Regiments of the Malta Garrison The Royal Army Medical Corps
The Royal Army Medical Corps
On 23 June 1898, Royal Warrant, Army Order 93, merged the Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the Medical Staff Corps, with the commissioned officers of the Army Medical Staff to create the Royal Army Medical Corps. The Corps came into existence on 1 July 1898.
On 1 April 1885, was gazetted the Volunteer Medical Staff Corps (VMSC) with a constitution of four companies, Adjutant, Quartermaster and Surgeon Commandant. This last was a new title conferred on its founder James Cantlie who was at the time a supernumerary assistant surgeon with the rank of Lieutenant in the London Scottish Volunteers.
The Volunteer Corps had been authorised by the War Office on 12 May 1859, with each Volunteer Rifle Companies having a section of stretcher bearers. Under the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907, the Volunteer Organisations ceased to exist on 31 March 1908, when the VMSC became the Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial Force).
The uniform of the VMSC was modelled on that of the Army Medical Staff Corps army pattern. The Regency Shako of 1815 was abolished by General Order of May 1878, when the spiked blue cork helmet was introduced. The helmet badge was an eight pointed star, the topmost point displaced by a Victorian crown. On this a laurel wreath, and within it a circlet inscribed Volunteer Medical Staff Corps. In the centre a cut out cross with a backing of red cloth.
The officers and men of the Army Medical Department wore different uniforms. Regimental surgeons wore the uniform of their particular regiments until 1873, when the regimental system was abolished, and they became part of the Army Medical Department.
Previous to the promulgation of the Royal Warrant on 1 July 1898, the colour of the facings of the officers’ uniforms was black velvet; the other ranks had blue facings. Officers’ trousers had a broad red stripe on the outer seam; the other ranks had red piping down their trousers.
In December 1897, changes were made to the 1894 blue cloth round forage cap with drooping peak as worn by General and Staff officers. A new forage cap received general approval on 1 March 1898. For General Officers, the cap was to be of blue cloth, about three and a half inches high in front, five inches at the back, with a scarlet cloth band one and five eight inches deep, one eight of an inch from the bottom. It had a gold French braid welt round the top, with a loop on either side and down the back, terminating at the top of the scarlet band. The peak was of patent leather lined with green with an adjustable chin strap fastened at each side with a gorget button.
The forage cap of Field Officers was similar, but without the loops of braid at sides and back. Those below Field Officer rank had a scarlet cloth welt round the top instead of the gold braid. The cap band around the forage cap of the Medical Staff Corps was red with two black lines near the top and bottom of the band for the men and a band of gold lace with two black lines for the officers.
The creation of the new Corps required a new pattern of uniform, so as not only to engender an esprit de corps, but also to reflect upon its royal status.
On 2 March 1899, the Director General Army Medical Department James Jameson presented his designs for a new uniform to the War Office. Jameson advocated a change in the colour of the facings to scarlet for both officers and men, a scarlet stripe on the outer seam of the trousers for all ranks, as well as embroidered gold lace for the collars and cuffs of the officers mess coats. A plain dull cherry cloth was to replace the lace on the forage cap band.
The Director General’s proposal was rejected as the jacket would not distinguish the medics from officers of the Royal Artillery and Ordnance Department. A suggestion was made to adopt a dull cherry red colour, described as crimson on 11th Hussar’s sealed pattern 10290a/1897, for the facings. To reduce costs, only officers were approved to wear a red stripes with two black welts on the outer side of the trousers, the other ranks retaining their red piping. There was to be no gold lace on the mess jacket, which was to be similar to the infantry pattern and have a roll collar with silver collar badges fastened by a brooch as on the tunic. The mess waist coat was to be of the same colour as the facings and open in the front.
The new pattern of uniform received royal approval on 8 January 1900. In accordance with Office Circular 61002/RAMCA dated 1 February 1900, all new uniforms including those of Surgeons on Probation joining Netley, were to be of the new pattern. Officers were granted two years to wear out their old pattern uniforms before adapting the new pattern.
Members of the RAMC and its predecessors have been awarded 27 Victoria Crosses including two out of the only three VC bars ever awarded (designating a second award of the VC to the same person). The three recipients of a double VC were:
The Royal Army Medical Corps had an average strength of 175 men. It had 171 admissions into hospital (977.1/1000 mean strength) with 4 deaths (22.86/1000 mean strength). 17 invalids returned to England.
Its average constantly sick was 7.81 (44.63/1000 mean strength). The average sick time to each soldier was 16.29 days. The average duration of cases of sickness was 16.67 days.
The men of the RAMC were distributed among Valletta Station Hospital, Cottonera Station Hospital, Forrest Station Hospital St Julians and Citta Vecchia Sanatorium with a detachment in Crete at the beginning of the year. In Jan, drafts of the Medical Staff Corps were sent to Alexandria.
The following were baptised in 1898:
20 FebRonald Lewis St Paul Hasell born on 17 January 1898, son of QM Harry Godley Hasell AMS and Elizabeth Frances, resident at Cottonera Hospital.
23 OctMary Enid Taylor born on 2 October 1898, daughter of Sgt William Henry Taylor RAMC and Annie Elizabeth, resident at Cottonera.
The following were buried in Rinella Military Cemetery in 1898:
20 SepRonald Lewis St P Hasell aged 8 months, son of QM RAMC died at Zabbar.
14 Nov Pte Edward Charles Youngson aged 23 years, died at Cottonera.
29 Nov Pte Charles George Woodward aged 253 years, died at Cottonera.
27 Dec 1898 Mrs Lawrie, wife of Sgt Lawrie was buried in Pietà Military Cemetery.
13 June Cpl Ernest Edwin Sparrow aged 27 years, married Nelly White, spinster, aged 23 years.
25 Aug Cpl Samuel Gregg aged 28 years, married Alice Gardner, spinster, aged 31 years.
The following were baptised in 1899:
5 FebHarold Edgar Eyland Greensill born on 15 January 1899, son of Sgt George Greensill and Agnes, resident at Fort Chambray, Gozo.
1 OctRoy Eric Edgar Hasell born on 16 August 1899, son of Lt QM Harry Godley Hasell and Elizabeth Frances, resident at Zabbar.
Patrick Keefe RAMC aged 45 years, arrived in Malta in 1895. He had served nearly 19 years in the Medical Staff Corps. In January 1898, Keefe became entitled to a pension under the Modified Pension Act and applied for his discharge. He returned to England on 13 April 1898, and in the following month was released from Fort Brockhurst with a pension. Keefe's wife and his four children had remained in Malta. His wife was matron of the Military Female Hospital.
In June 1898, Keefe returned to Malta to seek employment, but was unable to secure a job. In April 1899, he obtained a privileged passage to England, but no ship was available to take him. His relationship with his spouse had broken down. Consequently, his wife took in another man to which Keefe strongly objected, leading to vociferous arguments.
In June 1899, Keefe's youngest daughter fell ill with Mediterranean Fever and was nursed by her mother at the Military Families Hospital. The other children stayed with their father in a small house, a short distance from the hospital, as there was only quarters for his wife at the hospital. On 28 June, Keefe waited for his wife who had promised to inform him of the progress of their daughter, but she failed to appear. His children informed him that their mother had company and could not come. The following morning, Keefe appeared at the hospital to confront his wife. He knocked on the front door, and though his wife opened the door, she would not let him in, stating that her child was poorly. Keefe tried to force his way in. As he pushed against the door the upper panel came apart. His wife reported him to Major Thomas B. A. Tuckey RAMC who summoned the police.
On 3 July 1899, Patrick Keefe was arraigned before the magistrate at Notabile Police Court and charged with breaking a window at the hospital. Major Tuckey testified that he had known Patrick Keefe for two and a half years when he served under his command at Cottonera. He asserted that Keefe was suffering from alcoholism. I think he has it more acute now, in fact I should imagine it is dipsomania now. Keefe was remanded to the Lunatic Asylum and re-appeared before the magistrate on 28 August. A medical report declared him suffering from alcoholic insanity. The magistrate confined him once again to the lunatic asylum. On 20 March 1900, Patrick Keefe was released from the lunatic asylum for good behaviour.4
1900 Strength: 122 rank and file. Detachments of the RAMC left for South Africa.
1 July Strength: 96 men.
The following were baptised in 1900:
10 FebHerbert Harold Spedding born on 10 December 1899, son of Pte Herbert Spedding and Esther, resident at St Julians.
10 FebDaisy Kathleen Audus born on 28 December 1899, daughter of Lt QM Henry Joseph Francis Audus and Amy Hatcher, resident at Cottonera.
21 FebValletta Gertrude Hart born on 14 January 1900, daughter of Sgt Harry Lawrence and Emma, resident at Valletta.
13 June Burial of child Alfred Maniton Carhart, aged 2 years 1 month, son of Cpl Carhart RAMC at Pietà Military Cemetery.
The Army Nursing Service Reserve supplemented the Army Nursing Service in time of war, when it fell under the authority of of the Secretary of State for War. During peace, it was under the control of a specially constituted committee, of which The Princess Christian of Schleswig Holstein was president.
The first member of the ANSR was admitted on 1 March 1897 and up to 30 September 1900, the total number of nursing sisters who had joined the service was 820, of whom 755 were effective on that date. The majority were serving with the Field Force in South Africa.
Members of the Reserve did not wear a distinctive uniform until called up for military service when they wore a dress similar to that worn by the ANS. They wore a silver medal on the right side of their chest showing a cross surmounted by a crown with the angles occupied by a rose, thistle, acorn and shamrock and encircled with the inscription Princess Christian's Army Nursing Service Reserve.
Members of the Army Nursing Service Reserve serving in Malta 0n 30 September 1900:
No 342 Jaques Frances, trained at Radcliffe Infirmary Oxford, member of the ANSR from 23 February 1900.
No 343 Bickford Sarah Alice, trained at General Hospital Birmingham, member of the ANSR from 23 February 1900. Moved to the Military Hospital Rochester Row S W in 1901.
597 patients were treated at Citta Vecchia Sanatorium in 1903. The majority were admitted directly from Ghajn Tuffieha Camp (373 patients); the rest were transfers from other hospitals. Twenty two female patients and 38 children were also treated in the Woman's Sanatorium during the year.
Lieutenants and Quartermasters:
Lines E. (Valletta)
Allen G. L. (Valletta). Resident at 10 Str Nuova Floriana.
Scott R. (Cottonera)
Hayward J. T. W. (13 Strada Nuova Sliema)
Barton C. A. (Station Hospital Valletta)
Green R. H. (Station Hospital Cottonera)
Nursing Staff Station Hospitals:
Station Hospital Valletta
Matron: Miss M L Rannie
Nursing Sister Miss M Mark
Nursing Sister Miss E Body
Station Hospital Cottonera
Acting Matron: Miss C K E Steel
Acting Matron: Miss A Guthrie
Nursing Sister Miss A Bridgford
In 1903, the entrance examinations for commissions in the Royal Army Medical Corps were held on 29 July, 30 July, and 1 August. There were 75 applicants, sixty two of whom were admitted to the examination. The candidates competed for 30 vacancies.
8 July 1903 Burial of Pte Henry Brady, aged 23 years, of Valletta at Pietà Military Cemetery.
At the beginning of 1904 new regulations came into force in Malta which classed the men of the RAMC into nursing and other sections. Hitherto, everyone more or less contributed his share in actual nursing.
1904 A Committee was formed by the Royal Society at the request of the Colonial Office, Admiralty, and War Office to investigate Malta Fever. The Commission consisted of Major W. H. Horrocks RAMC, Staff-Surgeon E. A. Shaw RN, Dr T. Zammit, and Captain J. Crawford Kennedy RAMC.
Dr R. W. Johnstone arrived at Malta during the summer of 1904 to work at the epidemiology of the fever. Lt Col A. M. Davies RAMC took up the same line of work in the summer of 1905. Fleet Surgeon P. W. Bassett-Smith RN, Staff-Surgeon R. T. Gilmour RN and Dr J. W. H. Eyre also contributed to the work of the Malta Fever Commission.
4 Aug 1904 Burial of Pte Arthur Nixon aged 21 yrs of the Sanatorium Notabile at Mtarfa Military Cemetery.
4 Sep Pte Albert Edward Gledhill aged 21 years 5 months, died at Cottonera and was buried in Rinella Military Cemetery.
Sep Capt James Crawford Kennedy lamented about the lack of social intercourse among RAMC officers serving in Malta. The officers were scattered in various camps and had no proper mess of their own. He therefore proposed to hold a quarterly Corps dinners and guest nights.
The inaugural dinner took place on 13 June, the same night as the annual Corps dinner in England. In addition he organised a monthly Corps meeting with the aim of bringing all the officers together to discuss topics of social and professional interest.
During 1904, there were 320 admissions for Malta Fever in the Command with 12 deaths. Twenty five cases occurred among the officers, with 2 deaths, and 14 were invalided. There were 70 cases among the women with 5 deaths and 39 cases among the children. Malta Fever also caused ten admissions with one death among the men of the Royal Malta Artillery. Four sisters of the Nursing Staff and 19 Non Commissioned officers and men of the RAMC contracted the disease.
Jan 1905 The General Hospital in Valletta also served as the headquarters for the detachment of the RAMC. In January, it had a strength of 69 men with 14 NCOs and 55 Ptes. In December, the detachment rose to 80 men, of whom 15 were NCOs and 65 Ptes. The men worked and lived in the hospital but others were distributed as follows: an NCO in the Public Health Laboratory as an assistant to the Mediterranean Fever Commission, four in PMO's Office, one in the District Laboratory, and one in the Public Health Laboratory.
3 Dec A large draft of RAMC soldiers arrived from England. Married men lived in the Camerata in Lower Merchant Street Valletta, which was conveniently located just opposite the main entrance of the hospital. Others lodged in the married quarters in the hospital quadrangle. Single soldiers lived in the hospital barrack room, which had accommodation for 60 NCOs and men. During the hot summer months, the men slept outside on the roof and on the verandah.
