The Maltese Pioneers was raised in December 1800 for service in Egypt. It initially consisted of 500 men, who were enlisted for nine months or one year. It was placed under the command of Lieutenant Rivarola, then serving as Assistant Quartermaster General.
The Maltese Pioneers accompanied the expedition of General Sir Ralph Abercrombie to Marmorice Bay. The men were employed in cutting wood and loading transports with supplies for the army in Egypt. They were also involved in the battles against the French on 8 March, 13 March, and 21 March 1801. In April 1801, the Maltese Pioneers formed part of a force engaged at Ramaniah under General Hely Hutchinson.
The Maltese Pioneers returned to Malta from Egypt in December 1801.
The Maltese Pioneers 1800 – 1801
1800 Maltese Pioneers
20 Dec 1800 800 men embarked with Abercrombie's army on the Expedition to Egypt.
In 1800, Giuseppe Salamone embarked and accompanied the expedition to Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercrombie as Lieut in the Maltese Corps raised for that expedition. He served in Egypt until the evacuation of Egypt by the French. On his return to Malta, he served as a Lieut in one of the two Provincial Battalions.
1801 Maltese Pioneers
11 Jan 1801 Returns from Marmorice Bay give the establishment of the Maltese Corps of Pioneers as: 2 Captains, 10 Lieutenants, 2 Staff, 10 Sergeants, 370 men fit for duty, 14 sick, and 5 left behind at Malta.
2 Mar Hospital Mate Douglas Whyte was part of the medical staff at Aboukir. He was attached to the Maltese Pioneers. Plague broke out from 12 April to 26 August 1801. There were 380 infected with 173 dead and 207 recovered. The deaths chiefly fell on the orderlies and wives who acted as nurses and other servants of the hospital. One staff apothecary, one surgeon of the 1st/27th and 3 hospital mates died of the disease.
Dec 1801 The Maltese Pioneers returned to Malta when their service expired in December 1801.
1823 – Maltese Pioneers
17 Apr 1823 The Maltese Pioneers received their final distribution of prize money. A notice appeared in the London Gazette notifying the officers and men of the naval and military forces under the commands of General Lord Hutchinson and Admiral Viscount Keith who were present at the operations against the French in Egypt from March to Sep 1801, that they will be paid their respective proportions of the final payment of prize money received from HM Government.
The amount payable to each class of army and navy generally were First Class £34 2s 4d, Second Class £5 11s 6d, Third class £2 11s 1d, fourth class £1 3s 4d, Fifth Class 3s 11 and 1 half pence.
- TNA:WO 17/2117, 1800–1844 Monthly Returns to the Adjutant General.
- Chesney A. G. 1897. Historical Records of the Maltese Corps of the British Army. London: William Clowes and Sons Ltd.
- The London Gazette Issue 17915 page 633. Published 19 April 1823.