Regiments of the Malta Garrison The 8th (The King's Regiment)
The 8th (The King's Regiment)
The King's Regiment was raised in 1685 during the Monmouth Rebellion as The Princess Anne of Denmark's Regiment of Foot. In 1702 Queen Anne ascended the throne and the regimental title changed to The Queen's Regiment of Foot.
In 1716 King George I renamed it The King's Regiment or the King's Hanoverian White Horse.
From 1751 to 1881, The King's Regiment became The 8th (The King's) Regiment. In 1756 the 8th Regiment of Foot raised a 2nd Battalion which two years later became a regiment in its own right – the 63rd Regiment of Foot.
On 1 July 1881, The 8th (The King's) Regiment became The King's (Liverpool) Regiment.
In 1921 the regimental title changed to The King's Regiment (Liverpool).
On 1 September 1958, The King's Regiment (Liverpool) linked with The Manchester Regiment (63rd) to form The King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool).
2 Mar 1818 The 1st/8th (The King's) arrived from Ireland with 774 men. The battalion was quartered in Floriana Barracks where an outbreak of fever soon appeared with symptoms very similar to those produced by Undulant fever.
18 Jan 1866 Pte Thomas Gribble aged 19 years 11 months and Bandsman Thomas Lovell 2nd/8th King's Regiment aged 21 years, drowned 18 Jan 1866 off Fort St Elmo by the capsizing of a small skiff. His body was not recovered. (Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Floriana).
20 Mar 1866 The 1st/8th Regiment disembarked in Malta from Kingstown, Ireland and relieved the 2nd/4th Foot which embarked for Nova Scotia.
In 1866, the regiment had an average strength of 520 men. There were 825 hospital admissions (1586.5 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 10 deaths in hospital (19.23 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).
The 1st/8th had 68 cases and one death recorded under the heading of remittent fever, but the PMO considered that they should have been returned as continued fevers.
It had 202 admissions (388/1000 mean strength) for continued fevers with 6 deaths (11.54 deaths/1000 mean strength). The sequelae of fever were such that the surgeon of the 8th regiment had never before encountered them. He enumerated cases of orchitis, neuralgia and rheumatism among them. These symptoms were consistent with an infection with Brucella melitensis.
The regiment was quartered at Isola Gate, St Francesco de Paola and Polverista Gate Barracks.
During the year, ophthalmia in the garrison was chiefly confined to the 1st and 2nd Battalions 8th Regiment and to the 100th Regiment.
In the 1st/8th, it first appeared among the women and children and was alleged to have been contracted from some Maltese with sore eyes who had been employed in the married quarters to assist with the washing.
In 1867, the regiment had an average strength of 690 men. There were 829 hospital admissions (1201.5 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 26 deaths in hospital, 2 out of hospital and 1 death among the invalids (42.08 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).
Continued fevers prevailed to a great extent from June to September. The 1st/8th had 157 cases of continued fevers during the year with 9 deaths. It was quartered in Lower St Elmo Barracks.
13 Jan 1867 Pte Amos Frowen 1st/8th King's Regiment died 13 Jan 1867, aged 27 years 5 months. (Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Floriana).
17 Sept 1867 A soldier of the 1st/8th Foot encamped at Floriana died of cholera.
1868 The battalion was quartered at Lower St Elmo Barracks.
The average annual strength in 1868 was 568 men. There were 583 admissions into hospital; 4 died in hospital, and 1 from the invalids. The ratio per 1000 mean strength of those admitted was 1026 and for deaths 8.80.
10 Oct 1868 The 1st/8th embarked for Bombay, where it arrived on 3 November.
Memorial erected at Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Floriana in memory of those who died during the tour of 1st/8th King's Regiment in Malta:
D Coy 1st/8th Kings
Pte John Hardy born 23 June 1846; died 4 Aug 1866
Pte Edward Anderson born 13 Apr 1832; died 29 Apr 1867
Pte Richard Thomas born 21 Aug 1832; died 13 May 1867
H Coy 1st/8th Kings
Pte Patrick Harvey died 9 Sept 1867, aged 29 years
Cpl Frances Sales died 9 Oct 1867, aged 28 years
Pte John Ponting died 13 Oct 1867, aged 32 years
Pte John Keane died 10 Dec 1867
Sergeants 1st/8th Kings
Orderly Room Clerk H A Shove died 26 Feb 1867
Armourer Sgt A Noah died 17 June 1867
CSgt Thomas Simmons died 21 Aug 1867
Sgt Thomas Staines died 29 Aug 1867
Sgt Instructor of Musketry J R Cooper died 3 Nov 1867
In 1864, the regiment had an average strength of 801 men, 925 hospital admissions (1192 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 1 death in hospital and 2 out of hospital (3.75 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).
