engineer's Workshop at Haywharf.
13 Aug 1914 A guard was placed outside the Austro-Hungarian Consulate. Mr Otto Schmidt, Austro-Hungarian Vice Consul and retired artillery officer employed on intelligence work was arrested and interred. The staff of the Austro-Hungarian Consulate in Cairo, Egypt was interred in Malta. Mr Otto Schmidt was given a separate room and one of the prisoners was allowed to wait upon him. The wives of POWs resident in Malta were confined to their own homes.
21 Aug The Detention Barracks at Corradino was reopened. It admitted soldiers awarded Field Punishment with 14 days No 1 and over, and those sentenced by Courts Martial to imprisonment, hard labour and detention. POWs punished by the Assistant Provost Marshal were also confined in the Detention Barracks. Active Service conditions for discipline was proclaimed on 18 August 1914.
22 Aug The Crew of the German Steam Ship (S. S.) Erymanthos (29) and 1 passenger were arrested. The ship was sealed by the Collector of Customs. The detained crew was landed near St Paul's Petroleum Tanks and sent to Floriana Casemate Barracks in motor ambulance. A total of 99 POWs were in detention. On 23 August, a sick detainee was admitted to Mtarfa Hospital. Malta became a permanent place of internment for Prisoners of War.
30 Sep Four NCOs MPSC joined the Infantry Brigade (one to each battalion) as instructors in Physical Training and Musketry.
11 Oct LCpl Britton MFP was attached for duty with 4th Bn London Regiment at Ghajn Tuffieha. Sgt Bath, LCpl Dever, LCpl Aston moved to Corradino for duty in the Detention Barracks.
29 Oct 1914 Verdala Barracks and St Clement's Parade Ground replaced Floriana Casemate Barracks as
a camp for Prisoners of War. Stores and equipment were moved from the Ospizio and the Marina Ordnance Stores to Verdala Barracks.
3 Nov The office of the Assistant Provost Marshal moved to the Sergeant's Mess Verdala Barracks. The Prisoners of War were transferred from Casemate Barracks Floriana to St Clement's Parade Ground, Verdala Barracks. The first ambulance left Floriana at 08:00; the last ambulance arrived at Verdala about 14:00 hours. A canteen opened at St Clement's Parade Ground. The POWs were allowed to buy a pint of beer at dinner time and a pint at night. Mr Rigden, Manager of Messers R Dickeson, Malta made the necessary arrangements for the canteen at Verdala Barracks.
4 Nov The S. S. Osmanieh entered the Grand Harbour and disembarked 500 POWs who were taken to St Clement's Parade Ground. More POWs arrived from Egypt on the same ship on 1 December 1914.
25 Nov The office of the Assistant Provost Marshal moved from the Sergeant's Mess St Clement's Parade Ground to the Orderly Room, Verdala Barracks. Lieut H. R. Gatt RMA, Garrison Adjutant, joined for duty under the Assistant Provost Marshal.
6 Dec 150 POWs, officers and crew, of SMS Emden arrived on HMS Hampshire and were interred in Verdala Barracks. Among them was Prince Franz Josef (Lieut von Hohenzollern).
10 Dec Major Rudolf Huber, a German POW, died at Cottonera Hospital. His funeral was held on 12 December at the Addolorata Cemetery where he was buried with full military honours. The funeral was attended by Captain H. L. Carlton, Assistant Provost Marshal and Lt H. R. Gatt RMA. A party of 200 men of the 2nd/KOMRM under the command of Major J. V. Aspinall formed the honour guard.
15 Dec Mohammed Nasir, a Turkish POW, died at the Military Hospital Cottonera. He was buried at the Ottoman Cemetery, Marsa on 17 December.
20 Dec H. T. Medic arrived with 75 POWs from Egypt.
21 Dec 1914 Upper Salvatore Barracks and the Red House near Fort San Rocco were prepared to accommodate POWs.
4 Jan 1915 The crew of the Emden consisting of 7 WOs and 122 men were transferred to Salvatore Barracks.
6 Jan Small pox was diagnosed in a German POW at Verdala Barracks. The patient was isolated at Cottonera Hospital and contacts vaccinated. On 17 January another three suspicious cases of small pox were detected among the German POWs. Cottonera hospital only had six isolation beds.
12 Jan Captain G. Goldie–Taubman took over the duties of Assistant Provost Marshal from Captain H. L. Carlton.
3 Mar The crew of the Emden interred in Salvatore Barracks was visited by the Governor and Commander-in-Chief Malta Garrison.
1 May 1915 The funeral of Virgilio Mengotti, an Austrian prisoner of war who died at Cottonera Hospital on 29 April took place on 1 May. He was buried at the Adolorata Cemetery. Capt G. Goldie–Taubman, Assistant Provost Marshal, and Lieut H. R. Gatt, Assistant Commandant, attended the funeral.