The Royal Army Medical Corps
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1948


Malta Garrison April 1948

  • Army
    • British Troops: 117 officers, 1167 ORs
    • Maltese Troops: 53 officers, 1480 ORs
    • British Troops: 422 wives, 616 children
    • Maltese Troops: 1307 wives, 4033 children
  • Royal Navy
    • British personnel: 951 wives, 912 children
    • Maltese personnel: 1177 wives, 2503 children
    • RM Commando: 49 officers, 676 ORs
  • RAF
    • RAF British and Maltese Troops: 133 officers, 1142 ORs
    • British personnel: 182 wives, 274 children
    • Maltese personnel: 320 wives, 790 children
  • QAIMNS/TANS: 23 officers


Miss Rose, Matron of Mtarfa and her nursing officers trained the nursing orderlies of the RAMC who were successful in their trade examinations.

RAMC Jubilee

The RAMC was formed on 23 June 1898. On 23 June 1948, a Jubilee parade was held at the Depôt and Training establishment to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

King George V Hospital

The King George V Merchant Seaman's Memorial Hospital had been destroyed by enemy action on 7 Apr 1942. It was rebuilt and opened by Lady Mountbatten on 30 Nov 1948.

The hospital had originally been opened in 1922 and had been intended chiefly to serve the needs of merchant seamen. However, it had always cared for the personnel of the Royal Navy and their families, as well as residents and visitors to the island. The Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross Society contributed £125,000 towards the rebuilding of the hospital.

Medical Treatment Families

Families of soldiers visiting their relatives in England where not entitled to emergency medical treatment by the army medical services. The regulations stipulated that medical treatment was granted as a privilege to the families of regulars, when there was a medical officer at the family's station.

Medical officers did not visit families in their own homes if they resided beyond one mile form a fixed point in camp. Families were only admitted to a military families hospital under the emergency medical service when treatment was necessary and a room available. Exceptions were cases of chronic disease which were ineligible except for operation or relief of acute condition.

Eligibility for medical attendance and admission to hospital also depended on (i) the family being with the soldier, or (ii) separated from him by exigencies of the service, or if (iii) the soldier was certified to be medical unfit to live at his duty station. The qualifying condition that the soldier had to be on the married quarters role ceased to apply in 1939, but he had to be entitled for the marriage allowance.

Personnel BMH Imtarfa

Capt (QM) Froggatt RAMC, Company Officer, left Malta on 2 Aug 1948 for release in the UK. He was relieved by Capt Hopewell RAMC.

On 8 Aug, Capt A V G Bibby RAMC, OC Military Families Hospital, departed for the UK on release.

On 9 Sep, the administration of the Military Families Hospital was taken over by the Officer Commanding the BMH, Lt Col J E Rea. On 27 Nov, the Commanding Officer also assumed the duties of quartermaster on the return to UK for release of Capt (QM) Wilford RAMC.

RAMC Commissions

There were three types of commissions for medical officers in the RAMC: National Service, Short Service and Regular.

Women Medical Practitioners who volunteered were granted commissions in the Land Forces under the Army and Air Forces (Women's Services) Act 1948.

All medical officers were at first commissioned as Lieutenants and after a year satisfactory service were promoted to the rank of captain.

The Short Service Commission was for four years on the active list and four years in the Regular Army Reserve of Officers.

Upon completion of their two years active service, National Service Medical Officers were accepted into the RAMC Territorial Army.

National Health Service

The National Health Service came into operation on 5 July 1948. British officers and Other Ranks serving abroad, whose normal place of residence was the UK, and their wives and children including those married locally became eligible for free medical, dental and optical treatment, including hospital treatment.