In 1865, the regiment had an average strength of 771 men. There were 629 hospital admissions (816 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 10 deaths in hospitals (12.97 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).
Cholera broke out in Mecca in May 1865 and spread along the Mediterranean littoral. On 14 June, panic stricken Maltese landed in the Lazaretto after fleeing Alexandria. On 28 June, the first cases of cholera were received in the lazaretto from the ship Wyvern, but it was not until 3 July that the disease was officially recognized as such.
The lazaretto and plague hospital on Manoel Island had been occupied as married quarters by a portion of the 2nd/8th Foot and 34 families of the Royal Artillery. On 20 May, 8 men, 1 woman and 1 child belonging to the companies of the 2nd/8th Regiment suffered from profuse diarrhoea but improved with treatment. Fort Manoel had been occupied by the Head Quarters and three companies of the 2nd/8th Regiment.
On 20 June, Assistant Surgeon William George Ross, 2nd/8th Regiment attended on an eight year old girl who died within seven hours of falling sick. Ross recorded her death as Asiatic Cholera. A woman residing in the same compound fell ill on the 22nd June; in the evening of the 23rd the mother of the eight year old girl fell ill; on the 27th June the man and a child of the 8th Foot also fell ill; and on the 28th another man of the Royal Artillery and a child belonging to the first woman affected. All except one died from cholera.
On 1 July, the families of the 2nd/8th Regiment, most of whom were suffering from diarrhoea, were removed from the plague hospital to the Crown Work on the Floriana Fortifications. No more cases of cholera occurred among them after they had been moved from Manoel Island.
On 19 July, cholera appeared in the troops of 2nd/8th Regiment; the first death was recorded on 20 July. Six soldiers fell ill in July, all died. In August, there were 7 ill with 6 deaths, in September 2 sick with 1 death, in October 2 fell ill, with the last death recorded on 9 October. The 2nd/8th had a total of 17 sick with 14 deaths. The deaths occurred at: Valletta Hospital (1), Pembroke Camp (8), Forrest Hospital (1), and Valletta (4).
In 1866, the regiment had an average strength of 752 men. There were 569 hospital admissions (757.7 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 1 deaths in hospital and 3 out of hospital (5.33 deaths per 1000 of mean strength). It had 120 admissions (160/1000 mean strength) for continued fevers with 1 death (1.33 deaths/1000 mean strength).
The regiment was quartered at Fort Manoel and Pembroke Barracks.
In 1867, the regiment had an average strength of 687 men. There were 517 hospital admissions (752.5 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 7 deaths in hospital and 2 out of hospital (13.10 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).
Continued fevers prevailed to a great extent from June to September and proved fatal. The 2nd/8th had 34 admissions for continued fevers with 2 deaths.
The regiment was quartered at Floriana Barracks.
During the year, a large number of soldiers in the 1st/8th and 2nd/8th went down with ophthalmia. The regimental surgeon blamed it on the defective ventilation of Floriana Barracks, the great heat and glare, and the amount of dust floating in the air during the hot weather.
The average annual strength in 1868 was 76 men. There were 44 admissions into hospital; 1 died in hospital. The ratio per 1000 mean strength of those admitted was 579 and for deaths 13.16.
The 1st/8th occupied at Lower St Elmo. From June to September, the regiment had 98 admissions for continued fevers, with no deaths.
24 Feb 1868 The 2nd/8th embarked on the Himalaya for Aldershot via Portsmouth. It was relieved by The 87th Regiment from Gibraltar.
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.
Adams and Welch, 1864. Report of the cholera epidemic of 1865 in the Maltese Islands. AMD Report on the Health of the Army for 1864, pp 310-350.
Lord Moynihan. Br Med J (1936); 2:564 (Published 12 September 1936).
Berkeley Moynihan. Br Med J (1940); 1:1058 (Published 29 June 1940).
Groves E W H. The life and work of Moynihan. Br Med J (1940); 1:601 (Published 13 April 1940).
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 156/594. No 2, Baptism Register 2 January 1820 to 29 June 1839.