The nursing of acutely ill patients in Ward 20 A of the Valletta Military Hospital was undertaken by ward orderlies. These made the beds, handled the patients and removed their excreta. The orderlies also undertook a month of night duties. When on night duty, they slept from nine to four during the day in the night duty bunk. In summer they slept on the verandah just outside this bunk.
The night sister's duty was performed by two temporarily employed civilians who took it in turns to work a month's duty at a time. In the Women's Hospital, the two Nursing Sisters slept on the premises, but lived and messed during the day with the QAIMNS sisters on the other side of the hospital quadrangle.
The following were buried in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1905:
1 Oct 1906 First mention of No 30 Coy RAMC at Malta. Army Order of 1906 announced that detachments of the Royal Army Medical Corps serving in the following commands abroad will in future be designated and numbered as follows3:
No 22 Coy – Cape Colony Command
No 23 Coy – Transvaal
No 24 Coy – Orange River Colony including detachment in Natal, and West Coast of Africa detachment
No 25 Coy – Bermuda
No 26 Coy – Ceylon
No 27 Coy – North China detachment South China
No 28 Coy – Gibraltar
No 29 Coy – Jamaica
No 30 Coy – Malta including detachment at Crete
No 31 Coy – Mauritius
No 32 Coy – Straits Settlements
No 33 Coy – Egypt, including detachment at Cyprus
12 May 1906 The General Hospital in Valletta had 232 beds and quarters for 65 non-commissioned officers and men of the RAMC. It also had a Families Military Hospital.
The following were buried in Pietà Military Cemetery in 1906:
14 Apr Infant Alexander Allen aged 1 year 7 months, son of Cpl Allen.
1 May Pte Alfred Williams aged 21 years 11 months.
Jan 1908 The Annual Smoking Concert was held by the Valletta detachment RAMC at the Military Hospital. Members of the RAMC and the garrison sang and acted sketches and recitals. Lt Winckworth played two cello solos and Lt Mulligan sang a comic song If the missus wants to dream.
25 Nov A fire followed by a series of explosions broke out on SS Sardinia as the vessel cleared the breakwater and while in full view of the Valletta Hospital. The ship had a crew of 39, 17 passengers and 142 pilgrims from Morocco travelling to Mecca. The SS Sardinia attempted to re-enter the Grand Harbour, but was seen to follow a circular path, and ran aground on the rocks off Fort Ricasoli. There followed a large explosion with flames shooting skywards and flaming debris littering the shore.
Passengers jumped overboard in the hope of being picked up as it was too dangerous for rescue boats to place themselves alongside the ship. Ten passengers and 23 crew members were saved. Not all the bodies were recovered. The final death toll was 2 European passengers, 16 crew and more than 100 of the Arab passengers. In response to the unfolding disaster, Col Janes Gaussen MacNeece and every available officer and man of the RAMC fully equipped themselves with First Aid kits and mustered at the Custom House. Artificial respiration was administered but failed to restore life. Two lady and three male passengers and a stoker suffering from burns and shock were admitted to the Military Hospital and Military Families Hospital Valletta. His Excellency the Governor Lt Gen Sir Henry Fane Grant thanked the RAMC for their exertions in securing the injured.
3 – 4 Dec 1908 A staff tour took place in December to practice casualty movement during hostilities. The scenario was of an invading force of 13,000 men disembarking at Mellieha Bay, capturing Mellieha Ridge and the valley between St Paul's Bay and the hutments at Ghajn Tuffieha Bay and marching on to assault and capture Valletta. The defending troops had to march at night and attack the enemy's positions to the left of Wardija Ridge.
The following participated in the exercise: Lt Col A. F. Russell (Assistant to the PMO), Lt Col J. J. Gerrard (Director Medical Services), Maj E. M. Williams (Officer in command Clearing Hospital), Capt H. S. Anderson (o/ic No 1 Field Ambulance), Capt H. C. Winckworth (o/ic No 2 Field Ambulance), Capt P. A. Lloyd Jones (in medical charge No 1 Rifle Brigade), Capt T. H. Gibbon (in medical charge No 1 Bn/1st Infantry Bde). The exercise highlighted problems with medical transport. It was difficult to get wagons up the steep hills and of finding transport for the Clearing Hospital. Hospital transport was not allowed to use the same roads as army transport so as not to block supplies to the fighting troops in the event of the a hospital wagon breaking down. Difficulties were encountered with determining the exact composition of the Bearer Division with the Advanced Guard and of interpreting certain sections of the Geneva Convention.
25 Dec HQ No 30 Coy RAMC held its annual smoking concert at the Military Hospital Valletta. On Christmas Day 1908, special dinners with the customary turkey and plum pudding were served to the patients in each of the military hospitals. On Boxing Day, a concert was held for the patients in the Long Ward of the Valletta Hospital. The sick assembled in the Long Ward where a substantial tea awaited them. RSM Sgt Maj H. J. Dudman and the nursing sisters contributed to the success. The officers of the RAMC invited the families of the men of No 30 Company RAMC to tea in the Valletta Hospital.
28 Dec 1908 A Field Ambulance mobilised from Malta to succour the victims of the earthquake at Messina. A powerful tremor struck at 5:20 am totally destroying Messina (pop. 150,000) and Reggio di Calabria (pop. 50,000). About 100,000 inhabitants were estimated to have perished in the rubble and accompanying tsunami.
The following sailed on HMS Duncan to Catona in Calabria on 31 Dec 1908:
Maj Crawford G. S. — Commanding Fd Amb and hospital Catona Calabria.
Capt Anderson H. S. — Anaesthetist, Company duties and in charge of a Tent Section.
Capt Winckworth H. C. — Operating surgeon and in charge of the Surgical Division.
Capt Lloyd Jones P. A. — Assistant operating surgeon and General Duties medical officer.
Surgeon Capt Randon R. (Royal Malta Artillery) — Surgeon in the convalescent section and General Duties medical officer.
Lt (QM) Morrison — Quartermaster.
RGA Lt Drake Brockman W. H. C. — Interpreter.
Sister McCreery M. O’ C. QAIMNS — Matron.
Sister Hartigan H. QAIMNS — Staff Nurse.
Mrs Maillard M.E. — Civilian Nurse.
Mrs Belcher M.E. — Civilian Nurse.
10254 QM Sgt Gillespie A.
10736 Sgt Gray G. E.
17843 Sgt Blair R. C.
18213 Cpl Pacey W. C.
9609 Cpl Chipperfield J. A.
14686 Cpl Wilson W. A.
17541 L/Cpl McConn P.
11392 L/Cpl Conner E.
11313 L/Cpl Bateman A.
18448 Pte Aldous G. W.
18777 Pte Aylett W.
16768 Pte Barton H. E.
17001 Pte Blair D.
11006 Pte Brownsell A.
18478 Pte Burton A.
18262 Pte Clear E. M.
132 Pte Dart S.
19806 Pte Deans W.
184 Pte Dodd I. B.
17769 Pte Evans J.
19989 Pte Finley A.
1644 Pte Flavell C. W.
237 Pte Flavell J. E.
18551 Pte Foster W. T.
19036 Pte Gibbons W.
867 Pte Grogan J. M.
19574 Pte Howe T.
19621 Pte Kite W. E.
16931 Pte Langtree W.
71 Pte Lane C. H.
19639 Pte Harris J.
147 Pte Lintott W.
1253 Pte Marks H.
11825 Pte Monaghan J.
19822 Pte Mundy A.
160 Pte Pettit V.
17421 Pte Plume P.
988 Pte Pretty G.
19749 Pte Reynolds J. L.
19895 Pte Smith T. W.
19186 Pte Smith T. E.
19366 Pte Spurrell F.
19776 Pte Swan G.
19979 Pte Thain G. E.
18258 Pte Tempo H.
18089 Pte Thatcher J. W.
95 Pte Thomas A. G. W.
17965 Pte Thompson I. J. J.
19035 Pte Young J. H.
19709 Pte Young W. E.
19630 Pte Taylor A.
18621 Pte Walton A. J.
18335 Pte Woolway W. J.
A Royal Decree dated Rome 5 June 1910, conferred a silver medal upon the military medical officers for their work in the earthquake of 28 December 1908.
1909 HQ 30 Coy RAMC was at Valletta with detachments at Cottonera, Forrest, Fort Chambray Gozo, Ghajn Tuffieha and the Convalescent Hospital at Citta Vecchia.
During the year Matron Miss E. A. Dowse RRC moved from the Military Hospital Valletta to the Military Hospital Cottonera. Matron Miss M. Wilson left Malta for the Military Hospital Cork. Sister Miss A. MacCormac moved from the Military Hospital Valletta to the Military Hospital Cottonera. Miss M. O. C. McCreery transferred to the Military Hospital Cottonera from the Military Hospital Valletta.
26 Feb 1909 18262 Pte Edward William Clear RAMC was commended by the Army Council for his excellent work carried out under arduous circumstances in Calabria in connection with the earthquake at Messina. He was also awarded the Italian Red Cross Silver medal.
Edward William Clear was born on 28 Feb 1882 in the Parish of Bayswater Middlesex. He had served in the Militia (Home District Coy RAMC M) from 2 Sep 1902 to 13 Jan 1903. On 14 January 1903, he was attested at Woolwich for 3 years in the RAMC and nine years in the Reserve. He was 20 years 11 months and had worked as a railway porter. Pte Clear’s first posting was to the Station Hospital Cork. On 2 Oct 1912, he married Kate Marguerite Langley at Dover. He had three children: Marguerite Louisa born at Aldershot on 25 Sep 1914, Betty Evelyn born at Woolwich on 12 Mar 1921 and Charles Edward Lewis born at Gibraltar on 27 Feb 1923.
On 22 Apr 1904, he was appointed to the Nursing section. On 24 Sep 1904, he was posted to No 30 Coy RAMC Cottonera, Malta where he remained until 8 Oct 1909. He was promoted L/Cpl in April 1910 and qualified as a dispenser on 13 June 1912. He re-engaged for the RAMC at Aldershot on 14 Jan 1914 and was promoted Lance Sgt on 3 June 1914, Sgt on 10 Aug 1914, SSgt on 9 May 1915 and QM Sgt (WO Class II) on 29 April 1922. On mobilisation in August 1914 he was allotted to the General Hospital Cottonera for duty as a Nursing Orderly. However, from 11 Jan 1912 to 27 July 1916 he was employed as a Drill Instructor and QM at the Depôt and from July 1916 was Coy Staff Sgt and Acting Sgt Major C Coy RAMC Depôt.
10 Mar Following the virtually eradication of Malta Fever the Long Ward fell into disuse and was utilised as a ball room. On 10 March, the Warrant Officers and NCOs of 30 Coy RAMC gave a Ball on the anniversary of the wedding of King Edward VII to Queen Alexandra on 10 March 1863.
16 June 1909 The officers held their monthly clinical meeting which was presided by Col J. G. Macneece.
The mobilisation plan for the medical services as drawn up by the PMO Col MacNeece was exercised over 3 days of manoeuvres. The following took part: Lt Col Yarr M. T. (Assistant Director of Medical Services), Maj Craword G. S. (Sanitary Officer), Maj Master A. E. (Officer Commanding Fld Amb with A Section Fld Amb), Capt St Maur Carter H. (B Section Fld Amb), Capt Babington M. H. (C Section Fld Amb), Capt Maughan J. St Aubyn (attached to A Section Fld Amb). Capt Roberts, Lt Mulligan, Lt Dickson and Lt Graem were attached to four regimental units. Twenty NCOs and men with the officer commanding formed the personnel of each (skeleton) section of the Field Ambulance.
17 June The weekly concert at the Soldier's and Sailor's Institute Valletta was given by the RAMC.
25 June A boxing tournament was organised by 3rd King's Royal Rifle Corps. In the middle-weight 15 round contest between L/Cpl Gilmore KRR and Pte Dare RAMC, the RAMC won by a knock out. The men also played billiards, tennis, cricket and went sea bathing.
The Mediterranean Skiff Club under Capt Frederick Emilius Roberts who acted as its Hon Secretary flourished. The sailing vessel Midget frequently sailed to victory. Capt A. E. Weld designed his own sailing vessels.
Officers of the RAMC in Malta joined the Malta Technical Association and obtained the RAC driving certificate. This enabled them to hire out the three club automobiles at 4d a mile.
The privilege of eight days local leave enabled officers to visit Africa, Sicily, Naples and even Rome, which widened their horizons. Short leave to Naples and its surrounding country was a privilege not to be missed.
2 Dec 1909 18777 Pte W Aylett disembarked in England from Malta per SS Maine as an invalid.
1910 HQ 30 Coy RAMC relocated from Valletta Hospital to Cottonera Hospital.
5 Jan 1910 Embarked for Malta on HT Rewa:
10435 QM Sgt A Humingford
18110 Cpl R W Gibson
16261 Pte G R Wheeler
935 Pte H M Griffiths Williams
738 Pte M Ryan
11443 Pte H Cliburn
1094 Pte H B Alloway
991 Pte E A Betts
1031 Pte H Moon
1131 Pte F O Burge
1247 Pte F E Buckland
16299 Pte E P Plunkett
4352 Pte C Henry
1865 Pte R Johnstone
20 Jan 1910 Disembarked in England from Malta per HT Dongola:
8395 Sgt Maj R Stanley
14686 Cpl W A Wilson
17555 Cpl M Kinder
17379 LCpl E Hardy
18571 Pte F T Pepper
19160 Pte C J Preston
18671 Pte S Thackary
19186 Pte T E Smith
2114 Pte H S Stokes
19075 Pte H S Skelton
12393 Pte M Rowland
18621 Pte A J Walton
18673 Pte C W Bidgood
18234 Pte R J Gibbons
19416 Pte F E Harper
12121 Pte G W H Mean
19547 Pte W A Mansell
11 Apr 1910 Disembarked in England from Malta per SS City of Benares 10400 Sgt F Catley.
6 May King Edward VII died of pneumonia at the age of 68 years. His eldest son, George Prince of Wales, was crowned on 22 June 1911 as King George V.
