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Regiments of the Malta Garrison
35th (Dorsetshire)

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The 35th (Dorsetshire) Regiment

Introduction

The 35th Regiment of Foot was raised at Belfast in 1701 by The 3rd Earl of Donegal. It was henceforth known as The Belfast Regiment.

In 1751 it was numbered 35th. It became associated with the County of Dorsetshire in 1782. A second battalion was raised in 1799, but this was disbanded in 1803. Both 1st and 2nd Battalions reinforced the Maltese insurgents in the blockade of the French Garrison forcing the French to capitulate on 5 September 1800. This led to the adoption of the Maltese Cross on the insignia of the 35th Regiment.

In June 1805, the 35th (Dorsetshire) Regiment changed its name to the 35th (Sussex) Regiment.

On 15 June 1832, the 35th (Sussex) Regiment became a Royal Regiment.

On 1 July 1881, the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment linked with the 107th Foot (Bengal Light Infantry) to form the 1st Battalion of The Royal Sussex Regiment. The 107th Bengal Light Infantry became the Second Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.

The 1st Battalion 35th (Dorsetshire) Regiment

1800 1st/35th (Dorsetshire)

12 May 1800 The first Division of troops including the 1st and 2nd Battalions 35th Regiment, under the command of Major General Henry Pigot, arrived in Mahon from England on HMS Inflexible. On 17 May, Brigadier General Doyle arrived in Minorca from Gibraltar with the 18th Foot and 48th Foot. The troops disembarked and encamped at the entrance of the harbour on the Lazaretto.

4 July 1800 HMS Stately and HMS Niger with Major-General Henry Pigot arrived at Malta from Minorca. The 1st/35th disembarked at St Paul's Bay and marched to the country residence of Count Paolo Parisio Muscati at Naxxar.

Malta 5 Sept 1800 After the capitulation of the French, the Light Coy 1st/35th (100 men) moved into Fort Tigne under the command of Capt C. J. Riddell. Other coys took over Fort Lower St Elmo Barracks to form part of the embryonic garrison of Malta.

An infantry regiment was normally composed of ten companies. Six companies were called the Service Companies and served abroad under the command of their commanding officer.

The other four companies were called the Reserve Companies. These stayed at their Depôt in England and were commanded by a senior major. The role of the Reserve Companies was to feed recruits to the Service Companies and to serve in England as a sort of internal police. Officers and men moved between the Service Companies and the Reserve Companies.

From 1799 to 1801 the following companies of the 1st/35th Foot served in Malta: Colonel's Henry Fletcher's Coy, Lieutenant Colonel John Oswald's Coy, Major Peter Hayes Petits' Coy, Captain William Henry Bumbury's Coy, Captain Richard Westerman's Coy, Captain Charles Stickland's Coy, Captain Christopher Clarges's Coy, Captain William Sibbald's Coy, Captain J B Manoury's Coy, Captain Alexander FitzGerald's Coy, Captain O'Byrnes's Coy.

The Colonel's Company held the HQ staff consisting of a major, an adjutant, 3 captains, a lieutenant, an ensign, a paymaster, a quartermaster, a surgeon and an assistant surgeon, 1 sergeant major, 1 quartermaster sergeant, 1 paymaster sergeant, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, 2 drummers and 45 private men. In 1800, Captain O'Byrnes Coy was away recruiting.

The following died between 25 June 1800 and 24 December 1800:

1801 1st/35th (Dorsetshire) (Fletcher's Regiment)

The 1st/35th was at Vittoriosa with a detachment of 150 men at Fort Chambray, Gozo.

Malta 1 Jan 1801 Strength: 38 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 744 rank and file fit for duty, 77 rank and file sick, 940 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 1 May Strength: 38 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 741 rank and file fit for duty, 50 rank and file sick, 910 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 5 Sept Regimental Strength: 1 Lt Col, 1 Maj, 7 Capts, 16 Lts, 6 Ensigns, 1 Pay Master, 1 Adjt, 1 QM, 1 Surg, 2 As Surgs, 41 SSgts, 21 Drummers, 752 men, 69 Sick in Hospital, 0 Deaths.

Malta 1 Nov 1801 Strength: 36 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 644 rank and file fit for duty, 90 rank and file sick, 853 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

1802 1st/35th (Dorsetshire) (Fletcher's Regiment)

Malta 1 Jan 1802 Strength: 38 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 599 rank and file fit for duty, 87 rank and file sick, 805 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 1 Mar Strength: 33 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 622 rank and file fit for duty, 73 rank and file sick, 814 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 1 May Strength: 32 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 604 rank and file fit for duty, 46 rank and file sick, 742 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

Malta 21 July 244 men, 39 women and 24 children of the 1st/35th Foot embarked on the men-of-war Haarlem. They withdrew from Malta in compliance with the provisions of the Treaty of Amiens.

