RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
20th (East Devonshire) Regiment

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The 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment

Lancashire Fusiliers
An eight–pointed star, on the centre of which is a belt with the motto Omnia Audax surmounted by a crown displacing the uppermost point of the star. The regimental number, the two tens (XX), lies within the belt. Below the lower point of the star is a scroll inscribed The Lancashire Fusiliers 1880–88, 1898–99 (Main Guard Valletta)

The 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment was raised in 1688 as Colonel Sir Robert Peyton's Regiment of Foot. In 1751 it was numbered the 20th to which East Devonshire was added in 1782.

In May 1838, the 20th was permitted to add on its Colours the words Vimiera and Corunna in commemoration of the battles in which it was engaged at Vimiera on 21 August 1808 and at Corunna on 16 January 1809.

On 1 July 1881, The East Devonshire became The Lancashire Fusiliers.

In April 1968, the Lancashire Fusiliers merged with The 5th (The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers), The 6th (The Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers), and 7th (The Royal Fusiliers – City of London), to form The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

The 1st Battalion The 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment

1801 1st/20th (East Devonshire)

The 20th Regiment was quartered in Minorca when it volunteered its services for the Egyptian Campaign. It reached Egypt after 20 March 1801. From Egypt the 1st/20th embarked for Malta, where it remained until Nov 1805. It then sailed for Naples.

Malta Sept 1801 The men were severely affected with fever and ophthalmia.

Malta 6 Dec 1801 600 men of the 1st/20th arrived from Egypt under the command of Lt Col Robert Ross. The regiment formed part of the Malta Garrison and was quartered at Vittoriosa.

1802 1st/20th (East Devonshire) (Leigh's Regiment)

Malta 1 Jan 1802 Strength: 31 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 75 NCOs, 554 rank and file fit for duty, 91 rank and file sick, 768 total officers and men, 1123 establishment.

Malta 1 Mar Strength: 25 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 75 NCOs, 553 rank and file fit for duty, 99 rank and file sick, 775 total officers and men, 1128 establishment.

Malta 1 May Strength: 23 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 488 rank and file fit for duty, 80 rank and file sick, 660 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

Malta 4 May Col Bayliss 2nd/35th Foot, the commandant of the Cottonera District, shot and mortally wounded Capt Newman 20th Foot in a duel near Salvatore Gate. Newman was buried on 14 May at the burial ground near the Zabbar Gate (Rock Gate Cemetery).

Malta 21 July 176 men, 15 women and 6 children embarked on the men-of-war Haarlem and were withdrawn from Malta in compliance with the provision of the Treaty of Amiens.

Malta 1 Aug Strength: 15 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 582 rank and file fit for duty, 102 rank and file sick, 776 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

Malta Sept The battalion was at Vittoriosa where the men suffered greatly from fever. Villettes reported:

In the 48th the fever is I hope nearly subdued, but has increased in the 20th regiment. Tho every pain has been taken to check it, and their loss during the last month (August) has been considerable, I trust however, that as the weather grows cooler, we shall get the better of it. Though the season is generally very unhealthy, the other regiments have not materially suffered.1

Malta 1 Nov 1802 Strength: 19 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 612 rank and file fit for duty, 109 rank and file sick, 814 total officers and men, 843 establishment.

1803 1st/20th (East Devonshire) (Leigh's Regiment)

Malta 1803 Strength: 846 men with detachments in Gozo.

1804 1st/20th (East Devonshire) (Leigh's Regiment)

Malta 1 Sept 1804 Strength: 41 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 76 NCOs, 768 rank and file fit for duty, 64 rank and file sick, 955 total officers and men, 1113 establishment.

1805 1st/20th (East Devonshire) (Leigh's Regiment)

Malta 1 July 1805 Strength: 34 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 76 NCOs, 740 rank and file fit for duty, 62 rank and file sick, 929 total officers and men, 1127 establishment.

Malta 1 Aug 1805 Strength: 39 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 76 NCOs, 771 rank and file fit for duty, 36 rank and file sick, 930 total officers and men, 1113 establishment.