May The following candidates from Malta passed the examination for Army Form C 344, Certificate of training as a Nurse, held in May 1910. Men listed in order of merit as regards the number of marks awarded:
237 Pte J E Flavell (19th)
18425 Pte F W Atkinson (22nd)
19747 Pte C H Hyde (25th)
19709 Pte W E Young (36th)
19822 Pte A Mundy (38th)
19432 Pte W T Parker (42nd)
8 July 1910 Disembarked in England from Malta per S S Creole Prince 18902 Cpl W Blundell and 18215 LCpl W W Dewey.
3 Oct Disembarked in England from Malta per H T Soudan 18213 Cpl W C Pacey, 18094 Cpl W Burns, 19035 Pte J H Young, 19193 Pte W M Stebbings, 1266 Pte J Whiterod.
7 Oct 18335 LCpl W J Woolway, stationed at Malta, was selected for admission into the QAIMNS with increased pay at sixpence a day in accordance with Article 771, Royal Warrant for Pay.
10 Oct Disembarked in England from Malta per S S Sardinia 10339 Sgt Maj F O Chappell.
3 Nov Embarked for Malta per H T Rewa:
17450 Cpl W J Elsey
18383 LCpl W Hutchings
1427 Pte W Kent
18109 Pte F R Bridge
17898 Pte W Knagg
1447 Pte P Conway
2083 Pte W E Pearce
19140 Pte J Price
29 Nov Disembarked in England from Malta per H T Rohilla 18830 Pte F Bell, 18478 Pte A Burton, 18425 Pte F W Atkinson, 18979 Pte S R Bushnell, 18982 Pte A Newman, 18365 Pte R Thomson, 1920 Pte E E Ford.
9 Dec 1910 Disembarked in England from Malta per H T Dongola 17964 Cpl W Bowler and 17421 Cpl P Plume.
In 1910 the following transfers took place among the QAIMNS:
Matron Miss M O C McCreery from Malta to Gibraltar.
25 Nov 1911 30 Coy RAMC held its training camp at Ghajn Tuffieha. Each detachment was in camp for a week, the whole training being extended over three weeks. Major Charles Robert Evans instructed.
1911 Zabbar Barrack room, the regimental institute and the ablution rooms were fitted with electric lighting which replaced paraffin lamps. On 21 February 1911, a detachment of the Sergeant's Mess moved to their new quarters at the old Ophthalmic Ward and dispensary in Valletta.
1912 RSM 30 Coy RAMC was Sergeant-Major Collard. Matron of the Cottonera Hospital was Miss J. Hoadley RRC QAIMNS. There were a total of 6,593 men in the garrison. The men of 30 Coy RAMC held an at home in the grounds of the Military Hospital Cottonera. The band of the 2nd/Scottish Rifles attended.
24 Jan King George V and Queen Mary attended the Delhi Durbar on 12 December 1911 where they were installed Emperor and Empress of India. On 24 January 1912, their majesties landed at Malta on their return journey from India. Men of 30 Coy RAMC manned First Aid posts along the route.
25 Jan King George, accompanied by the Governor Gen Sir Leslie Rundle and General Sir Smith-Dorien visited the Military Hospital Cottonera. The royal party was greeted at the hospital by the PMO Col R. Porter and Lt Col H. M. Sloggett, OC Cottonera Hospital, matron and the hospital officers. The grounds from North Gate were lined by the RAMC, senior NCOs occupying the steps at the main entrance to the hospital, under the command of Major Babington, company officer. The king and his entourage visited the wards and met the patients and officers. Major Herbert Cumming French RAMC who in November 1911 had been decorated with the Albert Medal for saving the life of an engineer in Singapore was complimented by the king for his gallantry.2
1913 The average strength of the garrison was 6,336 men. The average number in hospital was 116, which represented an average sick rate of 18 per 1000. The mortality rate was 2.21 per 1000. The improvement of the health of the garrison was due mainly to the almost complete eradication of Malta fever, following the discovery of goat's milk as its principal cause in 1905, the gradual fall in the enteric group of diseases due to improved sanitation and inoculation and the gradual removal of troops from old and unhealthy barracks into modern ones at Mtarfa, St Andrew's, St George's and Tigné Barracks.
A private soldier of the RAMC contracted Trichinosis from eating pork. He recovered after 135 days in hospital.
1 Mar 1914 Baptism in Zejtun Gate Church Room of Evelina Mary Clinton born on 6 February, daughter of Pte Thomas and Eva Clinton of Married Quarters Verdala Barracks.
30 May Death of 4876 Pte E S Gell from drowning.
28 June Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo.
In 1914, the average strength of the Malta garrison was 5,977 men. The peacetime establishment of the RAMC in Malta in 1914 was 23 officers, as well as 2 quartermasters, 150 other ranks and 12 nursing sisters of the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS). It was not anticipated that Malta would play any active role in the war. Thus, on 3 September the majority of regular RAMC officers were withdrawn. They were replaced by four RAMC Territorial Force officers (TF), as well as four officers and 193 men of the 1st (City of London) Field Ambulance (TF).
30 July All officers and men of 30 Coy RAMC Malta Command were recalled from leave. A Section Field Ambulance Cottonera Hospital was ordered to mobilise.
3 Aug RAMC officers attached to Infantry Battalions were ordered to visit their outlying detachments twice a week, to watch for sanitation and see any sick requiring their services.
4 AugA Section Field Ambulance moved to Attard to join Fortress Reserve.
5 Aug 1914 Mobilisation of C Section Field Ambulance to Iz-Zebbiegh near Mgarr. Ambulance wagons were located at Mtarfa (2), Mellieha Camp (1), Ghajn Tuffieha Camp (1) and Bir-id-Deheb (2). C Section Field Ambulance admitted sick from Mellieha Camp.
8 AugB Section Field Ambulance deployed to Bir id-Deheb. All Field Ambulance Sections returned nursing orderlies above three men to Mtarfa.
17 Sep Ghajn Tuffieha and Mtarfa Camps were visited by Col R. R. Sleman RAMC (T). Other camps were at 9th Milestone San Marco and St Paul's Bay. The forts around Marsaxlokk in the south-west of Malta were also occupied: Fort Benghajsa, Birzebbugia and Delimara Points. To the north of Malta were occupied Fort Mosta, Fort Bingemma, Selmun Palace, Mellieha Camp and Ghajn Tuffieha. 9th Milestone Camp was near Skoll tal Ghazzenin. St Paul's Bay. To the north west were occupied Fort Madliena, St Andrews Barracks and Forrest Hospital St Julians.
1 Oct 1914 Captain D. C. L. Fitzwilliams FRCS was appointed Surgical Specialist at Cottonera Hospital vice
Walter Frederick Hamilton Vaughan who returned to England.
1914 1st London (City of London) Field Ambulance (T)
5 Aug 1914 1st London Field Ambulance RAMC (T) mobilised and marched to Whitmore Common Worplesdon, Guildford on 25 August. It left the Common for London on 1 September and embarked for Malta on 4 September.
13 Sep 1st London Field Ambulance RAMC (T) commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Reginald Sleman MD RAMC (TF) disembarked at Malta.
28 Oct 8 Officers and 151 men of 1st London Field Ambulance RAMC (T) attended their annual training camp.
7 Nov 29 men arrived from England in S. S. Dongola to complete the establishment of 1st London Field Ambulance RAMC (T). There were 201 rank and file all ranks RAMC in Malta.
29 Dec 1914 Major Edmond W. St Vincent Ryan RAMC (T) was promoted temporary Lieut Colonel RAMC (T). In the South African War, Major S. Vincent Ryan had been with the City Imperial Volunteers (C.I.V.) and commanded C Section of 1st London Field Ambulance RAMC.
1 Jan 1915 The Army Ordnance Stores Malta Command repaired two sets of civilian harnesses for 1st City of London Field Ambulance.
2 Jan Lieut Eric G. Gauntlett became officer in charge Mtarfa Hospital.
6 Jan Laying of foundation stone of the new Mtarfa Hospital.
7 Jan The camp of instruction in field work for the RAMC was held at Pembroke Camp. It closed on 28 February.
14 Jan 15 men RAMC (T) arrived from England on S. S. Assaye for water duties.
18 Feb Captain Fitzwilliams moved from Cottonera Hospital to Custom house. On 10 March he was granted additional pay as a specialist while performing duties in operative surgery in Malta.
19 Feb A party of 64 from the Red Cross England on its way to Servia took over quarters at Valletta Hospital and the Camerata married quarters. The party left Malta on 1 March under Colonel Hunter RAMC.
1 Mar 1915 The following change of stations took place:
Captain Andrew Elliot took charge of Mtarfa Hospital from Captain Eric G. Gauntlett.
Captain Eric G. Gauntlett moved to Cottonera Hospital.
Lieut E. Coplans moved to Cottonera Hospital.
Lieut A. Carlisle moved to 2/2nd London Regiment at St Andrew's Barracks.
4 Mar The Governor, Field Marshal Lord Methuen endorsed setting up a Maltese RAMC.
25 Mar 19 cases of venereal disease were transferred to Forrest Hospital from H.T.
Alaunia and Andania. The medical inspection of soldiers for venereal diseases which used to be carried in former years had by now been dropped.
26 Mar Pte C. C. Sugden RAMC was admitted to Cottonera Hospital with acute appendicitis.
26 Mar Mr A. D. Calnan of the Lyceum offered the services of six boy scouts for duty at Forrest Hospital and the correspondence was sent to Major J. C. G. Carmichael RAMC. The boys wished to qualify for the War Badge by working in hospital from 31 March to 7 April 1915.
28 Mar Captain Reilly and Lieut Carlyle were tasked to assist at Forrest and Mtarfa Hospitals.
29 Mar Ex–Staff Sergeant Lampard RAMC of 19 Alexander Road Cospicua offered his services to the RAMC.
31 Mar 1915 About 500 venereal cases arrived from Egypt in H.T. Atlanta.
1 Apr 1 NCO and two men from the RAMC were ordered to Salonica to join the British medical mission to Servia.
1 Apr A suspected case of Kala Azar in a child was reported at St Nicholas Barracks by Lieut E. Donaldson RAMC (T). The child of Gunner Mayo was admitted to Cottonera Hospital.
11 Apr DDMS Malta accepted the services of Dr E. F. Elliot who had returned from Servia, Greece.
11 Apr 1915 A Maori contingent of 14 officers and 491 rank and file embarked at Port Said for Malta on S.S. Runic. The cost of the contingent was defrayed by the New Zealand Government. The men disembarked on 12 April and proceeded to the Married Families Enclosure Ghajn Tuffieha Camp. The Maoris were under the medical charge of Captain Buck. Two fell ill with pneumonia and were admitted to Cottonera Hospital. The Maori Contingent left for Gallipoli in July 1915.
24 Apr Authority was granted to employ 10 civil labourers at Forrest Hospital at 1s 6d a day.
25 Apr The operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April transformed the island into the main receiving station for the sick and wounded from the Dardanelles (25 April 1915 to 8 January 1916) and from the campaign in Salonica (5 October 1915 to 30 September 1918). Malta became the Nurse of the Mediterranean.8
26 Apr A detachment of the 1st City of London Field Ambulance was inspected by DDMS R. R. Sleman. The Embarkation Staff were seen at the Custom House; the Hospital Personnel, at Cottonera.
8 May 1915 Valletta, Cottonera, Mtarfa Hospitals and the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi were visited by Sir Frederick Treves and Colonel Sir Courtauld Thomson, Chief British Red Cross Commissioner for Malta. Sir Frederick Treves suggested the use of a trolley for moving patients to and fro the operating theatre at Mtarfa.
9 May St George's, St Andrew's, Forrest, Tigné and Zammit Clapp Hospitals were visited by Sir Frederick Treves who made suggestions regarding the ventilation of the operating theatre and the conversion of an adjoining shed at St Andrew's Hospital for sterilising all dressings.
9 May Mr H. J. Dudman late Sergeant Major RAMC was recalled to the service.
24 May Sgt Lampard RAMC and Cpl Sycklemore RAMC re-enlisted for service.
5 June 1915 1452 Pte George Frederick Damsell RAMC (TA) born in Liverpool, Lancashire, enlisted in Liverpool, died of wounds in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
4 July 1684 A/Sgt James Dunn RAMC (TA) enlisted in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, died of wounds in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
5 July 8104 Pte Joseph Rollo RAMC born in North Shields, enlisted in Newcastle-on-Tyne, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
31 July 50415 Pte Samuel Gee RAMC born in Harwick, Lancashire, enlisted in Farnworth, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
6 Aug 38383 Pte Thomas Wilson Weir RAMC born in Edinburgh, enlisted in Birmingham, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
25 Aug 1915 2060 Pte David Dunlop RAMC (TA) enlisted in Edinburgh, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
6 Sep 55957 Pte Joseph Quarry RAMC born in Kelso, Roxborough, enlisted in Galashiels, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
7 Sep 1915 35552 Pte Charles Sydney Roberts RAMC born in Wellington, enlisted in Birmingham, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
11 Sep 52045 Pte William Stewart RAMC born in Wardley, Durham, enlisted in Sunderland, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
14 Sep 1915 1614 Pte Frederick George Burchell RAMC (TA) born in St James, Essex, enlisted in Leyton Essex, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
15 Sep 61375 Pte Abraham Bothman RAMC born in Middleton, Lancashire, enlisted in Manchester, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
29 Sep 245 Pte Andrew Drinnan RAMC (TA) enlisted in Milngavie Stirlingshire, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
3 OctJohn Albert Doling born on 1 September 1915, twin son of Sgt William Herbert Doling and Elizabeth of married quarters Cottonera was baptised at St Matthew's Church Fort Ricasoli.
