Regiments
Of the Malta Garrison
The 28th
(North Gloucestershire)

The 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment

Gloucestershire
A female Sphinx resting on a pedestal inscribed Egypt within two sprigs of laurel; below the laurel, a scroll inscribed Gloucestershire.

The 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment was raised in 1694, as Colonel Sir John Gibson's Regiment of Foot.

In 1751 it was numbered 28th in the order of precedence of the infantry. In 1782 it was granted its territorial association with North Gloucestershire.

On 1 July 1881, The 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment merged with the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot to form the 1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment.

The 28th had the unique distinction of wearing the Sphinx at the back of their head dress as well as at the front. This commemorates the action of 21 March 1801, when the men fought the French back to back under General Sir Ralph Abercrombie in the Egyptian Campaign. After 1815, officers wore a white metal rectangle with the Sphinx for Egypt over 28th on the back of their shako, which later became the white metal Sphinx. The Sphinx shown is a female one, a Greek creature and not the true Egyptian male Sphinx. The Egyptian male sphinx, had a beard and its tail laid on its back, whereas the female Sphinx had large breasts and a tail which stood up vertically over its back.

The 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment

1818 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

Mar 1818 734 men embarked for the Ionian Islands.

1822 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

Mar–June 1822 Of the five companies of the 28th which had been in Fort Raymond Barracks Corfu, two were moved into the Citadel and three to Fort Neuf, with one company remaining at Vido Island. The rest of the regiment was at Santa Maura.

Baptisms in 1822:

1823 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

Burials in 1823:

1824 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

Baptisms in 1824:

Burials in 1824:

The 1st/ 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment

1854 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

Lower St Elmo
Lower St Elmo was rebuilt during the time of Grand Master Manoel Pinto de Fonesca (1741–73), to store the ammunition of the Order of St John, and to serve as a safe refuge for females in time of siege. It consisted of three rows of magazines, 19 on each floor, built within the walls under the western wing of the fort.

4 Mar 1854 The 1st/28th embarked in England on 22 Feb 1854. It arrived by steam navigation and had a smooth passage with little discomfort. The regiment was quartered at Bighi, San Salvatore, Zabbar, and Valletta.

7 April The 1st/28th embarked for Turkey and the Crimea. The regiment had 21 officers and 561 serving in the Crimea. Bowel complaints were common and cases of cholera broke out. Some soldiers showed symptoms of scurvy.

Surgeon Marlow ascribed the prevalence of bowel complaints to the wet and cold weather, fatigue and insufficient clothing, the men being literally in rags. They had insufficient bedding, having only one blanket each.

1855 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

Burials in 1855:

1856 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

30 May 1856 The 1st/28th embarked in Crimea on 24 May 1856 and landed in Malta on 30 May. 883 men occupied Fort Lower St Elmo Barracks.

Burials in 1856:

1857 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

1857 782 men occupied Fort Lower St Elmo Barracks.

June 1857 In 1856–57, an epidemic of ophthalmia broke out in regiments stationed in Malta. The 14th Foot had 226 cases of ophthalmia out of a strength of 828 men. Eight tailors of the 28th Foot attached to the tailor's shop of the 14th became infected. The other six were removed from the shop and remained free of infection. The 28th Foot suffered relatively little, no cases appearing among the officers, women and children.

Marriages in the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta in 1857:

Baptisms in 1857:

Burials in Floriana in 1857:

No 4239 Thomas Shepherd:

1858 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

1 Jan 1858 Strength: Rank and File 783 (Effective), 800 (Established). Together with the 6 Coys of the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment the 10 Coys of 28th Foot formed part of 2nd Brigade.

1 Mar Strength: Rank and File 779 (Effective), 800 (Established). Together with 2nd Foot and the Royal Malta Fencibles, 28th Foot formed part of 2nd Brigade.

Marriages in the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta in 1858:

26 Oct 1858 The battalion embarked for India. Strength: 35 Officers, 47 NCOs, 21 Buglers/Drummers, 807 rank and file, 910 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 4,849 rank and file).

Baptisms in 1858:

1 Sep Strength: 35 Officers, 47 NCOs, 21 Buglers/Drummers, 807 rank and file, 910 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 4849 rank and file).

Nov 1858 The 1st/28th embarked for India.

The 1st/ 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment

1872 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

ophth
Ophthalmia, vesicular lids with slight inflammation (Fr Marston J. A., On Ophthalmia 1862.)

7 Mar 1872 The 1st/28th embarked at Gibraltar and disembarked in Malta on 12 March. The men were quartered at Isola Gate Barracks, Polverista Gate, and San Francesco de Paola Barracks.

In 1872, the 28th had an average strength of 551 men. It had 468 admissions (849/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths in hospital and 1 out of hospital (9.07/1000 mean strength).

Its average strength from 30 June to 30 September was 677 men. During this third quarter of the year when fevers were prevalent, the regiment had a total of 175 hospital admissions with no deaths.