Malta 1 Aug Strength: 24 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 577 rank and file fit for duty, 63 rank and file sick, 732 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

Malta 1 Nov 1802 Strength: 26 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 706 rank and file fit for duty, 68 rank and file sick, 867 total officers and men, 843 establishment.

1803 1st/35th (Dorsetshire)

Malta 24 May 1803 The 2nd/Dorsetshire disbanded in 1803. Strength 270 men.

26 Aug 1803–June 1804 The first payment of prize money from the proceeds of the sale of captured property in Malta on 4 Sep 1800 was paid to the officers and men 1st/35th Foot:

Entitled sergeants received a first payment of £18 10s 6d, corporals, drummers and privates all received £3 0s 6d.

1804 1st/35th (Dorsetshire) (Lennox's Regiment)

Malta 1 Sept 1804 Strength: 33 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 941 rank and file fit for duty, 97 rank and file sick, 1141 total officers and men, 853 establishment.

Lt James Smyth died Floriana 28 Oct 1804. (Military and Civil Cemetery Floriana).

1805 1st/35th (Sussex) (Lennox's Regiment)

Malta 1 Aug 1805 Strength: 30 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 944 rank and file fit for duty, 82 rank and file sick, 1129 total officers and men, 853 establishment.

Table 4: Sick Returns 1st/35th Regiment – 1805
Date Rank and File
Fit for Duty
Sick Total
Officers and Men
1 August 1805 944 82 1129
1 November 1805 927 89 1119
Table 4: Sick Returns 1st/35th Regiment – 1805

Malta June 1805 The Dorsetshire Regiment was renamed Sussex Regiment.

Malta 14 Aug Strength: 902 men with 67 Sick. The battalion was located at Floriana Barracks.

Malta 3 Nov 1805 The 1st/35th (Sussex) Regiment embarked for Naples on General Craig's Expedition.

The 1st Battalion 35th (Sussex) Regiment

1816 1st/35th (Sussex)

25 Mar – 24 Apr 1816 Detachments of the Sussex Regiment together with their surgeon and two assistant surgeons arrived from Corfu. The rest of the regiment disembarked from Corfu between 5 and 8 Sept 1816.

1817 1st/35th (Sussex)

Malta 1817 Strength: 721 men were located at Cottonera.

Malta 29 Sept–11 Oct 1817 The 1st/35th (Sussex) Regiment embarked for England.

The 1st Battalion 35th (Sussex) Regiment

1879 1st/35th (Royal Sussex)

Malta 1 Mar 1879 The 1st/35th (Royal Sussex) embarked at Barbados on 22 Jan 1879. It disembarked at Malta on 1 Mar 1879.

The 35th Regiment had an average strength of 541 men. It had 461 admissions (852.1/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 8 deaths (14.79/1000 mean strength). 9 invalids were returned to England. Its average daily sick was 17.98 (33.24/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 12.13 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 14.24 days. Four men drowned during the year.

1880 1st/35th (Royal Sussex)

The 35th Foot had an average strength of 526 men. It had 488 admissions (927.7/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 11 deaths (20.91 deaths/1000 mean strength). Five deaths were from enteric fever. 16 invalids returned to England. Its average constantly sick was 24.27 (46.14/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 16.88 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 18.20 days.

Malta 30 Sept 1880 Five coys of the 1st/35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment left for Cyprus where they arrived on 6 Oct 1880.

1881 1st/Royal Sussex

The 1st/Royal Sussex Regiment had an average strength of 355 men. It had 284 admissions (800/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 5 deaths (14.08/1000 mean strength). 11 invalids were returned to England. Its average daily sick was 16.58 (46.70/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 17.04 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 21.30 days.

1 July 1881 The 1st/35th became the 1st Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment. The main body was at Cyprus with a detachment at Malta.

1882 1st/Royal Sussex

The 1st/Royal Sussex had an average strength of 212 men. It had 103 admissions (485.8/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (9.43 deaths/1000 mean strength). 8 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 6.93 (32.68/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 11.93 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.55 days.

The 1st/Royal Sussex embarked at Cyprus for Egypt on 9 Sep 1882 and disembarked in Egypt on 12 September. It left Egypt for Portsmouth and on to Aldershot on 25 Aug 1885.

