Regiments of the Malta Garrison The 3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) Regiment
The 3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) Regiment of Foot
The origins of the 3rd (The Buffs) Regiment of Foot dates back to 1665, when some Independent Companies went to the Netherlands to reinforce the Dutch in their struggle against Spain. The Holland Regiment on its return to England became the Buffs.
In 1751, it was numbered 3rd in the infantry order of precedence, and its nickname of The Buffs, taken from the colour of its uniform facings, was incorporated into its title.
In 1782, the title East Kent was added, so that the regiment became The 3rd (East Kent – The Buffs) Regiment of Foot.
On 1 July 1881, The 3rd (East Kent–The Buffs) Regiment of Foot became The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment of Foot.
In 1935, the regimental name changed to The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment).
1852 Strength: 524 men. The battalion moved from Floriana Barracks to Fort Lower St Elmo Barracks. The officers were quartered at the Auberge de Bavarie.
The following were buried in 1852:
6 Feb Pte James Ward (Military and Civil Cemetery Floriana).
Pte William Reeves The Buffs. (Military and Civil Cemetery Floriana).
26 Aug Widower Sgt Samuel Hatton born in the Parish of Birmingham in the County of Warwickshire, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hatton married Janet Burton spinster daughter of Alexander and Charlotte Burton, a minor with the consent of her father born in Dublin.
11 Apr In the Collegiate Church of St Paul's Valletta Batchelor Captain Walter Pownall 3rd The Buffs, born at Walton near Liverpool in the County of Lancashire, son of James and Mary Ann Pownall, married Georgina Eliza Gordon Anderson born in the Parish of Nairn, Scotland, second daughter of Colonel Sir Alexander Anderson, deceased, and Elizabeth his wife. Captain Pownall was wounded at Sebastopol on 28 May 1855.
The following were buried in 1853:
8 Sep Pte George Magson aged 37 years 6 months.
10 SepMaria Wheeler aged 26 years, wife of Sgt Wheeler, (Military and Civil Cemetery Floriana).
12 Sep Sgt James Edwards aged 26 years.
19 OctSarah Wilson aged 5 months, daughter of Sgt William Wilson.
2 Dec Pte Jesse Watson aged 25 years.
2 DecEmelia Philbeam aged 2 days, daughter of Sgt Maj Robert Philbeam.
23 Dec Sgt William Wilson aged 32 years.
13 Oct 1853 HQ company moved from Lower St Elmo Barracks to Fort Manoel. Two companies occupied Fort Ricasoli, one company moved from Fort Tigne to Fort St Angelo.
1 July 1881 The 1st Battalion 3rd Regiment became the 1st Battalion The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).
1882 – The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment of Foot
20 Sep 1882 The 1st/The Buffs left Aldershot and embarked at Portsmouth on 11 September 1882. It disembarked at Malta on 20 September. Soon after, on 20 Sept 1882, it re-embarked for Queenstown where it arrived on 29
September 1882. It served in Birr from 29 September 1882 to 17 November 1882 when it moved to Dublin.
17 Oct 1884 The 1st/The Buffs moved to Buttevant. On 29 January 1885, it left Buttevant and embarked for Malta.
29 Jan 1885 The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment embarked at Queenstown for Malta. 1037 men (8 coys) arrived in Malta on 9 February 1885.
The 1st/East Kent Regiment had an average strength of 580 men. It had 564 admissions (972.4/1000 mean strength) into hospital with 12 deaths (20.68 deaths/1000 mean strength). 14 invalids returned to England.
Its average constantly sick was 37.20 (64.13/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 23.41 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 24.07 days.
A corporal killed himself by slashing his throat. No motive or mental aberration could be discovered in this case. A canteen sergeant shot himself through the head after irregularities were discovered in the accounts.
12 Sep 1885 The 1st/The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment embarked for Singapore where it arrived on 9 October 1885.
A detachment of 192 all ranks (173 rank and file) was left at Malta when the regiment sailed for Singapore.
1 Jan 1860 Strength: 39 Officers, 43 NCOs, 21 Buglers/Drummers, 808 rank and file, 911 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 7018 rank and file).
1 June Strength: 37 Officers, 44 NCOs, 21 Buglers/Drummers, 798 rank and file, 900 total all ranks. (Total garrison strength 6203 rank and file).
