The Royal Army Medical Corps
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1903

Malta Fever

On 7 Dec 1903, the Secretary of State for the Colonies Alfred Lyttelton wrote: My attention, having been called to the prevalence and ill effects of Malta Fever in Malta, I have consulted Sir Patrick Manson who has sent to the Colonial Office the letter from Fleet Surgeon Bassett Smith. It appears desirable from the point of view of the army, navy and the civil population that the investigation of the fever should be properly taken in hand.

In the event of the War Office and the Admiralty consider that a joint commission is desirable, arrangements could be made for appointing Dr Zammit to represent the Civil Government and for allowing him to devote the whole of his time to the matter. Sir Patrick Manson is in favour of the appointment of a joint commission. It seems not improbable from the Royal Society's letter that the institution would be willing to appoint an advisory Board in this country.

Army Sick

Army Order No 158 laid down that a soldier reporting himself sick, who in the opinion of the medical officer, is temporarily unfit for the performance of all duties, but for whom treatment in hospital is not essential, will be ordered to attend at the hospital or inspection room at such times and for such period as the medical officer may consider necessary.

While a soldier is attending hospital his commanding officer, acting on the recommendation of the medical officer, will relieve him from all duties, or employ him on such duties and fatigues in barracks as he is capable of performing. While attending hospital a soldier will not be permitted to leave barracks nor will he be admitted to the canteen either while attending hospital or while a convalescent on light duty unless the written permission of the medical officer has been given.

Military Barracks

Floriana Barracks
"B" Block Floriana Barracks 1903 with the first floor extension from 1911.
Floriana Barracks
Map circa 1900 showing proposed extension of barracks between 1900 and 1902. (TNA:WO 78/2459)
Floriana Barracks
"B" Block Floriana Barracks.

In 1903, new barracks were built at St Andrews but these were not occupied by troops until April 1905.

An accommodation block for two infantry companies was built at Floriana. The barracks was later called Lintorn Barracks after Governor of Malta Gen Sir John Lintorn Simmons (1884–1888).

Reserved Ordnance XVII 1903

Ordnance No XVII of 1903, to prevent the spread of certain diseases was passed by the Council of Government on 23 Dec 1903. It retained the principle of medical inspection of prostitutes, which had been enacted in Malta by Ordnance IV of 1861 and which was still in force.

Malta was the only Crown Colony to retain a Contagious Diseases Ordnance in the expectation of preventing the spread of certain diseases. Around 1888, the contagious diseases laws in all the other Crown Colonies and in India were repealed, following their repeal in England. The Governor of Malta was instructed to introduce a repealing order, but the Executive Council refused to vote for it and the matter was dropped.

Military Hygiene

In 1903, the Advisory Board for the Army Medical Services recommended the introduction of regular courses of instruction in military hygiene. Specially appointed officers of the RAMC were to lecture to cadets at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, the Royal Military College Sandhurst and to officers of the Staff College. In addition, short courses of instruction in military hygiene were to be given by medical officers in various districts to combatant regimental officers.

The Advisory Board considered the introduction of such courses of instruction as having far reaching consequences for improving the health of the army. The proposal received the approval of the Secretary of State.

Burials in 1903

The total strength of the Malta Command was 9313. This were distributed as follows: Malta and Gozo: 8903 men, Crete Detachment: 410 men, Officers: 266, Men: 706, females: 609, children: 1206.

Burials at Mtarfa Military Cemetery in 1903:

  • 21 April Gladys Irene Hallidge aged 11 mths of Mtarfa Barracks.
  • 5 June Ethel Dorothy Hallidge aged 1 yrs of Mtarfa Barracks.
  • 30 July Albert Byers aged 1 yr 3 mths of Mtarfa Barracks, son of a schoolmistress.
  • 12 Aug Bertha Gibson aged 11 mths of Mtarfa Barracks.
  • 16 Aug George Frederick Hodgkins aged 9 mths son of George Hodgkins of Ghajn Tuffieha Mounted Infantry.
  • 22 Sep Jessie Batchler aged 2 yrs of Mtarfa Barracks.
  • 7 Dec Pte Charles Gunn 1st/Rifle Bde Permanent Staff Mounted Infantry aged 21 yrs of Mtarfa Barracks.

