Regiments of the Malta Garrison
The Ancient Irish Fencibles

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The Ancient Irish Fencibles


The term Fencible describes a form of militia raised for the defence of a particular district and for a limited time. The engagement on the part of the men is a voluntary one, and their services are restricted to the county in which they were raised. The Fencibles were, however, subsequently moved from their district and several Fencible Corps served in Ireland.

The Ancient Irish Fencibles was enlisted during the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1801 it was ordered from Ireland to Minorca, but when more troops were required in Egypt, it was ordered to embark irrespective of its terms of engagement.

The Ancient Irish Fencibles


Nov 1801 330 men of the Ancient Irish Fencibles arrived at Malta.


1 Jan 1802 Strength: 21 Commissioned and Warrant Officers, 54 NCOs, 240 rank and file fit for duty, 93 rank and file sick, 421 total officers and men, 688 establishment.

17 Mar The day being St Patrick's day all the Irish Regiments were excused from mounting guard. The men had permission to get as drunk as they pleased. At a very early hour evident symptoms of inebriation were to be seen among the 27th and Ancient Irish Fencibles.1

18 Mar 1802 The Ancient Irish Fencibles embarked for England.