Regiments
Of the Malta Garrison
The 18th (Royal Irish)

The 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

The 18th Foot was raised in 1684, as Colonel the Earl of Granard's Regiment of Foot.

In 1751, it was numbered 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment.

On 1 July 1881, under the Cardwell reforms, The 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment became The 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment.

The Royal Irish Regiment was disbanded in 1922 on the foundation of the Irish Free State.

On their arrival in Malta in 1801, the 1st/18th or Royal Regiment of Ireland had the following Companies:

  • Commandant's Coy – Colonel James Pulteney (In England).
  • Lt Colonel David Douglas Wemyss' Coy
  • Major Thomas Probyn's Coy
  • Capt John Hope's Coy
  • Capt Charles James Dunlop's Coy
  • Capt Theobald Mandeville's Coy
  • Capt Thomas Stewart's Coy
  • Capt Wintringham Loscombe's Coy
  • Capt Henry Snook's Coy

The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

1801 1st/18th (Royal Irish) (Pulteney's Regiment)

1 Nov 1801 Strength: 21 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 75 NCOs, 334 rank and file fit for duty, 79 rank and file sick, 525 total officers and men, 712 establishment.

1802 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

1 Jan 1802 The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) was at Elba.

Burials in 1802:

The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

1821 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

Apr 1821 The 1st/18th arrived from England. Ophthalmia was rife in the regiment. The PMO, Inspector of Hospitals John Hennen, attributed it partly to the stormy and tempestuous passage which two of the transports had encountered, during which six cases of ophthalmia broke out.

Hennen admitted them to the ophthalmia hospital in Valletta rather than to their regimental hospital in Floriana. He thought that Floriana Barracks, which had been occupied by the regiment, was too exposed to the sun. In addition, he feared that the sick would not improve as they would be exposed to arduous duty and fall prey to drunkenness and intemperance which prevailed after the fatigues of the voyage from the readily availability of cheap wine and spirits.

Hennen reported that the 18th Foot had among them:

some very fine materials, but they have also some extremely objectionable. They have brought from Ireland between one hundred and two hundred men, who as far as their health was concerned were utterly unfit for this country and were in truth a burden to the service, labouring under the effects of repeated attacks of fever and hepatic diseases contracted in the West Indies, and also from pulmonary afflictions. Several of them have been discharged from the service since their arrival in Malta, but a sufficient number still remain to make it an object of considerable interest to the medical officers to get rid of them.1

23 Oct 1821 Pte John Scott, 32 years. was admitted to the Ophthalmia Hospital in the General Hospital Valletta with impaired vision. He had had sore eyes twice in the West Indies and once in England.

Baptisms in 1821:

1822 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

1822 The average strength of the 1st/18th was 642 men. It had its HQ at Cospicua (Bormla), with a detachment of 52 men at Gozo. The regimental hospital was at Fort Ricasoli.

There were no regimental deaths during the winter quarter (21 Dec 1821 to 20 Mar 1822). During this quarter the prevailing diseases were Simple Continued Fever, pneumonia, and bowel disorders. A number of soldiers fell ill with pneumonia, following exposure to the cold and rain while on guard duty.

There were 32 cases of Continued or Summer fever, (Phlebotomus fever), with one death during the Spring Quarter (21 March to 20 June 1822), which the PMO John Hennen, attributed to an increased atmospheric temperature operating upon the bodies of those who are exposed to the unmitigated rays of the sun, the effects of which, especially on new comers, are in many instances rendered more violent, by the previous exhaustion from fatigue and intemperance.1 The fever usually subsided on the second or third day, while convalescence was established by the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth day. The garrison had a total of 85 admissions during this quarter. There were 92 cases of simple continued fever between 21 June to 20 Sep 1822 (summer quarter), with no deaths. Overall, during 1822, the 18th had a total of 182 admissions for fever with one death.

Ten invalids who had arrived in January 1822 from the Ionian Islands and who were too ill to proceed to England during the winter quarter were admitted to the regimental hospital of the 18th Foot with bowel complaints.

There were a few cases of fever, dysentery, diarrhoea and pneumonia admitted into the regimental hospital during the Autumn Quarter (21 Sep to 20 Dec 1822), when the weather turned cold. Disease was blamed on the change of weather and to intoxication. There was one death from liver disease originally contracted in Jamaica where the soldier had served for 12 years. He was presented with jaundice and died six days after his admission.

Two men with ophthalmia, one from the 18th Foot, the other from the 90th Regiment were transferred from the Ophthalmia Ward in the Military Hospital Valletta to the Regimental Hospital of the 18th Regiment at Fort Ricasoli for the benefit of a change of air. Staff Surgeon James Dillon Tully said that the patient had an opaque cornea of his left eye before he left for England, and his health had been a good deal impaired by a long confinement in hospital.