It had: 4 cases of enteric fever, 77 of simple continued fevers and 94 of febricula.

1873 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

In 1873, the 28th had an average strength of 663 men. It had 410 admissions (618.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (6.03/1000 mean strength).

The men were quartered at Isola Gate Barracks.

1874 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

E C C Farnall
Capt Elliott Christie Charles Farnall died 8 Mar 1874 aged 34 yrs.
(Ta' Braxia Cemetery Pieta)

The 1st/28th Regiment had an average strength of 636 men. It had 513 admissions (806.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths including 1 among the invalids (6.29 deaths/1000 mean strength). It had 22 invalids returned to England. One man died of pyaemia, the primary lesion being an infection of the dorsum of his foot.

The 28th Regiment had 29 admissions for simple continued fever, most of which were of a mild character; a few were complicated with visceral lesions and several were very tedious, being followed by neuralgia and rheumatism.

1 Jan 1874 The men were at Lower St Elmo Barracks.

1 Dec The regiment moved to Fort Ricasoli.

1875 1st/28th (North Gloucestershire)

The 28th Foot had an average strength of 635 men. It had 508 admissions (800/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 8 deaths including 4 among the invalids (12.60 deaths/1000 mean strength). It had 36 invalids returned to England. Its average daily sick was 25.0 (39.37/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 14.36 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 17.96 days.

The men were at Fort Ricasoli.

18 Dec 1875 The 1st/28th embarked for Hong Kong where it arrived on 1 February 1876. It was replaced in the garrison by the 98th (The Prince of Wales's) Regiment which disembarked from the West Indies on 13 Dec 1875.

The 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment

1 July 1881 The 28th Regiment became The 1st Battalion The Gloucester Regiment.

1893 1st/Gloucestershire

1 Nov 1893 The 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment left Aldershot and embarked at Portsmouth. It disembarked in Malta on 11 November 1893.

It had an average strength of 118 men, 188 admissions (1593.2/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 3 deaths (25.42/1000 mean strength). 1 invalid returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 7.06 (59.83/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 21.84 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 13.71 days.

The 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment was quartered at Pembroke Camp for 2 months. The men were largely employed on leveling the camp, laying out gardens and rebuilding the musketry butts.

An outbreak of enteric fever took place at Pembroke Camp. The fever broke out 15 days after the heavy rains of 13 – 14 Nov 1893. The first case was admitted on 28 November. A commission was appointed by the Government to investigate the outbreak. The commission identified the introduction of milk into the camp by irregular vendors as well as contamination of the drinking water as a possible source of the epidemic. Open tanks collected rain water in winter and aqueduct water in summer. The tanks had no filter beds.

Burials in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1893:

1894 1st/Gloucestershire

Gardner A
4156 Pte A Gardner E Coy died 19 Oct 1894 aged 23 yrs (Pieta Military Cemetery).

The 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment had an average strength of 981 men. It had 818 admissions (833.8/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (4.07/1000 mean strength). 8 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 70.97 (72.34/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 26.40 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 31.66 days.

The 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment was in Pembroke Camp Barracks for 12 months.

Baptisms in 1894:

Burials in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1894:

1895 1st/Gloucestershire

E G Weyman
Pte Edwin George Weyman G Coy died 2 Jan 1895 aged 23 yrs (Pieta Military Cemetery).

The 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment had an average strength of 906 men. It had 621 admissions (683.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 6 deaths (6.62/1000 mean strength). 19 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 45.78 (50.53/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 18.44 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 26.91 days.

21 Nov 1895 The 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment was in Pembroke Camp Barracks for 1 month and Isola Gate for 10 months. It embarked for Egypt on 21 November, arriving there on 24 November 1895.

Baptisms in 1895:

Burials at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1895:

Burials in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1895:

1896 Detachment 1st/Gloucestershire

19 men were left behind in Malta on the departure of the 1st/Gloucestershire Regiment.

The 2nd/Gloucestershire Regiment

1910 2nd/Gloucestershire

Oct 1910 The 2nd/Gloucestershire was at Portsmouth when it was warned off to embark for Malta.

4 Nov The battalion left Portsmouth and embarked at Southampton on the transport Rewa. It disembarked at Malta on 12 November 1910.

1911 2nd/Gloucestershire

Baptisms in 1911:

1912 2nd/Gloucestershire

Baptisms in 1912:

1913 2nd/Gloucestershire

12 Sep 1913 The 2nd/Gloucestershire Regiment embarked on the transport Soudan for Ching-Wang-Tao China, where it arrived on 18–19 October 1913.

Baptisms in 1913:

1915 – 7th/Gloucestershire Regiment

The 7th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment formed part of 39th Brigade 13th (Western Division) in Gallipoli.

1915 – 7th/Gloucestershire

Burials in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1915:

Bibliography