Table 2: Strength of 1st/20th Regiments Malta
Date Strength Sick Fit
Table 2: Strength of 1st/20th Regiments Malta 1805
1 July 1805 929 62 740
1 August 1805 930 36 771
14 August 1805 697 67
1 November 1805 929 62 740

Malta 3 Nov 1805 The 1st/20th Regiment embarked on Sir James Craig's expedition to Naples.

The 1st Battalion The 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment

1855 1st/20th (East Devonshire)

The following were buried at Malta in 1855:

  1. 15 January Pte John Allen 20th Foot.
  2. 6 February Pte John Dennis aged 22 years.
  3. 31 October Pte Jonathan Liles aged 16 years.
  4. 2 November Pte Henry Clarke aged 25 years.
  5. 17 December Pte William Gould aged 18 years.
  6. 24 December Pte William Maxwell aged 33 years.

The 1st Battalion The 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment

1879 1st/20th (East Devonshire)

Lancashire Fusiliers
A rose lies above the regimental number within a belt bearing the regimental motto Omnia audax. The battle honours entwine a laurel wreath on either side of the belt 1902. (Milorda Gardens Floriana)

Malta Dec 1879 A detachment of 1st/20th arrived from Cyprus. In 1878, the Ottoman Empire ceded Cyprus (1878–1960) to the British for the purpose of defence and administration, but the Sultan retained ownership of the island.

The 1st/20th Regiment had an average strength of 173 men. It had 163 admissions (942.2/1000 mean strength) into hospital with no deaths. 4 invalids were returned to England. Its average daily sick was 8.27 (47.80/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 17.45 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 18.52 days.

1880 1st/20th (East Devonshire)

The 1st/20th Foot had an average strength of 403 men. It had 382 admissions (947.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths (7.44 deaths/1000 mean strength). 6 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 17.57 (43.59/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 15.95 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 16.83 days.

11 Oct 1880 The second wing of the 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers disembarked at Malta from Cyprus which had been occupied by British troops between 1878 and 1960.

1881 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers

Malta 17 Jan 1881 The 1st Battalion embarked for Queenstown where it arrived on 28 Jan 1881.
On 1 July 1881 The East Devonshire became the Lancashire Fusiliers.

The 2nd Battalion The 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment

1801 2nd/20th (East Devonshire)

Malta Dec 1801 The 2nd Battalion arrived for Egypt. It had 550 men located at Isola Gate Barracks (Senglea).

Malta 31 Dec 1801 Israel Unsworth was the first soldier to be buried by the Rev. Cosserat in Vittoriosa. Cosserat recorded that the man literally died of hard drinking.

1802 2nd/20th (East Devonshire) (Fitzroy's Regiment)

Malta 1 Jan 1802 Strength: 34 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 75 NCOs, 440 rank and file fit for duty, 110 rank and file sick, 673 total officers and men, 1123 establishment.

Malta 1 Mar Strength: 31 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 75 NCOs, 445 rank and file fit for duty, 107 rank and file sick, 675 total officers and men, 1123 establishment.

Malta 1 May Strength: 31 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 456 rank and file fit for duty, 74 rank and file sick, 622 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

Malta 17 July 176 men, 15 women and 6 children were withdrawn from the Malta garrison in preparation for the evacuation of the island, pursuant to the Treaty of Amiens.

Malta 1 Aug Strength: 23 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 577 rank and file fit for duty, 33 rank and file sick, 702 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

Malta Sept 1802 The 2nd Battalion was disbanded as part of the peace dividend following the Treaty of Amiens.

References

  1. Farmer, J. S., 1984. The regimental records of the British Army Reprint Edition, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Crecy Books.
  2. Edwards, T. J., 1980. Regimental Badges First Edition, Tonbridge, Kent: Ernest Benn Ltd.
  3. TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
  4. Wickes H L, 1974. Regiments of Foot Southampton: Osprey Ltd, 13.
  5. Register No 1A, Journal of a voyage to Egypt kept by the Reverend D. P. Cosserat dated April 29th 1801.
  6. 1TNA:WO 1/293. Villettes to Brownings dated 3 Sept 1802.
  7. Personal correspondence The Lancashire Headquarters The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Wellington Barracks Bury, dated 26 February 1990.
  8. The 20th Foot or East Devonshire Regiment. United Service Journal 1830 Part 2 page 852.
  9. TNA:WO 156/113. Register of burials September 1853 to June 1862.