RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The Suffolk Regiment (12th)

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The Suffolk Regiment

12th East Suffolk
The Castle of Gibraltar, with a key depending from the centre of the base and turned to the left. Below, a scroll inscribed with the inscription on the arms of Gibraltar Montis Insignia Calpe. The Castle, Key and motto of Gibraltar were granted to Gibraltar by Henry IV of Castile in 1462, after the Duke of Medina had captured the Rock from the Moors. The key alludes to the Rock of Gibraltar being the key to the Mediterranean. (Main Guard Valletta)

The Suffolk Regiment was raised in 1685 by the Duke of Norfolk to suppress the threatened Monmouth Rebellion. It was numbered 12th in 1751, to which East Suffolk was added in 1782. The 12th was one of the six British Infantry Regiments at Minden in 1759.

In June 1836, The 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment was granted permission to bear on its Colours the word India in recognition of its distinguished conduct during its services in the East Indies from 1797 to 1807.

In December 1836, the regiment was permitted to carry on its Colours the word Gibraltar, the Castle and Key, being part of the armorial bearings of that fortress, together with the motto Montis Insignia Calpe in commemoration of its distinguished service during the siege of 1778–83.

On 1 July 1881, The 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment became The Suffolk Regiment.

In 1959, The Suffolk Regiment linked with the Royal Norfolk Regiment to form The 1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk). In 1964, it became the 1st (Norfolk and Suffolk)/The Royal Anglian Regiment, and in 1968, The 1st/The Royal Anglian Regiment.

The 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment

1897 1st/Suffolk

1st12th
TNA:WO 379/11 Movements of 1st/12th Regt. (Courtesy Mr R Sellstrom BEM)

The 1st/Suffolk embarked at Southampton from Aldershot on 10 April 1897. It disembarked at Malta on 19 April.

It had an average strength of 485 men. It had 403 admissions (830.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 8 deaths (16.49/1000 mean strength). 6 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 30.73 (63.36/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 23.13 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 27.83 days.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment was quartered at Mtarfa for 6 1/2 months and at Isola District for 2 months.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1897:

  1. 17 Sept Sgt Harry Booth aged 27 years 1 month, died at Cottonera.
  2. 4 Oct Pte William John Ransom aged 19 years, died at Cottonera.
  3. 30 Nov Pte Edward Cadman aged 21 years, died at Cottonera.

1898 1st/Suffolk

E Popple
Sgt E Popple 1st Suffolk died 28 Nov 1897 aged 28 yrs. (Pieta' Military Cemetery)

On 7 Jan 1898, the men forming the draft of the 2nd/Somersetshire who were leaving for India, were entertained by their comrades of the Northamptonshire draft.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment had an average strength of 919 men. It had 900 admissions (979.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 8 deaths (8.70/1000 mean strength). 44 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 60.11 (65.41/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 23.87 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.38 days.

The 1st/Suffolk Regiment was quartered at Fort Manoel and Hutments for 12 months. On 1 Dec 1898, it received orders to embark for Dover.

The following were baptized in Malta in 1898:

  1. 23 Oct Richard Wharfe born on 9 October 1898, son of Pte John Wharfe and Sarah Ann, resident at Tigné.
  2. 23 Oct Beryl Millicent Coidon born on 25 September 1898, daughter of Sgt Robert Coidon and Eleanor, resident at Tigné.
  3. 2 Nov Joseph Wilfred Shepherd Cooke born on 11 October 1898, son of Sgt Joseph Henry Cooke and Annie Elizabeth, resident at Tigné.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1898:

  1. 1 Jan L/Cpl Herbert William Rudland aged 21 years, died at Cottonera.
  2. 8 Jan Pte Herbert Hooper aged 22 years, died at Cottonera.
  3. 25 Feb Hannah Jude aged 30 years, died at Cottonera.
  4. 27 Apr Pte John Fawsey aged 21 years, died at Cottonera.

1899 1st/Suffolk

Malta 1 Jan 1899 Strength: 678 men. The men were at Fort Manoel Island.

Malta 2 Jan 1899 The 1st/Suffolk embarked for Dover on the transport Jelunga. It disembarked at Southampton on 11 Jan 1899.

The following was baptized in Malta in 1899:

  1. 10 Feb Melita May Ranson born on 22 January 1899, daughter of Sgt George Arthur Ranson and Mary Ann, resident at Tigné.

The 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment

Suffolk Regiment
The Castle of Gibraltar within a scroll, all enclosed within an oak leaf wreath dated 1908.
(St Saviour's Bastion Sa Maison Gardens Floriana)
1st Suffolk
TNA:WO 379/15 Troop Movements 1st/Suffolk. (Courtesy Mr R Sellstrom BEM)
Suffolk Regiment
The Suffolk Regiment 1907–1908
(Officer's Mess Floriana)
Paine A G
7608 Boy A G Paine B Coy died 15 June 1909 from appendicitis aged 16 yrs 11 mths. (Mtarfa Military Cemetery)
Ronald Clarance
Ronald Clarance May died 22 Nov 1910 aged 11 mths. (Pembroke Military Cemetery)

1907 1st/Suffolk

Malta 27 Nov 1907 The 1st/Suffolk left Woolwich on 20 Nov 1907, and embarked on the Dongola at Southampton. It disembarked at Malta on 27 Nov 1907.

1908 1st/Suffolk

1909 1st/Suffolk

Malta 6 Nov 1909 The 1st/Suffolk held a boxing competition at the gym in Valletta.

1910 1st/Suffolk

Malta Aug 1910 Towards the end of August, The 1st/Suffolk Regiment was hit by a sudden outbreak of Paratyphoid B infection. The fever was preceded by a few isolated cases of diarrhoea earlier in the year. The first case appeared on 4 May. The patient was admitted to hospital on 29 May from St Andrew's Barracks and was returned to barracks on 25 July 1910. Sixteen days after his discharge, a second soldier fell ill. There followed a further twelve, all from the Suffolk Regiment, except for one soldier from the King's Royal Rifle Corps living in the adjoining St George's Barracks. The last case occurred on 14 Sept and the patient was discharged on 12 Oct 1910. The pyrexia varied from 4 to 23 days. Bacillus paratyphoid was isolated in blood cultures.1

1911 1st/Suffolk

Malta 25 Jan 1911 The 1st/Suffolk embarked for Alexandria on the Dongola.

The 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment

E Rattle
3676 Pte E Rattle E Coy died 26 Sept 1909. (Pembroke Military Cemetery)

1937 1st/Suffolk

Malta Nov 1937 The 1st/Suffolk arrived from England on a short tour of foreign service. The regimental strength was 355 men (31 Dec 1937).

1938 1st/Suffolk

Malta 30 June 1938 Strength: 455 rank and file.

1939 1st/Suffolk

Malta 30 June 1939 Strength: 0 officers, 67 men.

Malta July 1939 The 1st/Suffolk embarked for England.

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. TNA:WO 379/15. Stations of Regiments 1901–1920.
  5. 1Babington, M. H., 1912, An outbreak of Paratyphoid B fever in Malta J R Army Medical Corps, Vol 18, pp 38-44.
  6. TNA:WO 156/115. Register of burials in the military cemetery Rinella from January 1890 to January 1908.
  7. TNA:WO 156/598. Baptism Register No 16; Malta from 20 February 1898 to 17 July 1916.