The Royal Army Medical Corps
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1950

Malta Garrison 1950

From 1950 to 1956, the Malta Garrison only consisted of the Royal Marines, who in 1950 where temporarily absent in Hong Kong.

Married soldiers were paid an extra 9s 6d a day in Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) to meet the higher cost of living in Malta. Single soldiers received an LOA of only 10d a day.

Soldiers and civilians did not interact. The military had a number of welfare facilities for their servicemen. These included the Vernon Club overlooking the Grand Harbour and the Officers Marsa Sports Club noted for its 304 regimental and naval wall crests. The Marsa Sports Club had 2 polo grounds, 14 tennis courts, 3 squash courts, 2 rugby grounds, 2 cricket pitches and a golf course. At St George's Bay the army built a lido, when on summer afternoons up to 500 men and their families bathed. At Ghajn Tuffieha, was a transit and rest camp where the army took its leave.

Wives in the Pembroke area formed a committee to buy surplus household goods from families returning to England, for resale to new arrivals. The service families preferred Malta to a posting to the Canal Zone of Egypt. The breeze and old buildings of Malta made a pleasant change from the sand and hutments of Egypt.

The soldier's service in Malta was split in two seasons with their distinct routine. In Nov, soldiers went into their battle dress and worked from 08:30 to 16:30; in Spring they went into summer dress when work started at 08:00 and finished at 13:30 hrs.

Visit of Princess Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth at Mtarfa Hospital. (AMS Archives)

On 29 April 1950, Princess Elizabeth visited Military Hospital Mtarfa. The princess was shown around the hospital by Lt Col John Egerton Rea, Commanding Officer, and afterwards visited the mess of the QARANC where the officers, their wives and the nursing officers were presented to the princess.

Royal Naval Hospital

Surgeon Rear-Admiral Owen Deane Brownfield (1881-1955), was medical officer in charge of the Royal Naval Hospital Malta from 1947 to 1950.

Maltese Elections

The Maltese went to the polls in Sept 1950, when Dr Enrico Mizzi became Prime Minister and headed a minority Nationalist Government. Dr Enrico Mizzi died in Dec 1950, and was succeeded by Dr George Borg Olivier as leader of the party and prime minister.

Military Hospital Mtarfa

Strength (Mar 1950): 8 Officers, 8 Nursing Officers, 60 Other Ranks.
Lt Gen Sir Neil Cantlie KBE CB MC KHP, Director General Army Medical Services, accompanied by Maj Gen T Menzies OBE DMS MELF inspected Military Hospital Mtarfa on 27 Mar 1950.

Women Doctors

In 1950, women doctors were finally granted commissioned rank. During the Second World War, they had been placed in the Women's Forces employed with the RAMC.

Army Dental Corps

Army Dental Corps
Army Dental Corps Malta 1950.

Dental Staff of the Army Dental Centre Malta 1950 under the command of Lt Col W C Cook ADC.