The 1st Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1899 1st/Royal Sussex

27 Sept 1899 The 1st/Royal Sussex Regiment completed manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain on 13 Sept 1898. It left Aldershot and embarked on the SS Sumatra on 20 Sept 1899. 602 men disembarked at Malta on 27 Sept 1899 and occupied Verdala Barracks.

The following was buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1899:

1900 1st/Royal Sussex

Malta 19 Feb 1900 750 men embarked for East London, South Africa on the troop ship Panonia.

Malta 8 Mar 1900 A Detail 1st/Royal Sussex Regiment separated from the battalion at Malta and embarked for Chichester via Southampton where it disembarked on 20 Mar 1900.

4 Apr 1900 Moved to Dover from Chichester and to Shorncliffe on 30 April 1900.

The following was buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1900:

The 1st Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1947 1st/Royal Sussex

1948 1st/Royal Sussex

Malta 15 Sept 1948 The 1st/Royal Sussex amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion at Malta.

The 1st Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1958 1st/Royal Sussex

The 1st Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1963 1st/Royal Sussex

1964 1st/Royal Sussex

Jan 1964 The 1st/Royal Sussex arrived from England. It occupied St Andrew's Barracks.

1965 1st/Royal Sussex

Malta Apr–Oct 1965 The battalion was in Aden as part of The Aden Brigade.

Malta Dec 1965 the 1st/Royal Sussex returned to England.

The 2nd Battalion 35th (Dorsetshire) Regiment

1800 2nd/35th (Dorsetshire)

18 July 1800 On 23 June 1800, eight coys of the 35th Regt embarked at Minorca. 915 men arrived at Malta to reinforce the blockade of the French garrison.

The following companies of the 2nd/35th Foot served in Malta: Colonel's Charles Lennox's Coy, Lieutenant Colonel Archibald McAlister's Coy, Major George Stewarts' Coy, Captain William Howe Campbell's Coy, Captain C J Riddell's Coy, Captain J C Stronge's Coy, Captain John Hardy's Coy, Captain John Herries's Coy, Captain James Money's Coy, Captain E P Dormer's Coy.

The following died between 25 July 1800 and 24 December 1800:

1801 2nd/35th (Dorsetshire) (Lennox's Regiment)

Malta 1 Jan 1801 Strength: 38 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 777 rank and file fit for duty, 102 rank and file sick, 998 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 1 May Strength: 35 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 790 rank and file fit for duty, 72 rank and file sick, 981 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 5 Sept Strength 1 Lt Col, 0 Maj, 7 Capts, 13 Lts, 9 Ensigns, 1 Pay Master, 1 Adjt, 1 QM, 1 Surg, 2 As Surgs, 39 SSgts, 21 Drummers, 824 men with 73 sick in hospital, 3 Death. The battalion was at Vittoriosa.

Malta 1 Nov 1801 Strength: 36 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 742 rank and file fit for duty, 59 rank and file sick, 920 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

1802 2nd/35th (Dorsetshire)

Malta 1 Jan 1802 Strength: 36 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 756 rank and file fit for duty, 66 rank and file sick, 941 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 1 Mar 1802 Strength: 32 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 71 NCOs, 777 rank and file fit for duty, 66 rank and file sick, 962 total officers and men, 998 establishment.

Malta 1 May 1802 Strength: 32 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 768 rank and file fit for duty, 45 rank and file sick, 905 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

Malta 4 May 1802 Col Bayliss 2nd/35th Foot, Commandant of the Cottonera District, shot and mortally wounded Capt Newman 20th Foot, in a duel at Salvatore Gate. Newman was buried at the burial ground near the Zabbar Gate (Rock Gate Cemetery) on 14 May.

Malta 17 May Court Martial of Col Bayliss for the wilful murder of Capt Newman. Col Bayliss was returned to England and dismissed from the service.

Malta 21 July 244 men, 39 women and 24 children embarked on the Haarlem. They were withdrawn from Malta in compliance with the provisions of the Treaty of Amiens.

Malta 1 Aug 1802 Strength: 22 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 56 NCOs, 797 rank and file fit for duty, 18 rank and file sick, 907 total officers and men, 842 establishment.

1803 2nd/35th (Dorsetshire)

Malta 24 May 1803 Strength: 775 men. The 2nd/35th was reduced as part of the peace dividend which followed the Treaty of Amiens.

Aug 1803–June 1804 The first payment of prize money from the proceeds of the sale of captured property in Malta on 4 Sep 1800 was paid to the following officers and men 2nd/35th Foot: (the names of lieutenants and ensigns have not been included).

