The Army Medical Department
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1840

Marriages Baptisms Deaths 1840

The average strength of the garrison was 2,121 men.

  • 21 Jan Baptism of Selina Georgina Hastings Terry born on 12 Nov 1839, daughter of Eliza Thervould and Town Adjutant of Malta Lt Col Robert Terry.
  • 10 Feb Bachelor 1st Lt Berney Varlo Royal Marines to Frances Emily Major, a spinster and niece of Assistant Commissary General F. W. A. C. Major, were married by the Rev Joseph Marshall Chaplain of HMS Castor.
  • 1 June Baptism of Caroline Rogers born on 7 May 1840, daughter of Fanny and Garrison Staff Sgt Thomas Rogers.
  • 15 July Baptism of William Henry Maxwell born on 13 June 1840, son of Tomasine Ionia and Capt Charles Francis Maxwell 82nd Foot, Military Secretary to Sir Henry Bouverie Governor of Malta. The sponsors were Sir Henry Bouverie, Sir Frederick Hankey and Miss Eliza Hankey.
  • 5 Dec Baptism of Minna Henrietta Major born on 14 October 1840, daughter of Assistant Commissary General Francis William Amiable Carpenter Major and his wife Catherine. Sponsors were godfather John Davidson ACF, and godmothers by proxy Miss Henrietta Major and Miss Mary Jane Major.
  • 9 Feb Death of Surgeon Baldassare Sammut RN. In 1809 and 1811, he was listed as a hospital mate at the Grand Prison (slave prison) Valletta, part of which was used as a naval hospital from 2 Jan 1804 to 30 June 1819.

Royal Warrant 14 Oct 1840

From 1 Oct 1840, medical officers were ranked as Assistant Surgeons, Regimental Surgeons, Staff Surgeons 2nd Class, Staff Surgeons 1st Class, Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals and Inspector General of Hospitals.

On 1 Oct 1858, the ranks of Staff Surgeon 1st Class and Staff Surgeon 2nd Class, were discontinued. From that date, military surgeons were known as either Staff Surgeons or Regimental Surgeons. Those who had held either rank for 20 years became Surgeon-Majors.

Daily Rates of Pay
Rank > 25 yrs > 20 yrs > 10 yrs < 10 yrs
Assistant Surgeon 10s 10s 10s 7s 6d
Reg Surg or Staff Surg 2nd Class £1 2s 19s 15s 13s
Staff Surg 1st Class £1 4s £1 2s 19s  
DIGH £1 10s £1 8s £1 4s  
IGH £2 £1 13s £1 16s  
Daily Rates of pay related to length of service (Royal Warrant 14 Oct 1840).

To qualify as an Assistant Surgeon, a medical candidate had to pass his examinations at one of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of London, Edinburgh, or Dublin. He had to serve 5 yrs on full pay before promotion to the rank of Regimental Surgeon or of Staff Surgeon 2nd class.

A Regimental Surgeon or a Staff Surgeon 2nd Class had to serve 10 yrs on full pay to be eligible for promotion to the rank of Staff Surgeon 1st class.

A Staff Surgeon 1st Class had to serve 3 yrs at home, or 2 yrs abroad before promotion to the rank of Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals.

Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals had to serve 5 yrs at home, or 3 yrs abroad before promotion to the rank of Inspector-General of Hospitals.

Presbyterian Cemetery

Horn Work
Chapel on the Hornworks Floriana - remains of the Presbyterian Cemetery

In 1840, a small cemetery was opened on the Hornworks at Floriana. It was in use for about a decade. Most of the soldiers buried there were from the 92nd Highlanders and the 42nd Highlanders. The cemetery fell into disuse and became damaged over the years. It was cleared in 1965, and the few remaining headstones and memorials moved to Pieta Military Cemetery.


By a decision of the Board of Health, dated Malta 23 Nov 1840, the length of quarantine for passengers, merchandise, ships of war, and merchant vessels having Clean Bills of Health was reduced and fixed at:

  • Passengers from Constantinople and Alexandria 15 days, from Barbary 12 days, from Greece 15 days.
  • Merchandise from Constantinople and Alexandria 30 days, from Barbary 20 days, from Greece 15 days.
  • Ships of War from Constantinople and Alexandria 18 days, from Barbary 15 days, from Greece 10 days.
  • Merchant vessels from Constantinople and Alexandria 25 days, from Barbary 13 days, from Greece 10 days.

HMS Castor

HMS Castor
Memorial to the dead of HMS Castor during the capture of Acre on 3 Nov 1840 (Msida Bastion Cemetery Floriana).

On 3 Nov 1840, HMS Castor, commanded by Captain Edward Collier, took part with the allied squadron under Admiral Robert Stopford in the capture of the fortress of St Jean d'Acre on behalf of the Subline Sultan. During the attack to force the surrender of the Egyptian troops under Mehmet Ali, the Castor had 4 seamen killed, 1 severely wounded, 3 seamen slightly wounded, 2 privates Royal Marines severely wounded and 1 private Royal Marine slightly wounded. On 8 Nov, an explosion took place in the magazine of live shells which resulted in Captain Collier fracturing his leg and the Castor having her bowsprit badly damaged and other spars shot away. Captain Collier, the wounded and HMS Castor were consequently returned to Malta for a refit.