The 68th Durham Light Infantry
The 68th Foot was derived from the 2nd/23rd Regiment of Foot. The 2nd Battalion was raised in 1756 in Leicester, but two years later became an independent regiment as the 68th Regiment of Foot. Its early recruiting took part in Durham.
In 1782, its county affiliation with Durham became formalised.
In 1808, the 68th became the third British infantry Regiment to be converted into a Light Infantry.
On 1 July 1881, the 68th (Durham Light Infantry) Regiment merged with the 106th (Bombay Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot to form the The Durham Light Infantry.
On 10 July 1968, the Durham Light Infantry, the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry (53rd Foot and 85th Foot), and the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry merged to form the Light Infantry.
The 3rd/68th (Durham Light Infantry)
1851 3rd/68th (DLI)
20 Mar 1851 558 men, 44 women and 64 children arrived from Cork in the Troop ship Resistance.
Strength: 527 men at Valletta.
Baptisms in 1851:
- 5 Aug Sarah Crackmen daughter of Ann and Cpl Henry Crackmen.
- 12 Aug John Twigg son of Ann and Pte Edward Twigg.
- 14 Oct George Henry Wheatley born on 3 Oct 1851, son of Mary and Pte Robert Wheatley.
- 14 Oct Sarah Jane Wheatley born on 8 Oct 1851, daughter of Jane and Bugler George Wheatley.
- 14 Oct Joseph Wilfred Witts born on 2 Oct 1851, son of Mary and Pte James Witts.
Burials in 1851:
- 10 Dec Elizabeth Lee daughter of John Lee 68th Light Infantry was buried at the Civil and Military Cemetery Floriana.
1852 3rd/68th (DLI)
Sep 1852 The 68th Light Infantry moved from the Auberge de Bavarie to Cottonera where it replaced the 76th Regiment.
Marriages in 1852:
- 9 Jan Bachelor CSgt Joseph Thompson born at Lea Marston in the County of Warwickshire, son of Joseph and Catherine Thompson married Phoebe Elliott, spinster born at Killaloe in the County of Clare Ireland, daughter of John and Elizabeth Elliott.
Baptisms in 1852:
- 13 Jan Joseph Henry Lee born on 11 December 1851, son of Mary and Pte Daniel Lee.
- 20 Jan John Robert Lawrence born on 11 January 1852, son of Frances and L/Cpl John Lawrence.
- 7 Feb Malcolm George Kenneth Macbeath born on 13 January 1852, son of Penelope Richards and Maj George Macbeath.
- 11 May Charles Alexander Sharman born on 24 April 1852, son of Deborah and Pte Jonathan Sharman.
- 21 Sep Mary Ann Lusher born on 8 September 1852, daughter of Mary and Pte Robert Lusher.
- 5 Oct Jane Curtis born on 15 September 1852, daughter of Jane and Pte John Curtis.
- 22 Oct Harriet Button born on 7 October 1852, daughter of Eliza and Pte John Button.
- 22 Oct William Head born on 14 October 1852, son of Ann and Sgt William Head.
- 7 Nov Mary Ann Kelly born on 17 October 1852, daughter of Mary Ann and Pte Thomas Andrew Kelly.
- 9 Nov Margaret Ann Lee born on 9 October 1852, daughter of Bridget and Pte Mark Lee.
- 10 Nov Benjamin Jones born on 16 October 1852, son of Jane and Pte William Jones.
- 14 Nov Elizabeth Hartley born on 5 November 1852, daughter of Mary Ann and Pte Abraham Hartley.
- 14 Nov Elizabeth Perrin born on 31 October 1852, daughter of Maria and Pte James Perrin.
- 5 Dec Adelaide Taylor born on 8 November 1852, daughter of Mary and Band Sgt William Taylor.
- 14 Dec Elliott Thompson born on 24 October 1852, son of Phoebe and CSgt Joseph Thompson.
- 21 Dec Maria Andrews born on 8 November 1852, daughter of Ellen and Sgt George Andrews.
- 25 Dec Charles Merrick born on 14 December 1852, son of Letitia and Pte Charles Merrick.
Burials in 1852:
- 26 Apr Pte Alfred Clarke aged 24 years 9 months.
- 10 June Lt George Hugh Alington aged 25 years 11 months.
- 12 June Infant John Twigg aged 10 months 13 days, son of Pte Edward Twigg. (Military and Civil Cemetery Floriana by Assistant Chaplain to the Forces Henry Hare).
- 12 July Infant Emilia Stanhope aged 11 months, daughter of Pte John Stanhope.
