The Royal Army Medical Corps
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1920

Troop Reductions

In Sep 1919, the War Office proposed to reduce the garrison of Malta from its Pre War (1st August 1914) strength of 1,400 Other Ranks Royal Garrison Artillery, 395 Other Ranks Royal Engineers and five Battalions of Infantry to 380 Other Ranks Royal Garrison Artillery, 200 Other Ranks Royal Engineers and two Battalion of Infantry.

The strength of the garrison on 1 March 1920 stood at: Brit Officers 149, Brit Soldiers 2523, Indian or Local Officers 34, Indian or Local Soldiers 642.

Military Hospital Mtarfa

Military Hosp Mtarfa
Military Hospital Mtarfa 1939. When the hospital became a tri-service hospital one of the RAMC badges was replaced with that of the RAF medical services and a naval crown was added above the centre of the door.

By 1920, all the hospitals that had been established to treat the casualties of the Dardanelles had been closed. Most of the older soldiers of 30 Coy RAMC had left and their places had been taken by recruits, whose time was fully occupied with routine work, technical and educational training.

On 23 June 1920, the long awaited move of the hospital from Cottonera to the new one at Mtarfa began. Work on Mtarfa Hospital had started in Jan 1915 when the foundation stone had been laid by Sir Leslie Rundle Governor and Commander-in-Chief. It had been left in a partly finished state during the war, but after a couple of months' work it was possible to use it as a hospital. In 1920, the Military Families Hospital was transferred to the old Detention Hospital Mtarfa.

Military Hosp Mtarfa
Military Hospital Mtarfa 1939

There were no quarters for officers and nursing sisters, or institutes for NCOs and men. In Sept 1922, 30 Coy RAMC moved into Mtarfa Barracks that had been vacated when the troops were sent to Chanak, Turkey. The officers took over the mess and four married officers quarters; the nursing staff were accommodated in two blocks of married soldiers' quarters and the Infant School. The Sgts and the Sgt's Mess and that of the Rank and File occupied the necessary barrack rooms.

Officers Mess Mtarfa Barracks
Officers Mess Mtarfa Barracks

Subsequently, after 1924, work commenced on the building of all types of quarters, married and single accommodation for all personnel, officers and sisters. The men complained about their isolation on the ridge which was about 8 miles from Valletta. They were away from everywhere and everybody.

Owing to their partial occupation of Mtarfa Barracks, it was not possible to located infantry battalions into Mtarfa Barracks; the RAMC formed a little colony by themselves. The establishment was considerably smaller than that of the pre-war days. Consequently there were not enough men to raise cricket or football teams.

Station Hospital Valletta

Valletta Military Hosp
Valletta Military Hospital

In 1920, the Station Hospital Valletta and the hospital of the Royal Malta Artillery with which it had been co-located were closed. The sick of the RMA were henceforth treated at the Military Hospital Mtarfa. The Station Hospital became the Headquarters of the Civil Police.

Registration of Graves – 20 May 1920

A Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries was established on 21 August 1916 to locate, verify, and register the graves of soldiers in the various theatres of war.

Up to 20 May 1920, Malta had 1502 registered graves. Deaths in Malta were recorded for soldiers who had served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, British Salonica Force, and Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli).

  • British Salonica Force 1117
  • Med Exp Force Gallipoli Royal Naval Division 40
  • Canadian Exp Force 1
  • Australian Imperial Force 205
  • New Zealand Exp Force 73
  • Newfoundland Contingent 3
  • British West Indies Regt 4
  • Indian Army 17
  • Native Troops 35

Baptisms Burials 1920

  • 25 Feb Marie Marshall born 25 February 1920, daughter of Ivy Kathleen and Major Harold Hamilton Marshall 48th Pioneers Indian Army, was baptised at birth but died on 25 February 1920.