Burials at Pietà Military Cemetery in 1903:

  • 2 July Still born male child of David McThurson of Sliema.
  • 2 Sep George Jack Duncan aged 6 months of Valletta.
  • 12 Sep Charles Ernest Smith aged 2 months of Valletta.
  • 18 Sep Eilsa Annie Ford aged 6 months of Polverista.
  • 21 Sep Still born female of Pte W Taylor of Pembroke.
  • 26 Oct Violet Melita Black aged 10 months of Pembroke.
  • 18 Nov Still born son of Ernest Jolley of Valletta.
  • 22 Dec Baby Lewis child of Pte H Lewis, aged 2 days, of 99 Strada Stretta Valletta.

Army Education Department

  • Inspector of Army Schools
    • Lt R G Cooke resident at 10 Str Ridolfo Sliema.
  • Army Schoolmasters
    • J W Meckiff: Garrison School Margherita Hill.
    • P H Cocks: Garrison School Margherita Hill.
    • J McGrath: Garrison School Floriana.
    • A E Hatton: Garrison School Floriana.
    • W Ingram: Garrison School Tigne.
    • T G Griffin: Garrison School Tigne.
    • W E Keightley: Garrison School Tigne.
    • T H West: Garrison School Ricasoli.
    • H Beswick: Garrison School Imtarfa.
    • W V Somers: Garrison School Gozo.
    • E A Atkinson: Garrison School St Elmo.
    • J A M Burrows: Garrison School St Elmo.
    • G W Sutton: Garrison School Pembroke.
    • J P Montague: Garrison School Lascaris.
  • Army Schoolmistresses
    • Miss Henderson: Garrison School Floriana.
    • Mrs H J Atkinson: Garrison School St Elmo.
    • Miss M M Farmer: Garrison School St Elmo.
    • Miss M E Smith: Garrison School Imtarfa.
    • Miss E C P Morgan: Garrison School Imtarfa.
    • Mrs E A H Smith: Garrison School Tigne.
    • Miss C Perkins: Garrison School Tigne.
    • Miss A Perkins: Garrison School Tigne.
    • Miss M J West: Garrison School Ricasoli.
    • Miss F E Smith: Garrison School St Paul's Bastion.
    • Miss Siboon: St Francis Ravelin Floriana.
    • Miss H Wakem: Garrison School Pembroke.

Army Chaplains' Department

  • Church of England
    • Rev A A L Gedge Senior Chaplain: in charge of the Barracca Church and troops in Floriana.
    • Rev W S Randall: in charge of troops Forts Tigne and Manoel. Resident at Imperial Hotel Sliema.
    • Rev C F Baines: in charge of Pembroke Camp and St George's Barracks.
    • Rev F Jellicoe: in charge of Cottonera District. Resident at Chaplain's Quarters 2 Str Verdala Cospicua.
    • Rev T P Moreton: in charge of Imtarfa Barracks and Sanatorium Citta Vecchia. Resident at Primrose House Notabile.
    • Rev T Brook: in charge of Military Prison and Fort ricasoli. Resident at 15 Str Mezzodi Valletta.
  • Roman Catholic
    • Rev F B D Bickerstaffe-Drew Senior RC Chaplain: in charge of RC troops Valletta District. Resident at Great Britain Hotel.
    • Rev P Cavendish: in charge of RC troops Verdala District. Resident at 21 Str Nuova Vittoriosa.
    • Rev J Verzin: in charge of RC troops Crete.
    • Rev M Cullen: in charge of Western District. Resident at St Ignatius College, St Julians.
    • Rev F Ferris: in charge of RC troops Imtarfa Barracks and Citta Vecchia Notabile. Resident near St Augustine.
    • Rev S Curmi Ceci: in charge of RC troops Military Prison. Resident at 13 Str Zaccaria.
    • Rev J Darmanin: in charge of RC troops East. Resident at Fort Zejtun.
    • Rev E Grima: in charge of RC troops Gozo. Resident at Fort Chambray Gozo.
    • Rev A E Farrugia Bugeja: Chaplain 1st/KOMR. Resident at 32A Str Mezzodi.
    • Rev C Calleja Schembri: Chaplain 2nd/KOMR.
  • Presbyterian
    • Rev F W Stewart. Resident at Fort Manoel.
  • Wesleyan
    • Rev J H Loxley. Resident at 3 Piazza Britannica Floriana.
    • Rev H Peverley Dodd. Resident at The Rest Margherita Hill Cospicua.