1853 3rd/68th (DLI)
18 Jan A draft of one officer and 21 men left Nenagh Depôt for Dublin on 17 January 1853 to embark for Malta.
24 Jan A draft of two officers and 20 men embarked at Deptford on board transport John Oldham for Malta.
25 Jan Lt Lyon who was on leave of absence visiting several of the continental ports, broke his arm when he was thrown off his horse while hunting at Naples. He was unable to return to Malta by his yacht, the Wizard, but instead returned to his regiment from Naples on the French steamer.
13 Oct The 68th Durham Light Infantry moved from Floriana Barracks to Strada Torre Barracks. HQ Coy located itself at the Auberge de Castille.
Marriages in 1853:
- 1 Jan In the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta Bachelor Sgt Major James Legatt born at Quebec, son of Joseph and Lucy Legatt of Framlingham in the County of Suffolk England married Mary Ann Price, spinster and minor with the consent of her parents John and Margaret Price, born at Woolwich Kent.
Baptisms in 1853:
- 23 Jan Fanny Clifford born on 29 November 1852, daughter of Ellen and Pte Joseph Clifford.
- 30 Jan George Henry Harwood born on 1 January 1853, son of Bidelia and Cpl John Harwood.
- 20 Feb Ellen Maria Sharman born on 20 January 1853, daughter of Ellen and Pte William Sharman.
- 27 Feb Eliza Gissing born on 26 February 1853, daughter of Anne and Pte William Gissing.
- 14 Mar Augustine John Wilson born on 24 February 1853, son of Mary and Pte James Wilson.
- 25 Mar William Henry Baxter born on 27 February 1853, son of Catherine and Pte Joseph Baxter.
- 25 Mar Mary Ann Lee born on 3 March 1853, daughter of Bridget and Cpl William Tucker Lee.
- 29 Mar Maria Skey born on 5 March 1853, daughter of Mary and Pte John Skey.
- 12 Apr Emily Brown born on 22 March 1853, daughter of Mary Mackmaness and Pte John Brown.
- 26 Apr Samuel Patrick Twigg born on 17 March 1853, son of Ann and Pte Edward Twigg.
- 10 May Charles Humphries born on 26 November 1852, son of Mary and Pte Charles Humphries.
- 7 June Percy McKellop born on 25 May 1853, son of Hellen and Cpl John McKellop.
- 2 Aug Henry Holmes born on 25 June 1853, son of Hannah and Pte Randal Holmes was baptised by the Rev Henry Hare, Assistant Chaplain to the Forces.
- 9 Aug Henry Charles Beale born on 20 July 1853, son of Eliza and Sgt Richard Beale.
- 9 Aug Mary Anne Finch born on 27 July 1853, daughter of Mary and Pte John Finch.
- 16 Aug William Oarr born on 9 August 1853, son of Mary and L/Cpl Abraham Oarr.
- 16 Aug Emma Gleeson born on 20 April 1853, daughter of Charlotte and Pte John Gleeson.
- 13 Sep William Henry Chadwick born on 30 June 1853, son of Margaret and Pte George Chadwick.
- 13 Sep Joseph Chaplin born on 2 September 1853, son of Ann and Pte Joseph Chaplin.
- 1 Nov Henry James McCullagh born on 13 October 1853, son of Mary and Sgt Henry McCullagh.
- 15 Nov William Hillen born on 13 October 1853, son of Bridget and Pte Benjamin Hillen.
- 29 Nov Maria Lawrence born on 29 November 1853, daughter of Margaret and Pte Thomas Lawrence.
- 21 Dec Lilly Lambert born on 27 November 1853, daughter of Mary and Pte John Lambert.
Burials in 1853:
- 9 Sep Harriet Lambert aged 3 years, daughter of Pte John Lambert.
- 30 Sep Charles Humphries son of Pte Charles Humphries.
- 3 Oct Maria Andrews daughter of Sgt G Andrews.
- 3 Nov Emma Gleeson aged 7 months, daughter of Pte John Gleeson.
- 13 Nov William Henry Jones aged 2 years 10 months, son of Pte W Jones.
- 30 Nov Pte Charles Taylor aged 30 years.
- 4 Dec Maria Lawrence aged 6 days, daughter of Pte Thomas Lawrence.
- 25 Dec Pte James Keating aged 19 years.
- 31 Dec Christopher Hutchinson aged 3 months, son of Pte Christopher Hutchinson.
