Regiments of the Malta Garrison The 56th (West Essex) Regiment
The 56th (West Essex) Regiment
The 56th Regiment of Foot was raised in 1755 as the 58th Foot, but was renumbered 56th Foot the following year when two of the intervening regiments disbanded.
In 1782, it was affiliated to the county of West Essex to become The 56th (West Essex) Regiment.
In December 1836, the 56th was permitted to bear the word "Gibraltar" on its Colours in commemoration of its distinguished service in the defence of Gibraltar in 1782. It also displayed the Castle and Key, being part of the armorial bearings of that fortress, together with the motto Montis Insignia Calpe.
On 1 July 1881 The 56th (West Essex) Regiment merged with the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot to form The Essex Regiment.
The 2nd/The Essex Regiment of Foot
22 July 1878 An Expeditionary Force under General Sir Garnet Wolseley landed in Larnaca and took over Cyprus.
1 July 1881 The 56th Regiment became The 2nd Battalion The Essex Regiment.
19 Apr 1904 The 2nd/Essex left Warley and embarked at Southampton on the Sicilia. It arrived in Malta on 28 April.
The battalion moved into Lower St Elmo Barracks. Six companies remained at this location throughout the year except for short periods at Pembroke, Mellieha and Ghajn Tuffieha Camps. They returned from Ghajn Tuffieha Camp on 19 December.
29 Apr–1 Sep "A" Coy and "B" Coy were in Fort Chambray Gozo. They were relieved by "D" Coy and "F" Coy which remained there until 8 May 1905, when they were relieved by "C" Coy and "E" Coy.
1904 The regimental strength was 698 men. In June, 9.6% of their strength was admitted with "simple continued fever"; in July 35%; in August 5%, in September 6.3% and in October 6%. That is 55% of the regiment was attacked with "simple continued fever" during the first summer of their residence in Malta.
8 May 1905 "F" Coy returned from Gozo and occupied Lower St Elmo Barracks. It remained at this location until 8 July 1905, when it marched to Mtarfa Barracks. There, it replaced the 2nd/Royal Sussex Regiment. Lower St Elmo was taken over by the 1st/Lancashire Fusiliers on 11 July.
While at Mtarfa, the Essex Regt had three cases of Mediterranean Fever. These occurred on the 13th, 24th and 28th July.
24 Sep Burial of Sgt William Terris aged 29 yrs 9 mths at Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 4, Row 3, Grave 13).
19 Oct 1905 Burial of Violet Mary Hills aged 9 hours, daughter of Sgt Hills at Mtarfa Military Cemetery (Plot 2, Row 1, Grave 13).