3 Oct 1915Mary Maud Doling born on 1 September 1915, twin daughter of Sgt William Herbert Doling and Elizabeth of married quarters Cottonera was baptised at St Matthew's Church Fort Ricasoli.
5 Oct 1915 58506 Pte Percy Adams RAMC born in Carbrook, Sheffield Yorkshire, enlisted in Sheffield, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
23 Oct 55062 Pte William Hale RAMC born in Kirkdale, Lancashire, enlisted in Liverpool, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
28 Oct 1875 Pte Colin Robertson RAMC (TA) born in Galston, Ayrshire, enlisted in Glasgow Lanarkshire, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
6 Nov 61428 Pte Henry Dewhurst RAMC born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, enlisted in Manchester, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
7 Nov 1915 44690 Pte William Kerr RAMC born in Paisley, Ayrshire, enlisted in Perth, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
9 Nov 1846 Pte Charles Leonard Tench RAMC (TA) born in Norwich, Norfolk, enlisted in Norwich, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
15 Nov 1733 Pte Herbert John Howard RAMC (TA) born in Bath, Somerset, enlisted in Bedford, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
20 Nov 1012 Pte Duncan Ross RAMC (TA) born in Coll, Argylshire, enlisted in Inverness, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
23 Nov 12236 Pte Henry William John Kennerson RAMC born in Brentford, Middlesex, enlisted in Hammersmith, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
27 Nov 1915 58617 Pte Tom Broscombe RAMC born in Leeds, Yorkshire, enlisted in Sheffield, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
7 Dec 2088 Pte George Charles Eason RAMC (TA) enlisted in Walthamstow, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
17 Dec 39292 Pte George Allsopp RAMC born in Essington, Staffordshire, enlisted in Walsall, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
29 Dec 1915 1671 Pte Arthur Sayer RAMC (TA) born in Norwich, Norfolk, enlisted in Norwich, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
11 Mar 1917 59208 Pte Frank Anderson RAMC born in Biggar, Lanarshire, enlisted in Glasgow, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
8 Apr 5651 Pte Arthur John Thomas Wakeford RAMC born in Brighton, Sussex, enlisted in Gosport, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
17 Apr 493233 Pte Charles Edward Milton Head RAMC (TA) born in Rawalpindi, India, enlisted in Maidstone, Kent, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
2 May St David's Military Hospital re-established itself as No 62 General Hospital. Its staff included: Lt Col Carr C. H., Commanding Officer, Capt Prance C. H. G., Capt Leigh B. H., Capt Glen D., Capt Barrett W. C. P., Capt Morgan R. J., Capt Gore W. G., and Lt (QM) Percy J. W.. The lady doctors were: Drs Hollway E. B., Murphy J. L., Fergus A. G., and Murray M. D. In addition there were a Matron, 8 sisters, 1 staff nurse (nursing reserve), 15 VADs, 1 Warrant Officer, 3 Staff Sergeants, 11 Sgts, 5 Cpls, 5 L/Cpls and 111 RAMC privates. No 62 GH closed on 31 Oct 1917. Its staff was distributed among No 61, No 28, No 67 and No 43 General Hospitals.
28 May 545514 Pte Frederick George Draper RAMC (TA) enlisted in Chelsea, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
5 June 500094 Pte Charles Phillip Lewis RAMC (TA) enlisted in Brighton, Sussex, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
14 June 1917 83429 Pte Thomas Moorcroft RAMC born in Littleover, Derbyshire, enlisted in Derby, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
20 June No 65 BGH was formed from the staff of St David's Military Hospital. It sailed for Salonica on 6 July 1917. It arrived there on 11 July and set up at Hortiack. The women doctors were Lepper E. H., Gellathy J. H., Fox I. E., Haigh E., Craig E. M. D., Hurdon E., and McEnery M. J.
15 July 386384 Pte John Telford Graham RAMC (TA) enlisted in Newcastle Durham, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
22 Aug Baptism in the Corradino Chapel of Nancy Grace Doling born on 6 June, daughter of SSgt William Herbert and Elizabeth Doling of 12 B Block, Married Quarters Corradino.
25 Oct 1917 21659 Pte Robert Bewley RAMC born in St Helens, Lancashire, enlisted in London, died in Malta (Soldier of the Great War 1914–1919).
15 Jan 1919 Baptism at the Military Families Hospital by the Rev E Edmonds-Smith Chaplain to the Forces of Patricia Kendall born on 6 January 1919, daughter of SSgt William Albert and Emma Elizabeth of The Lime Blenheim Park Woodstock Oxfordshire.
Soldiers of the Great War 1914–19 (RAMC) who died in Malta
1 Jan 1920 Strength: 20 officers, 82 rank and file.
June Three hospitals Forrest, Cottonera and Valletta Station Hospital were closed. The men moved to Mtarfa Ridge which was about seven miles away from Valletta. There was no official opening of Mtarfa Military Hospital. The foundation stone had been laid on 6 Jan 1915. Work stopped during the war and the hospital was not completed until after the cessation of hostilities.
The officers and men whiled their three years in Malta indulging in all forms of sports. These included: football, hockey, cricket, sailing, boxing, annual cross country runs, water polo, swimming, tennis, golf, shooting on the miniature range, and horse racing at the Marsa Sports Ground. In addition a part of the ground in Mtarfa Hospital was converted into a vegetable garden where the RSM held chickens. The families went on picnics and outings to various beaches. The Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess organised an annual smoking concert where officers of the RAMC presented recitals and plays. The unit was a happy closed knit community which at times found itself in splendid isolation, cut off from the rest of the infantry based at St Andrew's and St George's Barracks Pembroke. The men took part in inter-regimental sports. They were invited to the annual swimming and water polo competition organised by their naval colleagues at Bighi Hospital. During the year, the officers held training Staff Tours, prepared for their promotional examinations and the annual unit inspection by DMS Malta Command.
1 Jan 1926 Strength: 13 officers, 68 rank and file No 30 Coy RAMC.
4 Oct Birth of a daughter at Mtarfa to Helen, wife of QM Sgt A W Kirton Vaughan .
In 1926, Col Gwynn and the officers of the RAMC gave a dance in the Union Club Valletta (the former Auberge de Provence). This was the first big function given by the RAMC since 1914. The band of the 1st/Bedfords and Hertfordshire Regiment that had just arrived from England was in attendance.
No 30 Coy RAMC carried out their annual training in two parties of twelve days each, under Major Michael Balfour Hutchison Ritchie RAMC. The first day of training consisted of a march to Ghajn Tuffieha Camp, where the Royal Marines had a Musketry Camp, and settling down under canvas. The intention was to make the Camp as instructive as possible and at the same time provide an outing for the men.
Training comprised route marching, establishing an Advanced and Main Dressing Stations, lectures on the duties of the Corps in the Field, Medical Units, Hygiene, First Aid, application of the Thomas Splint, water cart duties, bell tents, marquees and operating tent pitching and chemical warfare. The company became experts at putting up and equipping the operating tents, on one occasion taking only twenty minutes until the tent was ready to receive cases for operation. Pitching of tents was difficult due to the hard and stony nature of the ground. The Company was charged for the loss of pegs. Most of the work was carried out away from camp and roadside lectures took the place of the usual marquee assembly.
Transport consisted of an ambulance wagon, two limbered G. S. wagons, a water cart and a Field Kitchen. Shorts and shirt sleeves was the order of dress.
30 Coy RAMC held an instructive Field Day with the 1st/Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. The scenario was one of troops retiring after blowing up the village of Mellieha, fighting a rearguard action. Only trucks were available for the movement of casualties. The location of the wounded, the application of first aid and the evacuation of casualties by improvised transport were exercised. The regimental stretcher bearers were combined with those of A Company 1st Field Ambulance and the immediate problem was to get the casualties quickly away without retarding the withdrawal of piquets and the retirement of the rearguard to the perimeter camp.
The exercise highlighted the difficulties surrounding the collection and evacuation of casualties in hill country while being harassed by the enemy following close on the heels of the retiring troops. Among the features was the formation of an Advanced Dressing Station with equipment that was distributed in sand bags and small loads. For tentage, the ADS possessed a marquee wall which served as a shelter for casualties. Forty casualties were played and conveyed back as far as the perimeter camp to which the force was retiring and were dealt with in the Main Dressing Station formed by Headquarters of No 1 Field Ambulance.
The following returned to England on 28 September 1926 tour or time expired:
7249654 L/Cpl Brookes G H
7249182 Cpl Colvan T
7249138 Pte Livingstone H
5875762 Pte Glibbery W J
3879554 L/Cpl Horne H E
7249575 L/Cpl Phillips J P
7249732 Pte Schiff J M
7249776 Pte Small H C
7254432 Pte Stevens F W
7249571 Pte Sundborg A R
7249359 Pte Tipping J
7251667 Cpl Hickey J
7249443 Pte Crow F W
7257049 Pte Stone F (invalid)
7258029 L/Cpl Philpott F (vocational course)
The following returned to England on 6 Dec 1926 tour or time expired:
1 Jan 1927 Strength: 14 officers, 64 rank and file.
In January 1927, twenty candidates applied for a Short Service Commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps, but only twelve were successful. Among these applicants was twenty five year old Dr Edgar Charles Savona, who was born in Malta on 6 April 1901. Savona had qualified MD from the University of Malta. His application had been received by the War Office on 28 December 1926. However, he was rejected at interview as being physically unfit. The next Maltese candidate to present himself for a commission was Dr Walter Felix Luke Fava who was born in Malta on 7 October 1906 and was commissioned on 13 July 1933.
1 Jan 1929 Strength: 14 officers, 75 rank and file.
A scheme was introduced during the 1929–1930 Trooping Season whereby medical officers posted overseas were given longer notices and a more accurate forecast of their date of embarkation.
The trial showed that it was possible to give fairly accurate and early information to officers proceeding to India, though for various reasons it was found more difficult in the case of those embarking for Colonial Stations. Nonetheless, the scheme was deemed to be a success and was continued during the 1930–1931 Trooping Season.
1 Jan 1930 Strength: 13 officers, 60 rank and file.
30 Coy RAMC were on Mtarfa Ridge. The men had to provide their own amusement as Mtarfa Barracks was vacant in August. There were few, if any, of the usual functions to relieve the tedium of five years on the island. Swimming was encouraged at Ghajn Tuffieha and Salina Bay.
1 Jan 1931 Strength: 13 officers, 69 rank and file.
31 Mar Sudden death of L/Cpl R. J. Patchell at the military hospital after a short illness. The funeral took place on 1 April from St Oswald's Church in the hospital grounds. The whole company including officers and sisters together with many of the families attended. The cortege preceded by a firing squad of L/Cpls of the 1st/Highland Light Infantry and the band of 2nd/Worcestershire Regiment proceeded to the military Cemetery Mtarfa. L/Cpl Patchell known as Paddy had during his short stay with the company gained the respect and affection of his comrades. A grave stone of Maltese stone, faced with marble, was erected in July 1932 over his tomb.
Apr Sergeant-Major and Mrs H J Carroll arrived with their family at Malta. He took over as Sergeant Major 30 Coy RAMC and Chief Ward-Master of Mtarfa Hospital. The arrival of the new RSM improved the welfare of the company. He increased the out of hours activities for the men and set up an entertainment committee and outing club. By August 1931, the Outing Club had a membership of 60. They paid a weekly levy of six pence to cover outings with tea. The entertainment committee arranged two well attended dances and a social evening.
3 June The officers RAMC Malta Command organised a tennis at home to the married personnel of the company.
18 Sep 30 Coy RAMC Swimming Gala was held at St George's Bay. Six buses and numerous cars transported the whole company with their wives and children to the bay. The judges of the swimming competition were Lt Col Johnson and Major Jones. The organizing committee consisted of the RSM Sgt-Maj Carroll and Maj Walker. Nurses of the QAIMNS from Mtarfa hospital took part in the Ladies race.
11 Nov The Royal Naval Staff from Bighi Hospital visited 30 Coy RAMC on Armistice Day.
Dec 1931 By Christmas 1931, the majority of the tour expired and transfers to the Reserves personnel of 30 Coy RAMC had left Malta, and had been replaced by a new draft. The usual Christmas functions took place over the Christmas week, commencing with a children's tea party and a tree decoration. A draw and dance was held on 23 December with carol singing on Christmas eve. A comical football match was held on the afternoon of Christmas Day, finishing with a dance in the recreation room of the NAAFI. A new Year's dance completed the festivities.
5 July 1932 The officers and wives gave an at home to married personnel at Ghajn Tuffieha.
17 June L/Cpl P. W. Francis died at the Military Hospital Mtarfa of suppurative appendicitis after a short illness. His death came as a great shock to all his friends by whom he was well liked. His funeral took place on 18 June and was attended by the whole Company. After a short service of remembrance at St Oswald Chapel, the cortege heralded by the firing party and the band of 2nd/Worcestershire Regiment proceeded to the cemetery at Mtarfa. The attendance at the funeral and the many wreaths were a sign of the great esteem in which he was held by his military and civilian acquaintances. At the conclusion of the service at the grave side, fellow members of the Buffs held a short service.
Sep The annual swimming gala was held as St George's Bay. Mrs Wilmot, wife of DDMS Col Reginald Cameron Wilmot presented the prizes.
11 Nov Staff from the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi visited 30 Coy RAMC on Armistice Day. The usual football match and dance was held at Mtarfa.
Dec The Nativity Children's play was not held as there were not enough children at Mtarfa School. On Boxing day HMS Revenge Minstrel Troupe gave a show in the hospital. A party from HMS Royal Oak visited the Company for a football match but this was unfortunately postponed due to heavy rain. During Christmas week, the concert party of HMS Resolution gave a show in the hospital which was followed by 30 Coy Christmas dance in the barrack gym.