1854 3rd/68th (DLI)
3 Mar 1854 Two companies of the 68th marched from St Elmo to Marsamxetto. 520 men were located at Cottonera.
18 Apr The 68th formed part of the Army of Reserve at Strada Torre Barracks until required in the east.
Apr The 68th sailed for the Crimea. It fought at Inkerman (1854), Alma (1854) and Sebastopol (1855).
20 May The Steamer Karnak left Cork on 20 May with 60 private soldiers, 3 women and 10 children of 3rd Regiment of Foot, 5 private soldiers, 7 women and 15 children of 9th Regiment of Foot, 102 private soldiers, 6 women and 9 children of 62nd Regiment of Foot, and 47 private soldiers, 2 women and 0 children of 68th Regiment of Foot. The ship was under the medical charge of Assistant Surgeon Andrew risk 23rd Regiment. It arrived at Malta on 31 May 1854. There had been no casualties or sick during the voyage other than a single case of measles.
1 June General Order Valletta to Staff Surgeon 1st Class Daniel Armstrong from Major and Assistant Military Secretary E H F Pocklington: Assistant Surgeons Woods and Risk 23rd Regiment having arrived at Malta, will be attached to the 68th Regiment until further orders.
An After General Order dated Head Quarters Valletta 1 June 1854 signed by Major E H F Pocklington stated that the attachment of Assistant Surgeon Woods 23rd Regiment to the 68th Regiment is cancelled and that officer will embark immediately on board the transport No 59 for the purpose of joining his Corps.
13 July The 68th moved to Fort Ricasoli in preparation for its departure to the east. The detachment of the 14th Regiment which had occupied Fort Ricasoli moved to Strada Torre Barracks.
Nov The regiment had 31 officers and 865 men serving in the Crimea. Bowel complaints leading into cholera among the young soldiers was ascribed to exposure and severe duty, scanty food and want of fuel to cook it. There were 40 admissions with 8 deaths from gunshot wounds received at Inkerman on 5 November 1854.
Marriages in the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta in 1854:
- 13 Feb Bachelor Paymaster Sgt Thomas Driscol born in Cork, son of Thomas and Ellen Driscol of Cork, to Mary Ann Gould, spinster and minor, with the consent of her father, born at Chatham Kent, daughter of Richard and Sarah Gould.
- 18 Apr Bachelor CSgt William Henry Foster born in Warwick, son of John and Catherine Foster to Ann Baxter, spinster and minor born in Cork, Ireland, daughter of Joseph and Catherine Baxter, with the consent of her parents.
Baptisms in 1854:
- 11 Jan Sarah Cracknell born on 10 December 1853, daughter of Anne and Cpl Henry Cracknell.
- 25 Jan Dora Fitzgerald born on 10 January 1854, daughter of Bridget and Pte James Fitzgerald.
- 25 Jan Arthur Kilpack born on 13 December 1853, son of Harriet and Sgt William Kilpack.
- 1 Feb Elizabeth Jones born on 24 December 1853, daughter of Jane and Pte William Jones.
- 8 Feb William Smith born on 3 January 1854, son of Elizabeth and Pte George Smith.
- 21 Feb Matilda Wheatley born on 10 February 1854, daughter of Jane and Pte George Wheatley.
- 7 June Joseph Brown born on 21 May 1854, daughter of Mary and Pte John Brown.
- 18 July Christopher Murphy born on 25 December 1853, son of Alicia and Pte Joseph Murphy.
- 18 July Charles Bietton born on 12 July 1854, daughter of Eliza and Pte John Bietton.
Burials in 1854:
- 9 Mar Pte Henry Boucher aged 24 years.
- 13 June Margaret Ann Lee aged 1 year 8 months, daughter of Pte Mark Lee.
- 21 July Henry James McCullagh aged 9 months, son of Sgt Patrick H McCullagh.
- 28 July Pte Richard Sumpter aged 30 years.
- 25 Aug Pte Joseph Marklove aged 29 years.
- 28 Oct William Smith aged 9 months 2 weeks, son of L/Cpl George Smith.
1855 3rd/68th (DLI)
Marriages in 1855:
- 18 July In the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta, Bachelor CSgt George James Cooke born in Chillesford County Suffolk, son of George to Rebecca Cooke of Chillesford to Mary McCullogh, widow.
Baptisms in 1855:
- 3 Jan Georgiana Andrews born on 17 December 1854, daughter of Ellen and Sgt James George Andrews.
- 12 Sep Frederic William Taylor born on 3 August 1855, son of Mary and Sgt William Frederic Taylor Acting Garrison QM Sgt.
