RAMC

Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The Royal Irish Rifles

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The Royal Irish Rifles (83rd/86th)

Introduction

The Royal Irish Rifles was formed on 1 July 1881, through the amalgamation of The 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot, with The 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot.

Both regiments were raised in 1793. The 83rd became The First Battalion of The Royal Irish Rifles. The 86th became The Second Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles, although neither regiments had been rifle units.

In 1920 the regimental name changed to The Royal Ulster Rifles.

On 1 July 1968, The Royal Ulster Rifles merged with The Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's), and The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers to form The Royal Irish Rangers.

The 2nd/The Royal Irish Rifles

1891 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

27 Mar 1891 The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles embarked in Egypt on 22 March. It arrived in Malta on 27 March 1891.

It had an average strength of 611 men, with 468 admissions (766/1000 mean strength) into hospital and 1 death (1.63/1000 mean strength). 5 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 22.54 (30.89/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 13.46 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 17.58 days.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles moved into Pembroke Camp, Fort Chambray Gozo and Isola Barracks.

17 May 1891 Baptism of Minnie Geraldine Lawthan born 26 Apr 1891, daughter of Florence and CSgt William Lawthan.

5 Dec 1891 Death of Frances Greer aged 28 years, at Fort St Angelo. He was interred in Rinella Military Cemetery.

1892 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles had an average strength of 1050 men.

It had 777 admissions (740/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 9 deaths (8.57/1000 mean strength). 30 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 63.72 (60.68/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 22.21 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 30.02 days.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles was at Pembroke Camp with detachments at Fort St Angelo for 3 months. It was in Isola District for 6 months and at Fort Manoel and Hutments for 3 months with a detachment at Marsamxetto Barracks.

The following were baptised in 1892:

  • 13 Mar Ernest Edward Lineken born 29 Feb 1892, son of Eliza and CSgt Ernest Lineken of Pembroke Camp.
  • 27 Mar Frederick Graham born 15 Feb 1892, son of Sarah and Sgt James Graham of Cottonera.
  • 10 Apr Harold James Buchanan born 17 Mar 1892, son of Margaret and Sgt William Buchanan of Cottonera.
  • 3 July Hector Claude Marsh born 20 May 1892, son of Mary Elizabeth and Sgt Edward Henry Marsh of Cottonera.
  • 27 July William Joseph Fyffe born 3 Feb 1892, son of Jemima and CSgt William Jospeh Fyffe of Cottonera.
  • 30 Dec Twin Rowland John Parker born 29 Dec 1892, son of Eliza Ann and QM Sgt John Parker.
  • 30 Dec Twin Vivian Charles Parker born 29 Dec 1892, son of Eliza Ann and QM Sgt John Parker.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1892:

  • 23 Apr Joseph Isaac aged 22 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 12 May John Stevenson aged 28 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 16 May Alice Simmonds aged 1 year 2 months, died in Cottonera.
  • 19 June James Hawkins aged 22 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 5 July Cpl F J Cramp died in Cottonera.
  • 18 Aug Pte S Magee aged 24 years, died in Cottonera.
  • 28 Aug Frederick Graham aged 6 months, son of Sgt James Graham died in Cottonera.

1893 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles had an average strength of 952 men.

It had 560 admissions (588.2/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 13 deaths (13.65/1000 mean strength). 19 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 37.58 (39.47/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 14.41 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.49 days.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles was at Fort Manoel and Hutments for 12 months.

The following were baptised in 1893:

  • 8 Jan Samuel David Drysdale born 17 Dec 1892, son of Bridget and Sgt Samuel Drysdale.
  • 27 Oct Walter Charles Simmonds born 7 Oct 1893, son of Mary Ann and Sgt Herbert Simmonds of Sliema.

The following were buried in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1893:

  • 2 Jan Vivian C Parker aged 4 days.
  • 5 Jan S Parker aged 7 days.
  • 8 Mar R J Garland aged 24 years.
  • 22 Mar Ethel Buchanan aged 2 years 8 months, who died at Pembroke Camp on 20 March, the daughter of CSgt William and Margaret Buchanan.
  • 2 Apr N Leathen.
  • 7 June Sgt George Simmonds aged 25 years.

1894 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles had an average strength of 847 men. It had 409 admissions (482.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 3 deaths (3.54/1000 mean strength). 4 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 37.88 (32.91/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 12.01 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.88 days.

23 May Bugler Ramsay 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles was granted a compassionate sum of £25 for having his leg amputated when a wall collapsed on him at the Lazaretto.

The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles Regiment was at Fort Manoel and Hutments.

18 Nov 1894 The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles embarked for Bombay on the transport Victoria where it arrived on 2 December 1894. It was relieved in Malta by the 2nd/Leinster Regiment which arrived from England. The 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles served in India until 25 January 1899, when it embarked for Belfast.

The following were baptised in 1894:

  • 9 Jan Henry Richard Kneebone born 12 Dec 1893, son of Martha Jane and Sgt Richard Kneebone of Fort Manoel.
  • 9 Jan Gertrude Maude Marsh born 28 Dec 1893, daughter of Mary Elizabeth and CSgt Edward Marsh.
  • 11 Mar Florence Buchanan born 20 Feb 1894, daughter of Margaret and CSgt William Buchanan of Sliema.
  • 27 Mar Thomas Edward Morris Gunning born 22 Mar 1894, son of Helen and Sgt Thomas Gunning of Sliema.

The following were buried in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1894:

  • 22 Jan W Hodgetts aged 26 years.
  • 10 Mar Thomas Bradley died in Cottonera and was buried in Rinella Military Cemetery.
  • 4 Apr Thomas Edward Maurice Gunning aged 1 year, son of Sgt Gunning.
  • 30 July Pte J Quinn, aged 21 years.
  • 13 Sep Infant Gertrude Maude Marsh, aged 8 months, daughter of CSgt E Marsh.

1895 2nd/Royal Irish Rifles

A detachment of 174 men was left in Malta when the regiment embarked for India.

The following were baptised in 1895:

  • 11 Jan Beatrice Maud Simmonds born 30 Dec 1894, daughter of Mary Ann and Sgt Herbert Simmonds of Pembroke Camp.
  • 20 June Ellen Elizabeth Perkins born 20 May 1895, daughter of Elizabeth and Sgt William Alexander Perkins of Valletta.

Bibliography

  • 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.
  • TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
  • TNA:WO 379/15. Stations of Regiments 1901–1920.
  • TNA:WO 156/115. Register of burials in the Military Cemetery Rinella from January 1890 to January 1908.
  • Register No 13. Burials No 8, Pietà Cemetery 1887–1908.
  • Register No 13. Burials No 8, Pietà Cemetery 1887–1908.