Regiments of the Malta Garrison The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (32nd/46th)
The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (32nd/46th)
The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry had its origins in Colonel Edward Fox's Regiment of Marines raised in 1702. In 1751 it was numbered 32nd Foot; in 1782 it was designated The 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot.
On 26 February 1858, the 32nd Foot was made into a Light Infantry Corps, in recognition of its services in the defence of the Residency at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny (1857–58).
On 1 July 1881, the 32nd (Cornwall Light Infantry) amalgamated with the 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment, to form the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.
The 32nd became The 1st Battalion; the 46th The 2nd Battalion The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.
In 1959, the the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry linked with the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) to form The Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry.
28 Dec 1885 In 1885, the 1st Battalion The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was stationed at Richmond Barracks, Dublin with a musketry detachment at the Curragh. Between January and May, 337 recruits joined from the Depôt. The recruits had a fair proportion of West countrymen, a few being natives of Cornwall and eighty Irishmen.
On 7 Dec, the regiment received orders to embark for Malta. It sailed from Kingstown on board the hired transport India on 17 Dec, arriving at Malta on 28 Dec where the whole battalion with the exception of C Company disembarked. It had an average strength of 16 officers and 653 men, 3 officers' wives, 8 officers' children, 42 soldiers' wives and 55 soldiers' children. The head-quarters proceeded to Fort Ricasoli, B Company and C Company (on the 29th) to Fort Salvatore and E Company to Zabbar Gate.
26 Nov 1886 The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was stationed in Cottonera for 12 months with detachments at Pembroke Camp. The battalion moved from Fort Ricasoli to Verdala Barracks where on 26 November it entertained Admiral HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Squadron.
It had an average strength of 813 men. From July to September, the men fell ill with simple continued fever, with an average daily number of 50 sick out of a strength on 920. On 2 August, two detachments were ordered to Forts Ta' Silc and Delimara for change of air. The detachment rejoined head-quarters on 30 September.
During the year there were 695 admissions into hospital with 7 deaths. Three invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 46.39. The average sick time to each soldier was 20.82 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.36 days.
The following were baptised in the Garrison Church, Valletta in 1886:
28 MarEthel Ricasoli Tomalin daughter of Susan Bigglestone and Master Tailor Alfred William Tomalin of Fort Ricasoli, born on 3 Jan 1886.
28 MarEmma Elizabeth Males daughter of Emma and Bandsman (Bdsm) John Males of Zabbar barracks, born on 6 Mar 1886.
4 AprAlice Louisa Long daughter of Martha and Pte Edwin Long of Fort Salvatore, born on 9 Mar 1886.
11 AprEdith Mary Dust daughter of Elizabeth and CSgt Edmund Frederick Dust of Fort Ricasoli, born on 10 Mar 1886.
23 AprMary Ann Hinsley daughter of Mary Ann and Bdsm John Hinsley of Zabbar Barracks, born on 2 Apr 1886.
30 MayGeorge Alfred Bradley son of Sarah Ruth and L/Cpl Edward Earl Bradley of Verdala Barracks Cottonera, born on 11 May 1886.
30 MayLewis William Perfect son of Eliza and Pte Lewis Perfect of Zabbar Gate Barracks, born on 23 April 1886.
3 JuneAlfred Edward Ashment son of Emma and Bdsm Charles Ashment of Verdala Barracks Cottonera, born on 21 May 1886.
26 JuneFlorence Kate Kelly daughter of Kate and Sgt Edward John Kelly of Verdala Barracks Cottonera, born on 6 Jan 1886.
4 JulyLouisa Maud Evans daughter of Louisa and Cpl (Band) George Evans of Verdala Barracks Cottonera, born on 14 June 1886.
23 DecJane Musk daughter of Jane and Sgt Harry Musk of the Camerata Valletta, born on 5 Dec 1886.
26 DecWilliam Henry Sullivan daughter of Mary Anne and Sgt John Sullivan of Zabbar Gate, born on 10 Nov 1886.
The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry had an average strength of 874 men. It had 386 admissions (441.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 5 deaths (5.72/1000 mean strength). Four invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 22.29 (25.50/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 9.30 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 21.07 days.
On 18 Mar 1887, being the anniversary of the birthday of HRH Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, a full dress brigade parade was held when HRH received a royal salute and afterwards rode down the lines. On 21 June, the battalions forming the brigade (32nd, 42nd, 51st and 75th) together with the Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery and Naval Brigades were concentrated near Fort Manoel for the celebration of Queen Victoria's jubilee.