31 Dec 1932 Strength: 75 men. The QAIMNS in Malta was established for 13 nursing sisters. On 31 December there were in Malta 1 matron and 11 sisters and staff nurses.
Jan 1933 Visits by various naval football teams to Mtarfa helped to break the monotony, as did the annual sports meeting with the staff of the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi. On 21 July, 30 Coy RAMC paid a return visit to the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi.
30 June Strength: 13 officers, 60 men.
21 Dec The children's Christmas Tree party took place on this day. The annual RAMC Sgt Mess Christmas draw was held on 22 December. On Christmas afternoon the officers, Warrant Officers and non commissioned officers met the remainder of the company in a comic football match. Costumes resembled a page from the Arabian Nights. A company dinner was also held on the same day. The men of 30 Coy RAMC held their annual fancy dress ball on Boxing Night.
14 Sep 1934 No 30 Coy RAMC aquatic sports day took place at Bighi Bay. Motor buses were hired to convey the married and single personnel of the company and their families from Mtarfa to Valletta. They were then transported across the harbour by steam launch. Prizes were distributed by Mrs Johnson, wife of the DDMS, assisted by Maj A. Jackson, officer commanding 30 Coy RAMC.
31 Dec Strength: 14 officers, 60 rank and file, total other ranks 69.
30 June 1935 Strength: 13 Officers, 59 rank and file, total 70 men.
On 30 September 1935, Dr Gerald Camilleri Samut, who was born in Malta on 25 January 1909, and had graduated MD from the University of Malta in 1934, applied for a Short Service Commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was Resident Medical Officer at the Civil Hospital Malta but was unsuccessful in his application.
In 1936, Malta was declared a four year station. RAMC personnel grumbled about their enforced isolation on Mtarfa Ridge. The men referred to themselves as living in the land of exiles. They had monthly kit inspections as well as equipment inspections and had to do drill every Tuesdays and Fridays. Nothing of much importance ever occurred at Mtarfa. On 11 September 1935, II/AA Brigade of artillery was thrust upon them so as to wreck their splendid isolation. The barracks had not been occupied for the previous six years and needed cleaning up.
On 6 April 1936 Dr Toledo Richard Alphonse, who was born on 28 June 1910, and had graduated MD from the University of Malta in 1934, applied for a Short Service Commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was Assistant Medical Officer at the Central Hospital Malta. Dr Alphonse entered the RAM College Millbank on 1 May 1936 as a lieutenant on probation, but resigned his commission on 8 July 1936.
3 Oct The marriage of Pte A H Carter RAMC and Miss Mary Tucker of Mtarfa was an all RAMC wedding. The marriage took place at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral Valletta. The reception was held at HQ of the Girl's Friendly Society of which the bride was a member. Mrs Thomas Frederick M Woods, wife of Company Officer Maj Woods, acted as Matron of Honour. Young Jill Woods was bridal attendant.
18 OctKenneth Lawrence Howard son of Jessie Irene and Sgt George Henry Howard of Married Quarters RAMC Imtarfa, born on 26 Sept 1936, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
1 Nov 1936 A sailing regatta took place at the Royal Malta Yacht Club between the 1st/Duke of Wellington Regiment and RAMC (Malta). Each team consisted of five yachts, one 14 ft international (K class) dinghy, two 12 ft National (N class) dinghies and two RMYC 16 footers. The RAMC boats were: Sheila (16 ft), Snipe (14 ft), Fiona (16 ft). The RAMC scored 30 points against 25 by their opponents.
14 Apr 1937Heather Ann Davidson daughter of Dorothy and Lt John Alexander Davidson RAMC of Married Quarters RAMC Imtarfa, born on 8 Aug 1937, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
On 29 Sep 1937 Dr Victor George Ignatius Tabone, who was born in Malta on 24 February 1906, and had graduated MD from the University of Malta in 1934 and had a degree in Pharmacy from the same university in 1933, applied for a Short Service Commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Tabone had occupied the following posts: (19 October 1934) Assistant Medical Officer Central Civil Hospital Malta for two years and three months, (1937) Resident Medical Officer Victoria Hospital Gozo for four and a half months, (1937) Superintendent of Fort Chambray Mental Hospital, Gozo, for two and a half months. On 4 October 1937, an entry Medical Board held at Malta found him unfit for service in the RAMC and he failed to gain a commission.
31 Dec 1937 Strength: 14 officers, 63 rank and file, total other ranks 74 men.
The men at Mtarfa were said to be very happy with their lot. The News and Gazette of the RAMC reported that Malta, like good wine, has improved with time. The Company at Mtarfa is the most happy and most sporting that any man could wish for.1 Participating in inter section sports helped immensely to endure their isolated posting on the ridge. Malta was one of the playgrounds of Europe. The garrison indulged in bathing, swimming, golf, tennis, sailing and polo at the Marsa Sports ground.
In 1938, the men had to walk to the hospital for their supper while the Company's kitchen was increased to twice its original size.
On 1 May 1938, twenty-two candidates were accepted for a Short Service Commission in the RAMC. Twenty eight doctors had applied, but two withdrew their application, two were rejected and two postponed their application.
On 1 Sep 1938, a further six candidates were accepted for a Short Service Commission in the RAMC. Twelve doctors had applied, but two withdrew their application, two were rejected and two failed to attend for their interview. One of the applicants was Dr Vincent John Francis Cachia. Dr Cachia was born in Malta on 20 October 1912. He had attended the Royal University of Malta, but graduated MD from the University of Rome. Dr Cachia had worked as an Assistant medical officer at Santo Spirito Government Hospital, Rome, from 1 December 1937 to 3 April 1938. On 10 May 1938, he applied for a Short Service Commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps. For whatever reason, he withdrew his application before attending for the physical examination and interview on 18 August 1938. On 22 September 1938, he reapplied for a commission for the intake of candidates on 1 November 1938, but was rejected on 25 October 1938.
On 14 July 1939 Dr Victor Albert Anthony Saviour John Joseph Mifsud Bonnici born at Malta on 30 July 1910, and who had graduated MD from the Royal University of Malta in 1934, applied for a Short Service Commission in the RAMC for the intake of candidates in September 1939.
Dr V. A. S. J. J. Mifsud Bonnici had been a Resident Medical Officer at the Central Civil Hospital Malta from 16 October 1935 to 15 October 1937. He was interviewed at Malta and found to be unsuitable for the RAMC.
From May 1934 to 31 December 1939, 331 Short Service Commissions were granted to candidates who had applied to join the RAMC. Four Maltese doctors from the University of Malta were granted a commission between May 1934 and December 1939, but one resigned his commission. Another Maltese doctor had been commissioned in 1933, so that four Maltese RAMC officers held a Short Service Commission on 31 December 1939. These were: Fava W F L (1933), Ferro A A P A (1937), Pace T A (1937) and Warrington T G A L (1938). Alphonse T R (1936) had resigned his commission.
The number of Dominion candidates granted a SSC during this period were: Australia (3), Canada (17), New Zealand (4) and South Africa (1). On 31 December 1939, 268 medical officers were still serving on a Short Service Commission; 34 had retired or resigned, five had died, and twenty-four were granted a permanent Commission.
On 22 August 1939, Malta was placed on a war footing. All stations were manned and everything was in readiness for the declaration of war on 3 September 1939.
Overall, the civilian population was not prepared for war with Italy. Communications with Italy remained uninterrupted. Up to Sunday 9 June, the eve of Italy entering the war, the steamer Knight of Malta was still traversing the 80 miles distance to Syracuse. The Italian Air Service ran unhindered up to Saturday 8 May 1939. In April 1940, the troops moved to their war stations. The island remained on a war footing and when France capitulated in June, all measures for the defence of the island were increased, but nothing ostentatious was done. The impact of high explosive ordnance was underestimated and the preparation of deep underground shelters to protect the population around the Three Cities and Grand Harbour was neglected in favour of anti-gas measures. Once the war started priority had to be given to the digging of shelters for food, fuel and ammunition.
30 June 1939 Strength: 23 officers and 149 men. In December two thirds of the men left Malta to join the British Expeditionary Force and were replaced by recruits who needed to be trained.
Mtarfa Barracks had seven blocks of married quarters for soldiers of the garrison. The total number of families was about 85, making in all about 85 women and 100 children, with an infant and adult school. There were no combatant troops on the plateau. On 2 May 1940, all married families were moved to St George's and St Andrew's Barracks.
22 Apr Twenty other ranks embarked on the HT Dilwara for England via Marseilles.
26 May Draft of 17 other ranks arrived from England, and were attached to 30 Coy RAMC.
1 June A draft of 17 Other Ranks temporarily stationed in Malta, embarked for Egypt.
9 Aug 2nd Lt T J Schembri 3/KOMR was attached to 30 Coy RAMC as officer in charge attached KOMR platoon.
30 Sep 1940 5 officers and 48 other ranks RAMC arrived by cruiser from Alexandria having gone round the Cape. The DDMs was not very happy with the quality of the men received whom he considered to be A poor lot physically and mentally, but at least the five officers were more hopeful.
15 Apr 1940, A draft of 6 sisters, 4 staff nurses and 20 other ranks arrived from England. By the time Italy had declared war on 10 June 1940, the military medical staff on the island had increased to 30 Medical Officers, 40 Nursing Sisters and 150 other ranks RAMC.
22 Apr Two QAIMNS sisters, (Sister Miss Cook and Sister Miss Hobbs), and 20 RAMC other ranks embarked on HT Dilwara for England via Marseilles.
5 June The DDMS approved the expansion of General Hospital Mtarfa by 164 beds to 1,114 beds. On 27 June, it expanded again to 1,260 beds including 60 beds for the Families Division.
On 27 May 1940, Mtarfa General Hospital expanded from 800 beds to 950 beds, with an Isolation Hospital of 20 beds in the former Isolation Block. The estimated number of beds required was based on an assumption of a 15% casualty rate in a 10,000 strong garrison. By 3 June 1940, A Block Mtarfa Barracks had been equipped for 164 beds bringing the total number of beds to 1174 (860 Army and 314 Naval).
As petrol became scarce, journeys were pooled and ambulances did a collecting round robin and returned discharged patients to their units from Mtarfa Hospital. Buses ran only from 06:30 to 08:30 and from 16:00 hours and 18:00 hours for the workers to the Dockyard. None ran on Saturdays or Sundays. Lack of fodder prevented much use of horse or mule transport. Many stayed at home or rode a bicycle, the price of an old second hand one bought for £3 before the war soared to £17.
Up to 18 June 1940, air raids though frequent, did not disrupt the running of the hospital and no casualties were received by the General Hospital. The hospital and the adjoining barracks lay on a plateau overlooking Ta' Qali Aerodrome. It was initially about a mile away and at risk from accidental bombing with stray bombs intended for the runway. The risk increased when Ta' Qali encroached to the edge of the hospital owing to the necessity of dispersal of aircraft.
22 June 1940 The first enemy casualty were admitted to Mtarfa General Hospital. An Italian bomber was shot down, five crew were lost but two saved by parachute. One of the two crew, an Italian Flying officer had a shoulder wound and a burnt foot.
30 June Two air raids occurred around Ta' Qali. The second commenced at 10:00 resulting in five civilian casualties working at the reservoir. One was killed, 3 were slightly wounded and 1 was severely wounded. The three light casualties were transferred to the Blue Sisters' Hospital.
8 Oct The Hospital Ship Aba (SMO Lt Col Lloyd Williams) arrived at Malta from Alexandria for embarkation of 52 invalids to England. The ship was due to dock besides the Custom House in the morning and the patients were sent down from Mtarfa Hospital. However it did not moor till the afternoon and the patients had to make do with bread and bully beef.
11 Oct 1940 Twenty QAIMNS sisters and staff nurses disembarked and joined General Hospital Mtarfa.
2/S/535 Sister Samuels D M
2/A/189 Sister Albrecht M P A
2/Res B/ Sister Bates G M
2/Res B/2211 Sister Barnett E R
2/Res P/821 Sister Perkins K M
2/Res M/2235 Sister McHardy A M
2/Res A/520 Sister Ayres D G E
2/Res P/892 Sister Palmer J E
2/Res M/2149 Sister Mathews J
2/Res W/1575 Sister Watson D W
2/Res T/756 Sister Taylor K M
2/Res F/795 Sister Fallows F A
2/Res D/1060 Sister Doy G L
2/Res W/1570 Sister Wollacott R V M
2/Res K/565 Staff Nurse Kennington E
2/Res B/2063 Staff Nurse Bacon K
2/Res M/2350 Staff Nurse Mangan M A
2/Res D/1066 Staff Nurse Dempsy M I
2/Res P/893 Staff Nurse Palmer E R
2/Res H/1809 Staff Nurse Holbrook B M
18 Oct 1940 To date the Army admissions to Mtarfa General Hospital due to enemy action stood at nil while admissions due to sickness and accidents 440. By 3 December, there were 600 non battle sick at the General Hospital Hospital including scabies and pediculosis.
9 Nov 2/J/242 Sister Miss F G Jones QAIMNS embarked for England.
28 Nov Two Italian Air Force prisoners (1 officer and 1 other rank) were admitted to General Hospital Mtarfa with burns of a non serious nature.
1940 — General Hospital Families Division Mtarfa
In 1940, there were 130 admissions to the maternity ward for parturition with two maternal deaths from ante partum haemorrhage and one to miliary tuberculosis; two cases of puerpural fever recovered.
15 Apr 1940 Sister Miss E Taylor QAIMNS (R) reported for duty at the Families Division General Hospital Mtarfa.
25 Apr Miss A Camilleri VAD, and Miss J Camilleri VAD were struck off the strength of the Families Division General Hospital Mtarfa. Miss Micallef VAD and Miss Casa Pinto VAD reported for duty on 25 April.
