Medical Officers
Of the Malta Garrison – 1810

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Malta Garrison – 1810

Malta Command

In 1810, the Malta Command became distinct and independent of the other commands in the Mediterranean. The strength of the garrison was fixed at not less than 4,000 rank and file, so long as Sicily remained secure from a French invasion.

On 28 Aug 1810, Sir Hildebrand Oakes complained to the Earl of Liverpool that the Malta garrison was weak, consisting only of 248 artillery men and 3,306 infantry, of which only 1,200 were British troops, the rest consisting of Maltese, Sicilian, and French deserters.

Oakes did not have sufficient troops to guard the gates and bastions of the extensive fortifications, let alone the large number of French prisoners of war that were arriving at Malta. He therefore requested a further 1000 infantry and 200 artillery men.

The strength of the garrison on 25 June 1810 was: 13 Field Officers, 26 Captains, 80 Subalterns, 3,548 Rank and File effective, 4416 Rank and File establishment, 243 on passage, 193 absent.


Lt Gen Sir John Stuart, commanding the troops in Sicily, informed Lt Gen Sir Hildebrand Oakes (12 May 1810 – 4 Oct 1813) Civil Commissioner and Officer Commanding Troops in Malta, that the 2nd/10th Foot and the 2nd/14th currently at Gibraltar were under orders to proceed to Malta.

On their arrival, Oakes was to embark the 31st and 39th to Syracuse and not Gibraltar, as previously directed by Earl Liverpool, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Army Medical Board

The London Gazette dated 27 Feb 1810, proclaimed the abolition of the Army Medical Board which had controlled the medical branch since 1793.

The AMB had been run by the triumvirate of Physician-General Lucas Pepys, Surgeon-General Thomas Keate, and Inspector-General of Army Hospitals Francis Knight.

It was replaced by the Army Medical Department (AMD) run by Director General John Weir, Principal Inspector Theodore Gordon and Principal Inspector Charles Ker.



  • TNA:WO 17/2125, Monthly Returns to the Adjutant General. Returns of the General and Staff Officers of the hospitals attached to the Forces in Malta 25 January–25 December 1810.
  • TNA:WO 25/3898, Statement of the Home and Foreign Services of officers on the half pay list 1843–44.
  • TNA:CO, 158/14 Correspondence, Malta Original Correspondence Secretary of State 1808–09.
  • A list of all the Officers of the Army and Royal Marines. War Office 1 January 1810.
  • A list of all the Officers of the Army and Royal Marines. War Office 27 March 1809.
  • Fortescue J. W., The history of the British army 1807–09 Vol VI London 1910.