The following were baptised in the Garrison Church, Valletta in 1887:
23 JanThomas Orlando Western son of Constance Gertrude and CSgt Thomas Western of Polverista Barracks, born on 6 Jan 1887.
10 MayEdwin John Kelly son of Kate and Sgt Edwin John Kelly, of Pembroke Camp, born on 18 Mar 1887.
12 JuneEllen Jubilee Hinsley daughter of Mary Ann and Bdsm John Hinsley, of Pembroke Camp, born on 26 May 1887.
31 JulyRosetta Emily Elizabeth Male daughter of Rosetta and Bdsm Alfred Henry Male, of Pembroke Camp, born on 10 July 1887.
7 AugLouis George Edward Williamson son of Alice Jane and Bdsm Cornelius Williamson, of Pembroke Camp, born on 17 July 1887.
4 SepFrederick Herbert Hamblin son of Prudence Grace and Paymaster Sgt William Charles Hamblin, of Pembroke Camp, born on 8 Aug 1887.
11 SepFlorence Beatrice Dust daughter of Elizabeth and CSgt Edmund Frederick Dust, of Pembroke Camp, born on 15 Aug 1887.
11 SepWilliam John Hancock son of Mary and Pte John Hancock, of Pembroke Camp, born on 19 Aug 1887.
9 OctEdith Maud Mary Jones daughter of Elizabeth Ann and Pte Thomas Jones, of Pembroke Camp, born on 3 Sep 1887.
16 OctWalter Henry Poyner son of Ann and Pte James Henry Poyner, of Pembroke Camp, born on 2 Oct 1887.
6 NovAlfred Henry Long son of Martha and Pte Edwin Long, of Pembroke Camp, born on 18 Oct 1887.
The following were buried in Pietà Cemetery in 1887:
22 June Pte William Worsfold G Coy 1st/DCLI drowned at Pembroke Camp aged 23 years 11 months.
14 July Pte Joseph Vale aged 20 years.
15 July Pte William Grindrod aged 20 years.
30 July Child Thomas Orlando Nestern aged 6 months.
22 Aug Child Lucy Maud Evans aged 1 year 2 months, daughter of Lance Sgt G Evans.
8 Sep Child William Henry Sullivan aged 10 months, son of Sgt Sullivan.
14 Sep Child Lilian M Archer aged 5 years, daughter of Sgt Archer.
6 Dec Lt Alfred Ernest Bassano aged 23 years 11 months, only son of Maj Gen Bassano CB died accidentally following a fall from the staircase at the Officers' Mess Floriana. He was buried in Ta' Braxia Cemetery Pietà.
21 Dec Pte William Boggis C Coy 1st/DCLI aged 38 years 11 months.
20 Aug 1887 The band of the 1st/DCLI played Schubert's overture Rosamunde at St Ignatius College Sliema during the annual exhibition and distribution of prizes. St Ignatius College was an academic establishment run by the Jesuit Fathers for the instruction of male students. It did not receive any subsidy from Government. Parents bore all the expenses for the education of their sons.
12 Dec 1887 The battalion received a warning order to prepare to embark in the troopship Crocodile for Bombay on 18 February 1888.
The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry had an average strength of 74 men. It had 78 admissions (1054/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (27.02/1000 mean strength). 3 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 5.39 (72.83/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 26.65 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 23.29 days.
5 Jan 1888 Pte William Dunn aged 21 years was buried in Pietà Cemetery.
5 Feb Baptism in the Garrison Church, Valletta of Charles Ravelin Ashment son of Emma Caroline and Bdsm Charles Ashment, of Floriana, born on 9 Jan 1888.
18 Feb 1888 The 1st/Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry was quartered in Valletta. It marched to the Custom House where it was inspected by the Princess Louise and the Marquis of Lorne accompanied by the Governor of Malta Sir Lintorn Simmons. It embarked for Bombay, arriving there on 7 March. It was stationed at Bellary and Madras.
18 July 1882 The 2nd/The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry embarked at Gibraltar on 14 July 1882 and disembarked at Malta on 18 July 1882.
20 July 1882 The battalion embarked for Egypt on 20 July, arriving there on 24 July 1882.
Surgeon–Major Laurence Corban was in medical charge of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in Egypt. He landed in Egypt on 23 July and remained with his regiment until the termination of all active operations by the capture of Cairo, which permitted the withdrawal of the greater portion of the troops. His regiment was always to the front during the campaign, and Dr Corban was in every battle, so that he had ample opportunities of noting deficiencies. Bad and scanty food, the want of blankets and tents, were probably answerable for most of the sickness of the troops.