The Army Medical Department
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1824

Malta Garrison 1824

Effective Strength Malta Garrison 25 Jan 1824
Col –
Surg Assist
Sgt Drm Rank
& File
61 3 3 1 4 83 36 1778
Returns of the Adjutant General's Office showing the Effective Strength of the Garrison including Colonial Corps, Artillery and Engineers.
Thomas Maitland
Sir Thomas Maitland (Dec 1759–17 Jan 1824), was interred on 21 Jan in the Bastion of St Peter, Upper Barracca Gardens Valletta.

On 17 Jan 1824, Sir Thomas Maitland, Governor of Malta and Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, died at Floriana of apoplexy aged 66 years. He was attended in his final illness by Inspector of Hospital John Hennen, Staff Surgeon Broadfoot Alexander, and Inspector of Hospitals Robert Grieves.

Following the death of Maitland, Malta and the Ionian Islands reverted to two separate and distinct commands. On 7 June 1824, General Francis Rawdon Hastings, Marquess of Hastings, succeeded Maitland as Colonial Governor and Garrison Commander.

In 1824, Commanding Officers of regiments stationed in the Mediterranean were directed to enlist Maltese recruits in the proportion of 5 men to 100 British soldiers.

Sir Richard Plasket who had served in Malta from the end of 1813, first as private secretary to General Maitland, and afterwards as Chief Secretary to the Government left Malta in May 1824.

General Hospital Valletta

Long Ward
Plans of The Great Ward of the Hospital of the Order of St John of Jerusalem 4 July 1835.

The Great Ward of the Hospital of the Order of St John was erected in 1574, during the Grand Mastership of Jean de la Cassiere (1572–82). On 4 Feb 1660, the infirmary was enlarged and the Old Ward was extended to form the Great Ward. This measured 155 metres in length, 10.5 metres in width, and over 11 metres in height.

In September 1824, the General Hospital at Valletta was relinquished to the Ordnance and Barrack Department by the Civil Government. The Long Ward which had been leased to the firm of Woodhouse, wine merchants, was handed over to the Department of the Ordnance on 1 July 1826.

In 1823, the medical staff of the Malta Garrison was costing the British Government £1518 3s 9d in salaries. In 1824, the staff was reduced to cut costs. Thus from a staff of: 1 DIH, 1 Phys to the Forces, 1 Apoth, 1 As Surg, 1 Hosp As, 1 Hosp Mate, 1 Purv Clerk and 1 As Surg for Gozo, it was reduced to: 1 Insp Hosp, 1 Apoth, 1 Hosp As, 1 Hosp Mate and 1 Purv Clerk. This cost £988 1s 3d, saving £530 in salaries. As there was no General Hospital on the island an annual savings of £887 could be obtained by reducing the staff to a Garrison Surgeon, an Apothecary and a Purveyor's Clerk at a total cost of £629 3s 6d.

Marriages Deaths Baptisms 1824

  • 15 Mar Burial of Pte Robert Bensley 32nd Regt aged 25 years.
  • 23 Apr Baptism of Martha Bowman, born 2 Apr 1824, daughter of Deputy Assistant Commissariat General William Fockhart Bowman and Eliza Shepherd.
  • 12 May Robert Lamont Assistant Surgeon of HMS Alacrity.
  • 25 May Baptism of Harriet Gingell, born 29 Mar 1824, daughter of Edward Gingell and Elizabeth.
  • 24 June Baptism of George Robinson, born 10 May 1824, son of John Robinson and Christiana.
  • 18 July Private baptism of Frederick Davies Gunning, born 16 July 1824, son of Deputy Assistant Commissariat General Samuel Gunning and Mary Ann. He was publicly admitted into the church on 1 October 1827.
  • 9 Aug Burial of Martha Bowman aged 4 months, daughter of Deputy Assistant Commissariat General William Bowman.
  • 20 Sep Baptism of Jane Elizabeth Mary Collings, born 18 Sep 1824, daughter of Joseph Becket Collings and Jane Elizabeth.
  • 17 Oct Baptism of Henry Richardson, born 30 Sep 1824, son of Sarah and Benjamin Richardson Clerk to the Deputy Inspector of Hospitals.
  • 30 Nov Baptism of Francis Rawdon Balneavis, born 23 Oct 1824, son of Brevet Lt Col Henry Balneavis and Georgina.
  • 17 Dec William George Toole son of Deputy Commissariat General James Toole and Rosa, born in the island of Elba on the 26 Dec 1796 and baptised on the same day, was publicly received into the church. DCG J Toole was placed on half pay on 19 Apr 1808.