The average strength of the garrison was 3,196 men.
On 5 May 1852, Ordinance No II, for the formation of a Maltese Militia Force (Volunteers) was enacted. This rendered all males between the ages of 16 and 60 years liable for service in the defence of the islands. The establishment was fixed at 1000 men, but the number enrolled fell considerably short.
No attempt was made to carry the original intention of compulsory service into effect. The standard of efficiency attained was consequently not very high. The Ordinance was unpopular, and was repealed in Oct 1854, the militia being disbanded in 1857.