Marriages in 1822:

Baptisms in 1822:

Burials in 1822:

1823 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

1823 The average strength was 593 men with an average daily sick of 31. The ratio of sick to well was 1:18. The prevailing diseases were: continued fever, pulmonary and bowel disorders, and venereal complaints. The 18th Regiment had many young men who suffered repeatedly from affections of the lungs had 68 sick with pneumonia during the year. In 1823, the regiment moved from Valletta to Floriana replacing 80th Foot.

Marriages in 1823:

Baptisms in 1823:

Burials in 1823:

1824 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

May 1824 The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) embarked for the Ionian Islands. It was replaced by 95th Foot.

Baptisms in 1824:

Burials in 1824:

1826 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

Baptisms in 1826:

Burials in 1826:

1827 – 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

Burials in 1827:

The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

1830 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

12 Dec 1830 The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment was in contingent with the 90th Foot and 95th Foot which sailed from Corfu, when, on 18 Dec 1830, it was wrecked on the coast of Sicily. The 18th Foot re-embarked on HMS Madagascar on 23 December. It disembarked at Malta on 24 December 1830.

1831 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

1831 Listed as being in Corfu.

Baptisms in 1831:

The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

1856 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

1872 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

John Horan
Ellen Horgan Infant daughter of John and Hannah Horgan died 3 Sept 1872 aged 9 mths (St Lawrence Cemetery Vittoriosa)

18 Jan 1872 The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) embarked at Queenstown and arrived in Malta from Fermoy Ireland on 30 January 1872.

In 1872, the 1st/18th had an average strength of 612 men. It had 770 admissions (1258/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths in hospital and 1 out of hospital (8.17/1000 mean strength).

Its average strength from 30 June to 30 September was 694 men. During this third quarter of the year when fevers were prevalent, the regiment had a total of 333 hospital admissions with 2 deaths.

Hannah Barrett
Hannah Barrett wife of QM H. Barrett died 8 Sep 1872 aged 38 yrs. Also Rose Barrett daughter of above died 8 Mar 1874 aged 5 yrs. (Ta Braxia Cemetery Pieta)

It had: 4 cases of enteric fever with 1 death, 115 of continued fevers with 1 death and 214 of febricula with no deaths. The only fatal case of enteric fever in the 18th Foot, was one admitted from Fort Ricasoli in September.

The regiment brought measles into the station. Of the 9 reported cases among the troops, seven occurred in the 1st/18th Regiment. The disease prevailed to a considerable extent among the families of the soldiers during the year, 93 attacks and 8 deaths being recorded from it.

The men were quartered at Fort Ricasoli, San Salvatore Barracks, and Zabbar Gate Barracks. They were in camp until 28 February.

1873 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

In 1873, the 1st/18th had an average strength of 671 men. It had 417 admissions (621.5/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 9 deaths (13.41/1000 mean strength). The men were at Fort Ricasoli.

1874 1st/18th (Royal Irish)

The 1st/18th Regiment had an average strength of 516 men. It had 280 admissions (542.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths including 1 among the invalids (5.81 deaths/1000 mean strength). It had 17 invalids returned to England. A soldier of the 1st/18th Regiment was killed from a gun-shot. The men at Verdala Barracks.

20 Oct 1874 The 1st/18th (Royal Irish) embarked for Bombay where it arrived on 15 November 1874. It was relieved in Malta by the 101st Royal Bengal Fusiliers.

The 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

Baptisms in 1914:

The 2nd/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

1883 2nd/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment

23 Feb 1883 The 2nd/18th embarked at Egypt on 18 Feb 1883. It disembarked at Malta on 23 Feb 1883.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Regiment had an average strength of 191 men. It had 105 admissions (549.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital with no deaths. One invalid was returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 8.28 (43.85/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 15.82 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 28.78 days.

17 May 1883 The 2nd/Royal Irish Regiment consisting of HQ coy and 8 companies, 14 officers, 3 officer's wives and 2 children, 3 officer's female servants, 50 sgts, 16 drummers, 726 rank and file, 2 soldier's wives and 1 child embarked on HMS Jumna.

It disembarked at Portsmouth on 28 May 1886 after a short tour of 3 months in Malta and 6 months in Egypt (11 Aug 1882 – 18 Feb 1883).

1884 2nd/18th (Royal Irish)

28 Feb 1884 The 2nd/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment embarked at Portsmouth, and disembarked at Malta on 10 Mar 1884.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Regiment had an average strength of 743 men. It had 718 admissions (966.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 13 deaths (17.49 deaths/1000 mean strength). 13 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 52.02 (70.01/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 25.62 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 26.51 days.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Regiment had 15 admissions into hospital with pneumonia soon after the regiment had disembarked; 14 were transferred from hospital on board ship. A private soldier died after falling down 7.6 meters into the ditch of the fortifications.

1885 2nd/18th (Royal Irish)

7 Jan 1885 The 2nd/18th (Royal Irish) Regiment left for Bombay, arriving there on 25 January. It left behind a number of soldiers, 29 of which were still in Malta in June 1885.

Bibliography