6 May Black out of the Families Division military hospital Mtarfa was completed; wooded shutters were fitted to all the windows of the hospital. Miss Cpl Ferro VAD and N/M Miss Sammut VAD reported for duty at the Families Division. Miss Sammut was struck off the strength of the hospital on 25 May.
27 May N/M Miss Casa Pinto VAD and N/M Miss Micallef VAD were struck off the strength of the Hospital. N/M Miss L St Cassia VAD and N/M Miss Testa Ferrata reported for duty on 27 May to the Families Division. The total nursing personnel of the Families Division was 10, seven QAIMNS sisters and 3 VAD.
29 May N/M Miss L St Cassia VAD and N/M Miss Testa Ferrata reported for duty on 29 May. The total nursing personnel of the Families Division was 10, seven QAIMNS sisters and 3 VADs.
17 June 1940 General Hospital Families Division Mtarfa converted its general store, paint store, and weapon training store to extend its accommodation by 18 beds. It was ready to admit patients on 18 June although the ablutions were not yet complete. Ante natal clinics at Floriana were discontinued, and held at St Andrew's Aid Post instead.
27 June The number of beds rose to 1,260. The number included 60 beds for the Families Division.
27 June N/M Miss Ellul Grech, Miss Cortis and Miss St Cassia L reported for duty to General Hospital Families Division. N/M St Cassia M and N/M Miss Testa Ferrata were struck off the strength of the hospital from 27 June 1940 On 28 June S/N Miss Balfour reported for duty. The strength of the Families division on 28 June 1940 was 11 Nursing officers, 8 QAIMNS and 3 VADs.
28 June The staff of the Military Families Hospital Mtarfa consisted of Capt Douglas Neville Parry as Officer i/c General Hospital Families Division, 11 nursing personnel of which 8 were QAIMNS and 3 VADs. Among these was S/M Miss Balfour, N/M Miss Ellul Grech, N/M Miss Cortis and N/M Miss L St Cassia. On 27 June, N/M Miss M St Cassia and N/M Miss Testa Ferrata were struck off the strength of the Families Division.
2 July The Civil Infectious Hospital on Manoel Island shut down and as there was only very limited accommodation at Guardamanja the position as regards military families infectious cases may become acute. DDMS visited Mtarfa and inspected lower floor of the block next to the Families Hospital with a view to converting it for infectious cases.
14 July On 3 July 1940, the Isolation Block was opened as an Isolation Hospital for families. On 14 July, the isolation wards in the Families Hospital closed and all patients were transferred to the Isolation Block.
17 July There was a shortage of Cow and Gate powdered milk for babies due to a consignment being held up in Gibraltar. There were four infantile deaths, two from Exfoliative Pemphigus and two from Gastroenteritis. There had been 20 cases of infantile gastroenteritis among the naval and army families at Pembroke. No cause could be traced other than carelessness and ignorance among the mothers. In July, a creche was organised at St Andrews for the care of children whose mothers were sick.
31 July 1940 Surgeon Captain S F Mattei was posted to the Families Division for temporary duty.
18 Aug DDMS designed a Families Infectious Hospital for 25 to 30 cases. The Infectious Block was to be built at Mtarfa west of the sisters quarters. The DDMS intended to have a new Families Hospital in the same area as the hospital in an endeavour to develop a complete and concerted hospital area in Mtarfa.
27 Sep Plans for the Families Isolation Hospital at Mtarfa were finalised. The land for the proposed new Families Hospital and Families Isolation Hospital had yet to be purchased. The foundations of the new Families Infectious hospital were laid down in January 1941 north west of the main hospital area, but no sanction had yet been received from the War Office to build a new Families Hospital at Mtarfa. The DDMS had already submitted a proposal in July 1938 for the construction of a Families Hospital at Mtarfa with a view to its use in war as an officers' Hospital to provide for officers and Warrant Officers casualties as there was little prospects of them being evacuated to England. In December 1940 DDMS discussed with the Royal Engineers the siting and lay out of the new Families Isolation Hospital and Families Hospital once sanction was received from the War Office.
The Field Hygiene Section did not have its full War Establishment of trained RAMC Sanitary Inspectors. Tradesman of the Malta Auxiliary Corps (MAC) produced small field appliances under the direction of a foreman carpenter supervised by an RAMC Sanitary Assistant Class I. The section disinfected barrack rooms, billets and quarters where infectious diseases like tuberculosis, mumps, and measles had broken out.
During the first half of 1940, the section was subdivided; one sanitary squad was attached to no 30 Coy RAMC at Mtarfa while the rest of the unit had its HQ and workshops in St John's Ditch Valletta. Later on during the year all personnel were reunited and the section from Mtarfa joined their comrades in St John's Ditch Valletta.
June 1940 The premises of 57 Field Hygiene Section were located in St John's Ditch close to Castille Square. 57 Field Section produced mosquito and sandfly repellents out of heavy oils and made fly traps, carried out hygiene inspections, disinfected barrack rooms and tested the drinking water in troop locations.
24 July 2nd Lt J L Harrison 8th/Manchester Regiment reported at General Hospital Mtarfa for duty as officer in charge Field Hygiene Section.
12 Nov Capt J Baxter RAMC was appointed OC Field Hygiene Section Malta and was granted the rank of unpaid Acting Major. He took over from 2nd Lt J L Harrison O/ic Fld Hyg Sec.
1 May 1940 DADDS opened a Dental Centre No 3 at Mtarfa one day a week to deal with any dental work in the area and save on transport. A dental centre had opened in Valletta. No 67661 Capt D V Taylor arrived at Mtarfa on 30 May 1940 for duty with Dental Centre No 3.
24 May The Dental Centre moved from Paceville to the old Medical Inspection Room St Andrews.
30 May DADDS was Major Corke. Capt B E Ffrench AD Corps and dental orderly remained on duty at Dental Centre St Andrews. 67661 Capt D V Taylor AD Corps and a dental orderly arrived at Mtarfa for duty with Dental Centre.
30 June Strength: 3 officers, 5 men.
26 Aug DDMS proposed to the War Office to increase the Dental Establishment to 1 Major (DADDS), 5 dental officers and 9 other ranks.
20 Dec 1940 The Governor and Commander in Chief was dissatisfied with the lack of replies from the War Office regarding adequate dental cover for the troops and authorised the DDMS to engage two Maltese dental surgeons who were granted an Emergency Dental Commission and two Maltese Auxiliaries (MAC) as dental clerk orderlies.
1940 — QAIMNS
22 Apr 1940 2/C 494 Sister Miss C A M Cook and 2/H 386 Sister Miss M Hobbs QAIMNS embarked on the HT Dilwara for England via Marseilles.
11 Oct 20 Nursing sisters arrived in Malta.
9 Nov 1940 Sister Miss F G Jones QAIMNS embarked for England.
A very illuminating article about the role of the Royal Army Medical Corps in general, and the work carried out in Malta during the war was published by Reynard and Sagittarius in the Times of Malta on Wednesday 24 December 1941. The article appeared in two parts: Part One on page three, and Part Two on page six.
14 Jan 1941 Lt H J Dismorr RAMC was the Officer in charge Medical Aid Post (MAP) Tigné. No casualties were reported among the troops and families in the area during the month.
Jan 1941 Lt H J Dismorr and his orderlies inoculated 300 troops in the Tigné area against Typhoid and Paratyphoid A and B (TAB) and Tetanus as follows:
Tal Qroqq AA Position: 21 AA Bty 11th Heavy AA Regt RMA (T) – 88 men.
Tigne Fort 2 Hvy Bty 1 HAA Regt RMA – 53 men.
A Coy Irish Fusiliers – 100 men.
13th Mobile Coast Defence RA – 42 men.
RAOC – 11 men.
Malta Auxiliary Corps (MAC) – 6 men.
19 Mar 1941 7264079 Cpl A J Newham RAMC reported for duty at MAP Tigné. 21 Mar 7263914 Cpl E R Childs RAMC left MAP Tigné for duty at General Hospital Mtarfa.
29 Mar Bombs fell in the Tigné Area causing minor damage to the ambulance bus attached to the MAP. No 1587932 Gnr H A Savage 222 Hvy AA Bty (TA) 10th Heavy AA Regt RA was wounded in his right foot. He received medical aid and was transferred to Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) St Andrews the following day.
14 Apr No 7375794 Pte J R Sutton RAMC reported for duty at MAP Tigné from MDS Mosta.
31 May A mine fell on Tigné Barracks but failed to explode. The staff of the MAP were evacuated from the barracks until the mine was defused.
27 June 27th Bty 7th HAA Regt RA at Tal Qroqq was hit by enemy action and sustained the following casualties which were attended by Captain H J Dismorr:
No 1503040 L/Bdr F Hart had a fractured left femur and burns to abdomen. Admitted to No 90 General Hospital Mtarfa.
No 1531679 Gnr Williams had lacerations to his right hand and burns to his right leg. Admitted to No 90 General Hospital Mtarfa.
Feb 1941 Conscription was planned to be introduced in Malta. The Army authorities were expected to do all the registration and examination of recruits normally carried out by Civil Authorities. DADH developed a medical categorisation for medical examination. Four Medical Boards were formed each consisting of one RAMC officer, one RMA medical officer and three civilian doctors provided by the Chief Government Medical Officer.
By 17 February 1941 a number of engineer works on medical facilities were placed in abeyance because of the miner's strike and the decrease in the availability of building stone. The following works were affected:
The drainage scheme of St Patrick's Barracks was in abeyance and the barracks will not be fit for use as a hospital for another 6 to 8 months
The Stock Farm at Hamrun is still not ready to accept the personnel of 161 Field Ambulance waiting at St Pauls Barracks to form a Main Dressing Station at Hamrun.
The isolation Hospital at Mtarfa building is stopped indefinitely.
The Reception Block at Mtarfa building is stopped indefinitely.
The building of huts at Mtarfa to provide accommodation for patients slowed down owing to lack of stone.
The ADS at Luqa was proceeding but was far from ready.
The ADS at Wardija has not even been started despite the Commander NIB insisting that it should be prepared to be isolated and to accomodate up to a 100 casualties for a prolonged period.
Underground shelter of the MAP Mellieha is held up
Building for enlargement of ADS San Pawl tat targa has not yet been started
The Reception Station St Andrews is still far from complete.
By March 1941 the work had restarted on St Patricks Barracks General Hospital.
16 Sep 1941 No 39 GH which had been was incorporated in August 1941 left No 11 Depôt and Training Establishment RAMC Leeds. It embarked in England on 16 Sept in three parties for Swansea, Birkenhead and Glasgow. The draft consisted of 18 officers and 149 other ranks of 39th General Hospital and 164 other ranks reinforcements RAMC. The convoy assembled in the Firth of Clyde on 17 September 1941. On 27 Sept 1941, the convoy was attacked by Italian torpedo bombers off the coast of North Africa as it was approaching Sicily. HMS Nelson and Dunedin Star were hit and damaged. One man was seriously injured by friendly gunfire, one of the crew sustained a compound fracture of his leg necessitating amputation but died of shock and severe haemorrhage. The Imperial star was hit by a torpedo.
28 Sep 13 officers and 67 ORs of No 39 GH arrived in Malta and were accommodated at the Convalescent Depôt St Paul's Barracks. Further arrivals on 29 September brought the total strength to 149. On 13 October, Command Convalescent Depôt was handed over to No 39 GH.
1 Oct 60 other ranks temporarily assigned to 45 GH and medical officers distributed between 90 GH and 161 Fd Amb and 15 Fd amb until the hospital was set up.
20 Oct The Royal Engineers commenced work on the operating theatre and surgical wards were laid down first. The Convalescent Depôt left St Paul's Hutments on 28 Nov 1941 to make way for 39 GH. Personnel in E Block St Andrews barracks. By 11 Dec 1941 the garages in St Paul's hutments and all buildings were handed over by RIF and the convalescent Depôt and work commenced by the RE.
29 Nov First consignment of 150 folding hospital beds arrived.
5 Dec Medical stores were moved from Ordnance Garages to the Gymnasium at St Andrews. The garages in St Paul's Hutments were handed over by the Royal Irish Fusiliers to No 39 GH, and were converted into medical stores by the Royal Engineers.
22 Dec Six wards of No 39 GH were ready to take in patients.
26–28 Dec 1941 On the night of 27th, an enemy bomber came down in flames off Pembroke ranges. On 29 Dec, three Messerschmitts attacked a small Gozo boat off Pembroke ranges and set it on fire. There were over a dozen casualties. Men from No 39 GH rendered assistance; some medics swam in the rough sea to reach the casualties. There were 99 raids in total between 19 and 31 December 1941.
9 Jan 1941 Italian Air Force Officer brought into hospital with a fractured humerus.
10–11 Jan Casualties admitted from HMS Illustrious: 9 Officers and 91 Ratings, HMS Gallant: 26 Ratings.
12 Jan 5 casualties admitted from HMS Illustrious. 15 Nursing orderlies were recalled from the ADSs for temporary duty at the General Hospital.
13 Jan 2 RAF other ranks admitted with serious injuries and subsequently died. 5 more casualties were admitted from HMS Illustrious.
15 Jan 2 more casualties were admitted from HMS Illustrious.
16 Jan 4 more casualties were admitted from HMS Illustrious and 16 casualties from S S Essex of whom only 3 were seriously injured. The following day the 13 casualties of the S S Essex were transferred to King George V Hospital Floriana.
17 Jan 1 more casualty was admitted from HMS Illustrious.
19 Jan 6 more casualties were admitted from HMS Illustrious.
15 Feb 1941 At 20:30 hrs the Barrack Hospital Mtarfa was bombed. This was thought to have been accidental, the bombs being intended for Ta' Qali. The air raid shelter in the basement of B block sustained extensive damage. Three soldiers died instantly (1 from 3rd/KOMR, 1 from 2nd/Devon and 1 from 8th/Manchester Regts). A soldier from 1st/Dorsets died of his wounds and another 11 soldiers were injured.