Burials in 1855:
- 8 Jan Pte George Warmington aged 24 years.
- 19 Dec Pte John McCann aged 22 years.
1856 3rd/68th (DLI)
Baptisms in 1856:
- 4 June James Chadwick born on 23 May 1856, son of Catherine and L/Sgt Frederick Chadwick.
Burials in 1856:
- 25 May Pte James Moore 68th Light Infantry.
- 29 June Pte William Cullen 68th Light Infantry.
- 10 Nov Capt Paymaster William Henry Stone Hadley died on 10 Nov 1856.
The 1st/Durham Light Infantry
26 Jan 1942 The 1st/DLI arrived at Malta from Egypt having been at Tobruk. Scabies and lice was common among them. A Coy reached Malta on 23 March.
The battalion was stationed at Verdala Buskett, Rabat, Dingli and near the airfield at Ta' Qali. It formed part of Malta's Central Infantry Brigade.
The 1st/DLI was issued with 400 bicycles and became the Mobile Reserve. D Company 1st/DLI, moved to Gebel Ciantar and the summer residence of the inquisitor to become the Battalion Fortress Reserve with anti-parachute responsibilities.
27 Jan 112065 Capt Robert Norman Lees MC RAMC was attached to 1st/DLI.
21 Mar 1942 Between 10:00 and 11:00 waves of German Bombers attacked Ta' Qali airfield and the aircraft dispersal points. During this raid four bombs hit 90th General Hospital Mtarfa. Two dental patients (1st/DLI) and 3 soldiers of "D" Coy 1st/DLI, who were asleep in tents in Almond Gardens, after guarding German prisoners at night, died in the bombing. Three soldiers (1st/DLI) were seriously injured, with two subsequently dying of their injuries. The men were buried at Mtarfa Military Cemetery.
23 Nov–27 Nov 1942 Capt W. G. Timmis RAMC was attached to 1st/DLI.
Killed in Action in 1942:
- 21 Mar 1942 4460787 Pte John Edward Wake aged 22 years.
- 21 Mar 4459647 Pte Robert Sadler aged 26 years.
- 21 Mar 4462437 Pte Stephen Hall Gardiner aged 28 years.
- 21 Mar 4460644 Pte James Joseph Murray aged 22 years.
- 21 Mar 6025634 Pte Charles Levey aged 22 years.
- 22 Mar 4269895 Pte John William Dewhurst aged 25 years.
- 8 Apr 6026833 Pte Ivan Ronald Harrold aged 26 years was killed in action on April 1942.
- 22 Apr 4463148 Pte Roy Temple Douglass aged 28 years.
- 24 Apr4269087 Cpl William Rutter Rogerson aged 27 years.
3 Oct 1942 A large number of soldiers were admitted to 90 General Hospital Mtarfa with enteritis.
6 June 1943 152698 Capt T. L. Macdonald was posted as RMO 1st/DLI.
6 June War Substantive (WS)/Capt Thomas Arthur Gainsford Reed was posted from 1st/DLI to 90 GH.
June 1943 The 1st/DLI Regiment left for Egypt.
The 2nd/Durham Light Infantry
18 Aug 1882 A wing of the 2nd/Durham Light Infantry arrived from England.
The 2nd/Durham Light Infantry had an average strength of 133 men. It had 160 admissions (1203/1000 mean strength) into hospital. A soldier shot himself in the hand while on sentry duty. A court of inquiry was unable to determine whether the injury was the result of a negligent discharge or self inflicted intentionally.
1 Jan – 24 Feb 1883 The 2nd/Durham Light Infantry had an average strength of 58 men, with 22 admissions (379.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital.
Its average constantly sick was 2.46 (42.41/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 15.48 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 40.81 days.
- Farmer J. S., 1984. The regimental records of the British Army Reprint Edition, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Crecy Books.
- Edwards T. J., 1980. Regimental Badges First Edition, Tonbridge, Kent: Ernest Benn Ltd.
- TNA:WO 177/1360, War Diaries No 90th General Hospital April 1940 to September 1946.
- TNA:WO 156/122; List of gravestones at the Military and Civil Cemetery 1801–1865 and the Quarantine Bastion Cemetery 1819–1867 compiled by the Rev D B L Foster Assistant Chaplain General Western Mediterranean in May 1939.
- TNA:WO 156/112. Burial Register from 16 January 1837 to 28 August 1853.
- TNA:WO 156/113. Register of burials September 1853 to June 1862.
- TNA:WO 156/595. No 3, Marriage Register 11 July 1839 to 14 May 1859.