The Royal Army Medical Corps
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1930

30 Coy RAMC Mtarfa

Bare Knuckle Boxing (Main Guard Valletta)

30 Coy RAMC was based on Mtarfa Ridge, about eight miles away from Valletta. The officers and men whiled their tour in Malta indulging in all forms of sports. These included: six-a-side football, hockey, cricket, sailing, boxing, annual cross country runs, water polo, swimming, tennis, golf, shooting on the miniature range, and horse racing at the Marsa Sports Ground.

In addition, a part of the grounds of Mtarfa Hospital was converted into a vegetable garden where the RSM raised chickens and grew fresh vegetables. The families were taken out on picnics and outings to Comino and other beaches. The Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess organized an annual smoking concert where officers of the RAMC presented recitals and plays.

The unit was a happy, close knit community which found itself in splendid isolation. The rest of the infantry were at St Andrew's and St George's Barracks, Pembroke. 30 Coy RAMC participated in inter-regimental sports. It was invited to the annual swimming and water polo competitions organized by their naval colleagues at the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi.

During the year, officers held Staff Tours, prepared for their promotional examinations and the annual unit inspection by DMS Malta Command. The men complained that nothing much ever happened at Mtarfa. Great efforts had to be made to vary life as much as possible during their three or four years posting in such an isolated spot.

Temporary Commissions

The regulations for a temporary commission in the RAMC stipulated that the applicant had to be a duly qualified medical practitioner registered under the Medical Acts in force in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

On appointment the approved candidate was granted the rank of Lieutenant. After three and a half years' temporary service he was recommended for promotion to the rank of Captain. Permanent commissions were offered to temporary officers on or before the completion of twelve months' temporary service. Those who did not accept a permanent commission were not eligible to receive one at a later date.

An officer appointed to a temporary commission was eligible for a permanent commission if he was under 28 years of age. Officers were allowed to deduct years served on a temporary commission to reach the eligible age. If not selected for a permanent commission, he was granted a bonus of £100 for each full year of satisfactory service. He also received a refund, up to £40, for any reasonable expenditure on articles of uniform which he had had to specifically purchase on commissioning in accordance with instructions laid down by the War Office.

If granted a permanent commission the officer received the difference between £50 and and the sum already issued to him as an outfit allowance. An officer appointed to a permanent commission while serving as a temporary officer was not eligible to receive the bonus of £100 for each completed year of service, but his temporary service counted towards an increment in pay, promotion and retirement.

Matron Families Hospital

On 8 Oct 1930, Matron Miss Wray QAIMNS of the Married Families Military Hospital returned to England on 3 months leave.

St Luke's Hospital

On 5 Apr 1930, the Governor, General Sir John Du Cane laid the foundation stone of St Luke's Hospital at Guardamangia.