In the blitz of 13 April 1941, approximately 28 bombs fell on Mtarfa causing damage to the Families Isolation Hospital and the old Medical Inspection Room in the Barrack Hospital. There were only three minor casualties as a result of the raid.
24 Mar Miss Buckingham Matron General Hospital Mtarfa was awarded the RRC in the New Years Honours.
13 Apr 1941 Mtarfa General Hospital was deliberately attacked in retaliation for an alleged bombing of an Italian Field Hospital in Libya. At least 38 bombs fell on the hospital causing considerable damage.
Hospital Ship Dorsetshire arrived in February 1941 to evacuate the casualties from HMS Illustrious. 150 patients were evacuated. Elaborate plans were made and all the ambulances from all over the island mobilised into a Motor Ambulance Convoy (M.A.C.) run by No 90 General Hospital. Spacing of the ten ambulances and 20 buses at 23 metres interval. The hospital ship could only remain for a brief time to avoid getting caught in the raids. In less than six hours the whole convoy of 182 patients was loaded including all the HMS Illustrious casualties fit to travel and all the army and RAF invalids.
May–June 1941 Work proceeded on the building of Rock Shelters.
29 Jan 1941 A Main Dressing Station and HQ 15th Fld Amb were established at Mosta.
Feb An Advanced Dressing Station was opened at Casa Sant Manduca, Wardija.
10 Feb Sister Miss B Nockolds QARNNS and Sister Miss E Foster QARNNS returned to Royal Naval Hospital Bighi. On 18 February 1941 Matron Miss Campbell QARANS also returned to Bighi. Surg Lt Cdr A S Pearson RNVR returned to Royal Naval hopsital Bighi on 20 February 1941.
13 Feb Bombs dropped on the Barracks Hospital Mtarfa caused the following damage and casualties. B Block basement air raid shelter damaged severing of main water dead 3 other ranks 1 3 KOMR 1 2/Devon 1/8 Man and died of wounds 1 OR 1/Dorset and 11 ORs injured
28 Apr Reconnaissance of the Notabile Railway Station was carried out by DDMS and DADMS accompanied by Senior Medical Officer Malta North, Major Gordon Francis Edwards, so as to establish an Advanced Dressing Station in the Rabat Area.
17 May No 15th Field Ambulance which was formed in skeleton on 1 April, became a self contained unit on 17 May. Major Gordon Francis Edwards RAMC was appointed Officer Commanding. In May one battle casualty from ADS San Pawl Tat Targa was evacuated to Mtarfa Hospital.
30 June Strength: 8 officers and 57 men.
1 July A draft of ten recruits RAMC (Malta) joined 15th Fld Amb from Recruit Training Depôt. Another ten recruits RAMC (Malta) followed on 15 July.
24 July Five medical officers joined the unit from England. (Capts W. R. M. Morton, R. L. Hill, R. T. Michael, Lieuts G. A. Wilson, P. K. D. Edmunds.)
27 July Command of 15th Fld Amb was handed over to Major (A/Lt Col) T. F. Briggs RAMC, who arrived from England.
4 Aug A draft of 15 recruits RAMC (Malta) was posted to 15th Fld Amb.
3 Sep An Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) opened at Rabat. It became operational on 3 October 1941.
4 Sep A draft of 15 recruits RAMC (Malta) was posted to 15th Fld Amb.
11 Sep A draft of 3 recruits RAMC (Malta) was posted to 15th Fld Amb.
18 Sep A draft of 27 recruits RAMC (Malta) was posted to 15th Fld Amb.
30 Sep A draft of 17 recruits RAMC (Malta) was posted to 15th Fld Amb. Strength: 11 officers and 77 men.
10 Nov An Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) opened at Wardija.
23 Nov A Medical Aid Post (MAP) opened at Siggiewi.
25 Nov ADS Naxxar took over new buildings.
2 Dec 7 QAIMNS sisters were transferred from No 90 General Hospital to 15th Fld Amb.
11 Dec MAP Gzira was opened under Captain Heap G. (attached from 11/Lanc Fus) and 4 other ranks RAMC.
24 Dec 1941 A bomb fell on the AA position at Tal Qroqq. There was one casualty.
2 Nov 1940 No 161st (East Anglian) Field Ambulance, with its HQ in Ipswich, mobilized on 1 September 1939. On 2 November 1940, it received a Warning Order to prepare to move on overseas service on 29 November. On 11 November, Lt Col Gilbert Wolridge Rose took over command of the unit from Lt Col I M Pirrie MC who became commanding officer 21st General Hospital Hellingly, Sussex. It embarked at Liverpool and Glasgow on 17 December 1940 and arrived at Gibraltar on 29 December.
16 Dec Embarked for Malta with 161 (EA) Fld Amb. The convoy stopped at Gibraltar and proceeded to Malta on 6 January 1941. On 10 January, it was attacked off Malta. No 7348929 Pte K A L Simper RAMC received severe head injuries (GSW), and died the same day. He was buried at sea. Part of the convoy carrying A Coy (9 officers and 154 ORs) scattered during the attack and headed for Piraeus Greece where it arrived on 13 January. It was brought to Malta on the Cruiser HMAS Perth on 14 January 1941.
14 Jan 1941 9 officers and 154 other ranks disembarked at Malta.
17 Jan Lt Col G W Rose was appointed SMO Area South. ADS Floriana was manned by 161 Fld Amb. A Coy 161 Fld Amb commanded by Major P Weiner manned Advanced Dressing Station Zabbar.
24 Jan Formation of a Medical Aid Posts (MAP) at Tarxien and Valletta. Advanced Dressing Stations were set up at Zejtun and Luqa. The Main Dressing Station and HQ 161st (EA) Fld Amb were at Hamrun. ADS Luqa became operational on 7 Apr 1941. MDS Hamrun became operational 29 March 1941. RAMC personnel 161st (EA) Field Ambulance who had been temporarily accommodated at St Paul's Hutments moved out to man the raised sub-units. Unit transport, equipment, and stores had yet to arrive.
14 Feb 1941 Bombs fell on Tigné Barracks. Several windows in the Medical Incident (M I) room were smashed as well as the majority of the windows in the bus ambulance. There were no casualties.
23 Apr During heavy night bombings the Field Hygiene Section in St John's Ditch received a direct hit and two garages used as men's accommodation were demolished. No casualties as the men had cut their own rock shelter and were in it.
30 Sep No 57 Fld Hygiene Section Strength: 1 officer and 11 men.
The Army Dental Corps was formed on 4 Jan 1921 as part of the Army Medical Services. It received its "Royal" prefix in 1946.
Dental Officers in Malta were:
Major T D Corke – DADDS Embarked for England by air on 12 June 1941.
Captain D V Taylor – Promoted Major Army Dental Corps on 13 June 1941. Appointed DADDS vice Major T D Croker on 13 June 1941.
Captain B E Ffrench – Left for England on 2 August 1941.
Captain J G Jones – Arrived from England on 2 August 1941. Posted to No 3 Dental Centre. New dental centres opened at the Barrack Hospital Mtarfa and Mgarr in August 1941.
Captain J G Windmill – Arrived from England on 2 August 1941. Posted to No 5 Dental Centre.
105476 Captain P M Calder.
Captain W N Wycherley.
127969 Captain D K Tefler – Posted to No 4 Dental Centre.
Lt J H Mercieca AD Corps (Malta) – Joined in July 1941 and posted to No 1 Dental Centre. Attended anaesthetic course at No 90 General Hospital Mtarfa.
Lt J A Portelli AD Corps (Malta).
28 Feb 1941 No 1 Dental Centre at Valletta was demolished by a magnetic mine. Dental Mechanic No 7538008 L/Cpl John Charles Kelly was killed by the blast and No 7536378 Cpl T Clipsham AD Corps was wounded. As much equipment as possible was salvaged. No 1 Dental Centre reopened at Floriana on 21 April 1941.
1 Mar No 4 Dental Centre opened at Zabbar. Lt W N Wycherley and Lt J Portelli were posted to No 4 Dental Centre Zabbar on duty. In March, No 1 Dental Centre which had been demolished by a parachute mine in Valletta was planned to reopen into the old Floriana M I Room.
29 Apr Lt P M Calder A D Corps to be War Substantive Captain with effect of 4 December 1940 (War Officer Order No 62 issued 5 December 1940
4 May 1941 No 1 Dental Centre sustained fairly extensive damage to as a result of enemy action
15 Jan 1942 Frequent air raids continued by day and night. Bombs fell on Pembroke Ranges and close to the new sisters mess. A number of casualties occurred among RMA soldiers who were out on the ranges, 2 were killed and 12 wounded.
1 Feb No 39 GH became operational. 160 beds were made available for the reception of patients.
28 Feb During its first four weeks 39th GH received 127 admissions. It discharged 49, leaving 78 inpatients by the end of the month.
2 Mar The married quarters at St Andrew's Barracks were demolished by heavy bombing. There was one casualty. No 39 GH and No 45 GH provided emergency shelter for the families and casualties in the Pembroke area.
10 Mar Heavy bombing of Luqa Aerodrome with small bombs dropped outside St Andrew's Barracks. About twelve anti-personnel mines were dropped within the hospital area around the dining hall. One exploded causing damage to the windows of wards 14, 16, and 17, which were empty at the time.
18 Mar A survey of the reception station at ADS St Andrews took place to assess whether it was suitable for use as a skin ward, holding ward for minor sick, and Medical Inspection Room for the Pembroke Area.
20 Mar 1942 Heavy air raid on Ta' Qali Aerodrome. A number of bombs were dropped around 45th GH and anti-personnel mines landed around 39th GH.
21 Mar Waves of German bombers attacked Ta'Qali Aerodrome and the aircraft dispersal points which had encroached towards No 90 General Hospital. Four bombs hit Mtarfa killing and five soldiers from the 1st/Durham Light Infantry Regiment were killed instantly and three seriously injured, of whom two subsequently died. Mtarfa Club (Naval Hut III) was completely demolished by blast, Naval Hut I was damaged. Infants School and Schoolmistress's Quarters severely damaged by blast and bomb splinters, Sergeant's mess RAMC suffered considerable damage, the Ambulance Car Park at the Reception Block had a direct hit and one ambulance was completely destroyed., the Reception Block was damaged by blast, H Block (RAMC personnel) had its doors and windows blown in, boundary wall was damaged and the transformer for electric power severely damaged.
Further bombing of Ta Qali and aircraft dispersal area led to 17 drops falling on Mtarfa with damage to the football pitch and tennis court and damage to water main. the underground water tank receiving a diret hit. Direct hit on A Block rendering a half of A Block unusable with blast damage to Company office in Guard Room Block Two near misses to sister's quarters and annexe to Children's Ward Military Families Hospital Sisters quarters almost completely demolished
Two large air raids on Ta' Qali aerodrome. Damage was incurred by No 90 GH Mtarfa and 15th Fd Amb MDS Mosta. The latter closed down and moved to Naxxar. St Andrew's Barracks was further bombed on 25 March.
26 Mar Heavy bombing of the Grand Harbour caused 24 casualties which were admitted to 39th GH. By 31 March the number of patients at 39th GH had risen to above 180. During the month there were 278 admissions with 174 discharges. Two soldiers died of wounds (1 Royal West Kent, 1 Royal Navy).
1 - 10 Apr 1942 Continued heavy bombing raids on the island, usually three raids daily, in each of which 40 to 50 bombers attacked in three or four waves, with a large fighter escort. All personnel took cover only when a local alarm of three blasts on a whistle was sounded so as to enable the work of the hospital to continue with the minimal of interruption.
11 Apr Work commenced to expand the hospital to its full 600 bed capacity. Two surgical wards were erected and a further 1o to 12 wards were planned to the north and north west of the hospital.
15 Apr Survey of Malta Rifle Club building by Maj Crawford DADH to convert it into a variola isolation ward. On 20 April a patient was admitted from 45th GH to this ward, He was unfortunately killed during the bombing of 39th GH on 25 April.
21 – 25 Apr Intense and heavy bombing occurred in the area of the hospital.
25 Apr Three heavy and concentrated attacks of Ju 88's and Ju 87's on the St Andrews and St Georges area, resulted in the destruction of No 39 GH. Staff, patients and salvaged equipment were moved to No 45 GH. Forty seven other ranks were transferred to No 90 GH.
2 May 1942 A survey of the Infantry Training Camp at Mellieha, which had been abandoned after sustaining bomb damage, was carried out to assess the feasibility of establishing a tented hospital of 200 to 300 beds for 39 GH. It was estimated that it would take at least three months to render the camp operational as a hospital. The Royal Engineers considered a camp would be suitable for 150 beds for convalescent patients, and for invalids awaiting evacuation to England.
25 May Tents were pitched at Mellieha Infantry Training Camp.
19 June A severe gale blew down 80% of the tentage.
3 July 1942 A large number of incendiary and anti personnel mines and a small number of medium bombs were dropped on the St Andrews area. The POW camp was set on fire.
10 July Plans for erecting a tented hospital at Mellieha were abandoned. A new stone hospital of 300 beds was built instead. It was decided to erect eight wards in four terraces, each of 40 beds.
1 Aug Maj Spring (hospital registrar) was admitted to No 45 GH with renal colic. He left hospital on 22 August.
29 Aug Capt Armytage Army Dental Corps was posted to No 39 GH. On 17 Sept he was admitted to No 45 GH following a cycle accident, when he suffered facial cuts and bruises.
5 Oct Maj Stones A/OC Field Hygiene Section.
17 Oct 1941 Work on the hospital at Mellieha was delay due to air attacks on the area by enemy aircraft who described bombing an important wireless station at Mellieha Bay. Work on the hospital progressed at a slow pace.
