The Army Medical Department
And the Malta Garrison
1833

The Malta Garrison – 1833

Malta Garrison

The average strength of the garrison was 100 officers and 2,604 men, excluding the 468 men of the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment.

Strength Malta Garrison
Regiment Men Women Children Officers
RA & RE 155 36 96 (2†) 12 (1†)
7th 492 (12†) 39 62 (2†) 16
42nd 484 (7†) 52 (2†) 103 (6†) 16
73rd 493 (11†) 65 (3†) 94 (7†) 26
94th 493 (9†) 43 95 (10†) 17
Gen Staff       15
Total 2117 235 450 102
Strength of the Garrison. † stands for deaths (TNA:WO 334/10).

The garrison had the minimum number of troops required to guard the Dockyard and the extensive fortifications. Any decrease in British troops was made up for by an increase in the Maltese Fencibles. The Maltese not only made good soldiers, but were cheaper to maintain than a British battalion.

There were 39 deaths among the men in hospitals, 5 among the women and 27 among the children. There were an additional five deaths outside the regimental hospitals mainly: two suicides in the Royal Fusiliers in barracks; two sudden deaths in the Royal Highlanders, one from a ruptured aneurysm, the other from apoplexy; and one in the 94th from periglottitis, while on detachment at Gozo, under the care of the assistant surgeon of the Royal Malta Fencibles.

Assistant Inspector of Hospitals John Davy described the peculiar weather of 1833. The first quarter ending on 31 March, was cold and rainy to an uncommon degree. The second quarter ending 30 June, was also very rainy, with showers common even in June, when the temperature did not rise above 24 C. In the third quarter ending 30 September, the weather was unusually variable, with heavy rains in September. The fourth quarter ending the year was tempestuous, cold, and rainy.

Consequently, there was an increase in pulmonary complaints and more sickness and deaths among the troops, than in the previous year. There were 55 admissions for pneumonia and 3 for pleuritis. The greater mortality among the troops was attributed entirely to an unusual prevalence of pulmonary disease, accounting to more than one half of the whole number of deaths instead of about one-eighth of the average proportion, and more than a third by Phthisis Pulmonalis instead of about 1:32.

Marriages Baptisms Burials 1833

  • 2 Apr Private baptism of Melita Maria Terry born on 1 Dec 1832, daughter of Eliza Therould and Lt Col Robert Terry Town Adjutant of Malta. The child was publicly received into the church on 18 Mar 1835.
  • 7 Apr Marriage of widower Sgt John Morgan 28th Regiment, of the parish of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol to Elizabeth Crisp, a widow of Portsmouth, Hants.
  • 23 Sep Baptism of Algar Bowdoin Temple Temple born on 25 May 1833, son of Mary and unattached Maj Sir Grenville Temple Temple Bart.
  • 23 Nov Baptism of Harriet Gordon Hitchison born on 20 Oct 1833, daughter of Harriet and Deputy Assistant Commissary General Thomas Robinson Hitchison.
  • 13 May Burial of Master Baker John Allens aged 59 years, Commissariat Department.

Vice Admiral Henry Hotham

H Hotham
Sir Henry Hotham's memorial in Upper Barracca Gardens Valletta.

On 19 April 1833, Vice Admiral the Hon Sir Henry Hotham KCB GC St Michael and George, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Station died suddenly, aged 57 years. He was buried at Msida Bastion Cemetery. A memorial bust was erected at the Upper Barracca Gardens Valletta.

Fever

Fever Malta Garrison
Regiment Intermittent Remittent Common Continuous
RA 0 0 24
7th 6 11 (2†) 88
42nd 0 19 (1†) 2
73rd 0 0 91
94th 2 0 38 (1†)
Total 8 30 243
Fever in the Malta Garrison 1833 (TNA:WO 334/10). † stands for deaths

The fatal cases of remittent fever were due to a brain abscess and to inflammation and ulceration of various organs in the 7th, to pneumonia in the 42nd, and to peritonitis in the 94th.

Three cases of intermittent fever were relapses in the Fusiliers who had had similar fever before their arrival in Malta. There were 19 cases of Common Continued Fever among the women, 1 proving fatal.

The PMO was of the opinion that the recurrence of both intermittent and remittent fever showed the presence of malaria in Malta. In 1832 and 1833, both fevers were observed to be more common than usual in Malta.

Staff

Bibliography