In 1860, the regiment had an average strength of 859 men, 971 hospital admissions (1130 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 12 deaths in hospital and 2 deaths out of hospital (16.29 deaths per 1000 of mean strength). The 2nd/3rd Regiment had the largest number of deaths in the garrison. 248 soldiers were admitted (289/1000 strength) with continued fevers with 6 deaths (6.98/1000 strength). In June, when admissions from continued fevers from the 3rd Regiment became very numerous, tents were pitched for 200 of the men to sleep in with a view to diminish the over crowding in barracks. As this approach appeared to prove satisfactory, it was adopted in July by the 1st/22nd Foot, the 23rd Foot and Rifle Brigade and the rooms on the ground floor of Lower St Elmo Barracks were vacated by the married men of the 23rd Regiment. On 20 Sept, detachments were sent by the various regiments to Pembroke Camp for rifle practice and the barracks were thus relieved for the remainder of the year by about 1200 men.
The 2nd/3rd Foot was quartered in Fort Verdala.
The following were buried in Rock Gate Cemetery in 1860:
4 Jan Pte William Beeson aged 31 years.
27 Jan Pte Joseph Lowcock aged 22 years.
7 FebWilliam Henry Gladwin aged 8 months, son of Pte H J Gladwin.
17 Mar Sgt Aaron Collett.
4 AprMargaret Brew aged 5 months, daughter of Sgt G Brew in Floriana Cemetery.
5 June Pte John Sowbridge.
27 June L/Cpl Joseph Duke.
28 JuneFrances Jane Wenham aged 1 year.
17 July Pte William A Tomkins.
30 SepCharlotte Susan Dillon aged 6 months, daughter of Thomas Dillon.
27 Nov Pte Thomas Jones aged 27 years.
16 DecElizabeth Wenham aged 24 years, wife of Armourer Sgt Wenham.
In 1861, the regiment had an average strength of 873 men, 678 hospital admissions (777 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 2 deaths among the invalids (2.95 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).
The 2nd/3rd Regiment occupied Lower St Elmo Barracks in which continued fever had been so prevalent and fatal in 1859 but which in 1861 only accounted for 90 admissions (103 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with no deaths. To avoid overcrowding, four companies were sent to Pembroke Camp during the summer months.
The following were buried in Rock Gate Cemetery in 1861:
4 FebMary Elizabeth Grant aged 1 year 4 months, daughter of Sgt Grant.
15 SepEmily Jane Gladwin aged 1 year 5 months, daughter of Sgt H J Gladwin in Floriana Cemetery.
23 OctGeorge Henry Storks Pettendrigh aged 1 year 2 months, son of QM George Pettendrigh.
In 1862, the regiment had an average strength of 382 men, 184 hospital admissions (482 admissions per 1000 of mean strength) with 1 death in hospital and 1 among the invalids (5.24 deaths per 1000 of mean strength).
The 2nd/3rd occupied Lower St Elmo Barracks during the first half of the year.
11 June 1862 The 2nd/3rd Foot embarked for Gibraltar where it arrived on 18 June 1862. It was relieved by The 1st/25th (The King's Own Borderers) Regiment from Gibraltar.
The following were buried in Floriana Cemetery in 1862:
24 JanJulia Savage aged 1 year 10 months, daughter of Master Tailor Savage.
8 AprCaroline Pettendrigh aged 33 years, wife of QM Pettendrigh at Ta' Braxia Cemetery.
10 Aug Pte John Waller Light Coy The Buffs accidentally drowned in the Quarantine Harbour.
31 Mar 1941 Strength: 32 officers and 663 men. Commanding officer Lt Col Marshall. In June 4th/Buffs were at Attard and Cowsheds.
14 Apr Numerous bombs fell in the are around Attard. B Coy 4th/Buffs sustained four battle casualties which were evacuated to Medical Aid Post Attard. Two were moved to General Hospital Mtarfa where No 6096441 Pte James Boorman died form his multiple injuries.
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.
Cannon J., 1990, The Quarantine Bastion Cemetery Malta. Bucks Cannon Associates.
TNA:WO 379/11. Stations of Regiments 1859–1900.
TNA:WO 379/15. Stations of Regiments 1901–1920.
TNA:WO 156/113. Register of burials Sept 1853 to June 1862.
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 156/595. No 3, Marriage Register 11 July 1839 to 14 May 1859.