The Malta Militia (1801 – 1802)
1 Jan 1801–1802 In January 1801, Major General Henry Pigot raised a Maltese Regiment of Militia (900 men) and two companies of Militia Coast Artillery for the defence of the island.
The Militia consisted of three divisions of three companies each:
- The 1st Division (Valletta, Bormla, Senglea and Vittoriosa) was commanded by the Count de Gatto.
- The 2nd Division (Gudja, Zejtun, Zabbar, Tarxien, Zurrieq, and Siggiewi ) was commanded by Simeone Spiteri Gana.
- The 3rd Division (Birkirkara, Mdina, Naxxar, Zebbug and Lija) was commanded by the Marquis Paolo Parisi.
5 Nov 1802 The Malta Militia was disbanded in 1802.
The Malta Militia (1852 – 1857)
1852 Maltese Militia
5 May 1852 Sir William Reid raised a militia to support the regular infantry in the defence of Malta. The Maltese Militia encompassed all men between the ages of 16 and 60 years. The men were compelled to attend drill in their own districts between 1 October and 30 June. They were required to attend a minimum of 18 drills a year up to a total of 90 drills, after which 3 attendance at drill per year sufficed. The several companies assembled for infantry and gun drill on Sundays, and on week days for target practice. The men received no pay or allowances.
Resentment against compulsory service was rife and the scheme, which had been thus suddenly forced upon them, was met with almost universal opposition. The town companies were made up of government employees who were strongly encouraged to attend drill so as to set an example to the rest.
1853 Maltese Militia
The Maltese Militia was organised by companies according to districts irrespective of numbers. The officers were appointed by the Governor. They consisted of a captain commandant, four surgeons and a captain with two subalterns for each company. The instructors came from the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment.
There were seven town companies of artillery. The companies enrolled men according to their place of residence. The two companies of Valletta for the defence of the Grand Harbour and the Marsamxetto Harbour enrolled men from either side of Strada Reale. The town companies were fixed at 200 men for the Valletta companies and 100 men for the other companies raised for Floriana, Vittoriosa, Senglea, Cospicua and Rabat Gozo.
1854 Maltese Militia
Oct 1854 The compulsory call up of the whole eligible population was abandoned.
1855 Maltese Militia
1856 Maltese Militia
1857 Maltese Militia
The Maltese Militia was disbanded as attendance at drill was difficult to enforce and the men failed to attend.
Surgeons who served with the Maltese Militia were L. Calleja MD, G. Cousin MD, G. E. Zarb MD, and E. Sammut MD.
- Chesney A. G. 1897 Historical Records of the Maltese Corps of the British Army. London: William Clowes and Sons Ltd.
- TNA:WO 17/2117, 1800–1844 Monthly Returns to the Adjutant General.