The foundation stone for a memorial to those Medical Officers who lost their lives in the Crimea was laid at the Royal Victoria Military Hospital at Netley Southampton, on 1 Aug 1864. The names of the deceased were recorded on seven panels, with the eighth panel bearing the following inscription:
In memory of the Officers of the Army Medical Department who died whilst serving with the Army in the East, during the war with Russia in 1854, 1855, 1856. This monument has been erected by their brother officers and friends.1
Cooke W H
De Boissiere Jean Valleton
Gogarty Henry Alexander
Jenkins William Henry
McDowell Edmund Greswold
Parker Neville Gray du Vernet
Pinkerton Archibald William Pultney
On July 1856, a Select Committee on the Medical Department of the Army under Mr Stafford MP met to enquire into the organisation of the department, and the grievances of the medical officers regarding their pay and condition of service. The findings led to the Royal Warrant of 1858.
On 30 Mar 1856, the Treaty of Paris brought the war with Russia to an end.
In Mar 1856, Dr Borg, a Maltese civilian medical practitioner, was temporarily appointed as a second medical attendant at the encampment at St George's Bay, as no military officer was available at that station.
On 23 Sept 1856, the boatman Giuseppe Meli of Cospicua, went on trial for the wilful homicide of Capt Thomas Graves RN on 25 Aug 1856. Meli was accused of stabbing Capt Graves with a knife in his abdomen, which perforating the small bowel. It was alleged that he bore a grudge against the Port Superintendent, who had ordered his boat to be hauled up for 15 days, for having overcharged a passenger. The planks of the boat had dried while it was hauled up. This rendered it unseaworthy. Meli's livelihood was thus ruined. It was alleged that Meli sought revenge against Graves. He pleaded not guilty. His lawyer convinced the court, that it was not the knife that had killed Capt Graves but the negligent treatment administered to him by the doctors. After being stabbed, Graves was taken to the Dispensary of Dr Giuseppe Sammut where he was also seen by Dr Giuseppe Clinquant, Junior Physician at the Central Civil Hospital. Neither could assess the depth of the wound which was dressed. Graves took to his bed at Floriana where he was seen by Dr Stilon and Surgeon William Simpson 71st Regiment. He died at his residence at Floriana on 28 August.
The jury unanimously found the accused "guilty of wilful severe bodily harm on Capt Graves on which death ensued owing to supervening accidental causes, and not to the nature and natural consequences alone of such harm. The Court sentenced Giuseppe Meli to nine years hard labour".2
Castille Square with St James Cavalier, the former British Forces NAAFI.
Plan of the Upper part of Valletta dated April 1851, showing the environment around Strada Torre (TNA:MPH 1/912).
Plan of Floriana showing Magazine and St Francis Bastions occupied by Capuchin Convent and St Francis Barracks.
In Dec 1855, Inspector General of Hospitals Daniel Scott, approved the area of Strada Torre Barracks, and St James Cavalier in Valletta as an ideal location for a military hospital. The site was adjacent to the Auberge de Castille. It was elevated with a free circulation of air all round it, and well drained.
In Nov 1856, the Governor Sir William Reid agreed with Sir John Pennefather, General Officer Commanding Troops Malta, that the best site for a military hospital was that occupied by the Civil Lunatic Asylum inside the Floriana Lines. Reid felt that sufficient ground existed without having to incorporate the recently completed barracks of St Francis within the hospital.