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 2nd Battalion 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.
21 Feb 1884 The 2nd/Essex Regiment embarked at Gibraltar for Egypt. It sailed for Malta, but did not land there. It disembarked in Egypt on 2 March 1884.
19 Apr 1904 The 2nd/Essex left Warley and embarked at Southampton on the Sicilia, arriving at 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.
The following were buried in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1904:
7 July CSgt Alfred William Young, aged 36 years.
7 July L/Sgt Herbert Howe, aged 33 years 2 months.
13 July Sgt Enos W Fenner, aged 31 years 10 months.
19 July L/Cpl Arthur Warrick Hibbit, aged 20 years 9 months.
The following were buried in Gozo Military Cemetery in 1904:
10 MayCharles William Abbott, aged 8 months, son of LCpl G. Abbott 2nd/Essex Regiment.
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.
The following were buried at Mtarfa Military Cemetery in 1905:
24 Sep Sgt William Terris aged 29 yrs 9 mths.
19 Oct Infant Violet Mary Hills aged 9 hours, daughter of Sgt Hills.
The following were buried in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1905:
9 Jan Sgt Wooles Saye, aged 34 years.
5 Feb Pte Bernard Rochester, aged 20 years 4 months.
6 Feb Pte Arthur Barnard, aged 20 years 2 months.
5 Mar Pte John Lamb, aged 19 years 7 months.
18 Oct Pte William Henry ...., aged 19 years 9 months of Mtarfa.
24 Mar 1907 The 2nd/Essex Regiment, consisting of 8 coys, HQ Coy, 22 officers, 2 officers' wives and 1 child, 2 warrant officers, 36 sgts, 16 buglers, 436 rank and file, 32 wives and 54 children, embarked for Southampton on the Braemar Castle. The men disembarked on 2 April and proceeded to Dublin.