Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The British Italian Legion

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The British Italian Legion


The British Army raised foreign troops at the outbreak of the Crimean War to augment the infantry regiments of the Line. The men were recruited in accordance with the Enlistment of Foreigners Act 1854, and the troops became collectively known as the British Foreign Legion.

In 1855 recruitment started into the British German Legion, the British Italian Legion, and the British Swiss Legion. A total of 14,000 men were recruited, although none saw active service, and all were disbanded after the war with Russia.

The 1st/The British Italian Legion

1812 1st/Italian Legion

1 Apr 1812 1167 recruits arrived in Malta under Major Burke but were kept on board their transports. Only 91 were allowed ashore where they were employed in making shoes and clothing for the regiment.

28 May 1812 The Legion sailed for Sicily. They recruited men from Prisoners of War held at Malta.

The 1st/The British Italian Legion

1856 1st/British Italian Legion

Jan 1856 Arrived at Malta.

The 2nd/The British Italian Legion

1856 2nd/British Italian Legion

Jan 1856 The 2nd Battalion arrived at Malta.

The 3rd/The British Italian Legion

1856 3rd/British Italian Legion

Apr 1856 The 3rd Battalion arrived at Malta.