Entitled sergeants received a first payment of £18 10s 6d, corporals, drummers and privates all received £3 0s 6d.

The 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1882 2nd/Royal Sussex

The 2nd/Royal Sussex Regiment embarked at Queenstown from Curragh on 24 July 1882. It arrived at Malta on 1 Aug 1882.

The 2nd/Royal Sussex had an average strength of 388 men. It had 530 admissions (1365.9/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (10.3 deaths/1000 mean strength). 6 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 25.67 (66.15/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 24.14 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 17.67 days.

The high rate of admission in the regiment was stated by the PMO, Surgeon-General J.E. Clutterbuck, to have been due to the arrival of the regiment in the hot weather and to their being mainly composed of young soldiers, who expose themselves more than older men.

Of 64 cases of dysentery in the garrison, 30 were in Cottonera, 25 in Valletta and 9 in Pembroke Camp. The medical officer in charge at Cottonera remarked that the disease occurred chiefly among the men of the 2nd/Sussex Regiment due to their arrival in the middle of the hot weather as well as to their over indulgence in unripe fruit.

1883 2nd/Royal Sussex

The 2nd/Royal Sussex had an average strength of 885 men. It had 667 admissions (753.6/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 7 deaths (7.90 deaths/1000 mean strength).
17 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 44.87 (50.70/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 18.50 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.55 days.

During August, when cholera was raging in Egypt, 28 men of the 2nd/Royal Sussex Regiment from Floriana Barracks were admitted to hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea. The men were thought to be suffering from poisoning of an irritant character. They had purchased milk from a hawker in barracks which in the opinion of the PMO, Brigade Surgeon Sly William, was of a poisonous character as the goats which supplied the milk, had eaten some unwholesome garbage. All the men recovered from their illness.

1884 2nd/Royal Sussex

The 2nd Royal Sussex Regiment had an average strength of 908 men. It had 566 admissions (623.3/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 4 deaths (4.40 deaths/1000 mean strength). 23 invalids returned to England.

Its average constantly sick was 38.23 (42.10/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 15.40 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.72 days.

1885 2nd/Royal Sussex

The 2nd/Royal Sussex Regiment had an average strength of 50 men. It had 36 admissions (972.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 2 deaths (20.68 deaths/1000 mean strength). 1 invalid returned to England.

Malta 20 Jan 1885 The 2nd/Royal Sussex left for Egypt leaving behind a detachment of 29 men. It disembarked in Egypt on 25 Jan 1885. It left Egypt for Bombay on 18 Dec 1885.

The 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1904 2nd/Royal Sussex

27 June 1904 The 2nd/Royal Sussex left Shorncliffe on 18 June 1904 and embarked on the Dunera at Southampton. It disembarked in Malta on 27 June. The regiment was at Polverista and other barracks in the Cottonera Lines. In Nov and Dec 1904, four companies at a time spent a month in camp at Pembroke and Mellieha. During 1904, The 2nd/Royal Sussex had only eleven admissions for Mediterranean fever.

The following were buried at at Gozo Military Cemetery in 1904:

The following was buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1904:

1905 2nd/Royal Sussex

Malta Jan 1905 The whole battalion spent a fortnight in camp at Ghajn Tuffieha.

The following were buried at Rinella Military Cemetery in 1905:

Malta 22 Feb The Battalion marched to Mtarfa Barracks on 22 and 26 February 1905. There were seventeen admissions for Mediterranean fever in 1905.

Malta 29 May 1905 Five companies with Head Quarters Coy of the 2nd/Royal Sussex embarked for Crete on the Sardinia. It arrived in Crete on 31 May and embarked for Southampton and on to Belfast on 11 March 1907.

The 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1921 2nd/Royal Sussex

Nov 1921 The 2nd/Royal Sussex arrived at Malta. It had 30 officers and 575 men.

1922 2nd/Royal Sussex

Malta 1 Jan 1922 Strength: 31 Officers and 567 rank and file.

1923 2nd/Royal Sussex

Malta 1 Jan 1923 Strength: 2 Officers and 23 rank and file.

Malta 1 Oct 1923 25 Officers and 849 rank and file left Malta.

The 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment

1946 2nd/Royal Sussex

1946 The 2nd/Royal Sussex arrived from Persia.

1947 2nd/Royal Sussex

1948 2nd/Royal Sussex

Malta 15 Sept 1948 the 2nd Battalion amalgamated with the 1st Battalion Royal Sussex regiment at Malta.

Bibliography