7 Jan 1942 New surgical block equipped and ready for use.
27 Jan Hospital markings in accordance with the Geneva Convention completed. During the month there were 415 admissions, twenty six of which were the result of enemy action. There were four deaths during the month with an average daily occupancy of beds of 248.
25 Apr Pembroke area was intensively bombed. There were three raids: one at 07:30, another at 12:30 and a third at 17:30. St George's and St Andrew's Barracks were the main targets. They were extensively damaged. No 39 GH (St Paul's Hutments) had three garages besides it which were used by the Ordnance as garages and stores. These garages were a subsidiary attack and No 39 GH was wiped out in the process. It is a moot question as to whether St Paul's was deliberately attacked or not. There was a large Red Cross on the roof of the cook house, and this building was one of the first hit. It is possible that the Germans thought that St Paul's was an extension of St George's and St Andrew's Barracks, and that the officers, sisters and Sergeants quarters were also a part of these barracks. Whatever the intention, the net result was that No 39 GH was rendered uninhabitable and the quarters of No 45 GH also received blast damage. All cot cases from No 39 GH were moved to No 45 GH which was closed for further admissions. The main hospital was not deliberately attacked, and in the morning raid it sustained very little damage. In the noon raid many bombs fell very close to the hospital and one ward in I Block sustained a direct hit. A portion of the wall of the ward collapsed and a hole was made in the floor. First Engineer A. Montgomery WD Fleet was killed, but the rest who were out in the corridor outside the ward escaped.
During the raid most of the helpless patients were moved to the dining hall and later evacuated into the tunnel. Nursing sisters and matron were specially mentioned for not abandoning their patients and remaining at their posts. Outstanding among the Sisters were E. R. Palmer and J. E. Palmer, who remained in the ward next to the one which received a direct hit, covered their helpless patients with mattresses, and one of them lay on top of a patient under a bed, shielding him with her body. There was no one else in the ward when the stretcher party which included SSgt Colwell RAMC, and Lt Col Mayne RAMC 39 GH arrived. The two Miss Palmers then proceeded to help the patients on to the stretchers, and remained in the ward until the last patient was taken away. During the evening raid all personnel were ordered into the tunnel. After the raids approximately 115 walking cases were evacuated to various ADS so as to make room in the shelters which were overcrowded. During the night all the stretcher cases remained in the shelter, and all the officers and sisters slept in the shelter. There were no night raids. 45 GH sustained three casualties, one SSgt and one nursing sister with penetrating wounds, and one patient killed.
10 Mar 1942 No 45 GH St Patricks became the admitting hospital for all VD patients.
20 Mar Battle casualties ceased to be admitted to No 45 GH and were referred to No 39 GH St Andrews.
12 Apr At 13:00 hrs, the medical wing of No 45 GH St Patricks was machine gunned. Two patients in B Block were wounded. On 19 April 1942, four 500 lb bombs were dropped in the hospital area, close to the officer's quarters. One bounced its way over to the hospital, ending against a blast war outside the main theatre.
14 Apr A case of small pox was admitted to the medical ward of No 45 GH. On 18 April, No 45 GH temporarily suspended admissions due to the increasing number of diphtheria patients and the shortage of staff. On 20 April, the patient with small pox was transferred to No 39 GH with two orderlies from No 45 GH. He was placed in isolation in a small house on the ranges which had been converted into an isolation hospital. He was unfortunately killed in the bombing of No 39 GH on 25 April 1942.
8 June 1942 A large Red Cross was completed in front of the hospital. This had been started in July 1941, and had been altered several times. A Red Cross of similar size, but constructed of loose stones and gravel and which took four days to complete, was erected near the officers' and sisters' quarters.
Sep A number of cases of diphtheria broke out at 45 G hospital C block and were referred to No 90 GH. another from K block No 45 GH The medical division was full by 15 Sept 1942.
13 Nov Major E. E. Baggs took over the duties of registrar No 45 GH, vice Major A. F. H. Keatinge MC RAMC, tour expired.
15 Nov No 45 GH admitted 25 casualties, (7 Italians and 18 British ex POW), were brought in by submarine to Manoel Island.
13 Dec 1942 Matron Miss Pollock evacuated by air as invalid.
The Military Families Hospital was an integral part of No 90 GH. It had 60 beds and was manned by 30 Coy RAMC.
20–21 Mar 1942 No 90 GH received direct hits during the attack on Ta Qali Aerodrome. Five bombs fell in the area damaging buildings and killing staff. In all 100 bombs were dropped in the area during the siege. The officers and two sisters messes received direct hits and accommodation for 400 patients was put out of action at various times. The hospital suspended admissions except from their immediate vicinity. Dermatological cases were transferred to No 45 GH and No 39 GH. The Ophthalmologist from Mtarfa temporarily moved to No 45 GH as the Ophthalmology Department had sustained war damage.
Col G D Harding arrived by seaplane at Kalafrana on 24 April 1942 and took over the command of No 90 General Hospital.
25 May Sixty beds were lost when a bomb hit the gymnasium ward which had been re-equipped after previous bomb damage.
29 May An RAF bomber crashed within a mile of MDS Hamrun as it was leaving on a bombing raid. The pilot and one crew member were admitted to No 90 GH. The rest of the crew were killed.
6 – 8 June 1942 A number of bombs fell on the hospital. Many failed to explode while high explosive bombs caused structural damage. On 6 June 1942, a number of anti personnel bombs fell through the roof of the sergeants mess but failed to explode. Another bomb fell in the road outside the Families Isolation Hospital.
4 July Four bombs fell in the Barrack Hospital area. The sanitary annex of B Block received a direct hit and another fell between A and B Blocks causing structural damage. A Block became unusable; the southern eastern half of B block was rendered out of action with the loss of 170 beds. The air raid shelter in B Block basement became unsafe. Four patients were injured.
Another four bombs fell on the hospital on 12 July, hitting the eastern end of A Block. On 13 July, two bombs fell in the garden of the house of Col Harding G. D. OC 90 GH, and another just across the road. A lot of damage was sustained to the office and house of DDMS. On 20 July a bomb hit the roof of the shelter of the sisters mess, and another hit the entrance of the shelter used by families of the RAMC. There were no casualties but the married quarters and the RAMC officers' quarters were extensively damaged.
23 Oct A bomb fell on the married quarters and landing between Blocks O and P but failed to explode.
3 Nov The sisters quarters were hit by enemy bombings at 04:45 hrs. Two nursing sisters were injured, one fractured four lumbar vertebrae, the other injured her shoulder.
24 NovHelen Joan March daughter of Phyllis and Sgt Herbert March RAMC of No 2 RAMC Block Imtarfa, born on 26 Nov 1937, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
1 Dec 1942John Stearns Davidson son of Dorothea Stearns and Lt Col John Alexander Davidson RAMC of No 1 Officers Quarters Imtarfa, born on 10 Aug 1942, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
1 Dec 1942 The hospital had 696 casualties (British Troops 286, local troops 156, Royal Navy 77, RAF 177).
2 Feb 1942 Numerous bombing raids occurred during the month. The principal raids were on 13th, 15th and 27th February. Bombs fell on Tigné Barracks, St George's Barracks, Pembroke Ranges, Fort Manoel and HMS Talbolt. Bombs also fell on Mosta, and Ta' Qali Aerodrome. Civilian casualties were treated at MDS Mosta. The RAF medical officer at RAF Ta' Qali was injured.
21 Mar MDS Mosta was bombed during an attack on Ta' Qali Aerodrome. There were no casualties among RAMC personnel, but T/45744 Sgt James W. Ure, and 876491 L/Cpl Peter J. Thompson were killed. Extensive damage was caused to all buildings of the MDS, with the exception of the cook house and rock shelter. One van ambulance was completely destroyed. There were 47 civilian casualties.
22 Mar HQ 15th Fld Amb moved from Mosta to Naxxar.
1 Apr A Medical Inspection Room was established at Ghadira Camp Mellieha. On 25 April, the MIR with all its equipment was destroyed by enemy bombing. The casualties were treated by MOs from RAP Mellieha.
25 Apr Bombing of Ghajn Tuffieha Camp, St Andrew's Barracks (Army Families), St George's Barracks (Naval Families), and 39th General Hospital. The latter was demolished. The medical stores in E Block St Andrew's were damaged but little equipment was lost. During April 1942, enemy bombing was almost continuous. 111 battle casualties were treated in 15th Fld Amb stations during the month; 41 were subsequently admitted to hospital.
15 June 1942 A party made up of Capts Joseph, Wilson, Seddon and Kempton left ADS Naxxar to establish an Aid Post at MDS Hamrun.
6 July A number of anti-personnel bombs were dropped in the vicinity of ADS Rabat. A tent and some equipment were damaged.
29 Oct An underground dressing station was completed in a quarry at Gharghur. Surgical specialist held an exercise in the underground DS. Many lessons about working in the operating theatre were learnt.
9 Nov 1942 Three aid posts were established in the Grand Harbour area so as to render medical aid to an approaching convoy. It was manned with personnel drawn jointly from 15th Fld Amb and 161 (EA) Fld Amb. On 12 November, the harbour operation was postponed for 4 days and the men returned to their respective units. The aid posts were re-manned on 19 November; the convoy sailed in on 20 November. The Harbour Aid Posts were stood down on 27 November. The three Aid Posts were at No 7 shed Marino Pinto (Gr 475250) Mifsuds Verandah Bonded str Wharf (gr 469241) Boom Defence Depôt Marsa (Gr 471237). Each Aid Post will be staffed with 1 MO 1 NCO 4 Nursing orderlies 1 OR to act as runner. four 4 stretcher WD ambulances at each post.
20 Jan 1942 A bomb exploded in the grounds of ADS Floriana severely damaging two WD wheeled ambulances and one impressed car.
11 Feb Heavy damage was caused by enemy action at Casal Pawla. Medical officers, other ranks RAMC, and ambulances of 161st Fld Amb assisted in the rescue. Service casualties were treated at MAP Tarxien and MDS Hamrun, before being evacuated to hospital.
21 Feb An underground shelter and treatment room were completed at ADS Luqa. In February there were a large number of casualties in the Luqa and Hal Far area due to an increase in the number of air raids on aerodromes.
24 Mar A bomb hit War HQ, Main Ditch Valletta. Stretcher parties supplied from MDS Hamrun, MAP Valletta, and ADS Floriana.
4 Apr 1942 Five ambulances and personnel from 161st Fld Amb assisted in evacuation of casualties from Corradino Tunnel after it received a direct hit by a bomb at one end.
5 Apr MAP Valletta received a direct hit. All salvageable equipment was removed to MDS Hamrun. There were no casualties. An alternative MAP was opened in tunnel used by War HQ Malta.
25 Apr After the bombings of the General Hospitals in the Pembroke area, No 39 GH and No 45 GH ceased to admit patients and a number of patients were admitted to Field Ambulances establishments. Twenty-five went to MDS Hamrun, and ten to ADS Zejtun. Many minor and surgical cases were retained at the Field Ambulances.
2 May 1942 A number of bombs exploded in Zejtun. The civilian medical organisations were overwhelmed; 30 serious casualties were treated at ADS Zejtun.
24 May An RAF bomber crash landed at Luqa Aerodrome. Twelve casualties were treated at ADS Luqa. On 26 May the quarry occupied by ADS Luqa received a direct hit. There were no casualties nor damage to medical equipment or transport.
26 May Island's electricity was cut off from all but essential services. Limited supply of electricity for lighting was granted to ADS Floriana where daylight was inaccessible.
28 May In view of the disrupted electricity supply and inorder to cut on consumption a marquee tent for sick parades was erected outside the bastion of ADS Floriana.
9 July 1942 One 500/750 lb bomb, and two A/P bombs were dropped on ADS Luqa. There were no casualties but medical equipment and one WD 4 Stretcher ambulance were damaged. Another small A/P bomb fell on ADS Luqa on 21 July. There were no casualties and only minor damage to a medicine glass.
26 July A bomb fell on ADS Luqa which partially destroyed the ward and office. The records and correspondence of the ADS were destroyed. There were no casualties. The patients were transferred from the ADS to the MDS Hamrun.
4 Dec Op Order No 4 dated 4 Dec 1942 for dealing with casualties by 161 Fld Amb during the off loading of convoys. Aid Post Barracca Lift Tunnel will not be opened.
28 Dec 1942 Aid Posts closed. personnel equipment and transport to restaff MDS and ADS.
2 Mar 1942 Bombs fell adjacent to War HQ on the bastion of the main ditch, the blast from those bombs caused fairly extensive damage to 57 Field Hygiene Section.
22 Apr during the raids a direct hit on the RE stables in St John's Ditch Valletta causing some damage to the adjacent 57 Field Hygiene Section. The exit to Porta Reale was blocked by debris as was the other exit from the Field Hygiene Section to Great Siege Road No casualties.
Up to 1942, there were no medical officers serving as regimental medical officers, as it was more economical to provide a medical service based on an Advanced Dressing Station serving a zone. In late 1942, it was decided to attach RMOs to battalions. Because of man power shortages 15 and 161 Field Ambulances had Maltese conscripted RAMC personnel added to them. In November 1942, reinforcements became available and in order to prepare these medical units for service elsewhere, the Maltese were replaced by British personnel.
4 Jan 1943 Gales from the north west were so strong that the roof of the Australian Hall at St Andrews was ripped off. The POW tented camp was also blown down with four tents being swept out to sea.
16 Jan Tentage used by the Royal Engineers at Mellieha Bay was blown over by gales. Work on the new stone hospital to replace 39th GH progressed very slowly.
8 Feb Ward Surgical I taken over at Mellieha. The second four wards had not yet been completed.
12 Mar Officers, Nursing Sisters and Other Ranks moved from St Andrews to Mellieha Hospital. On 13 March, they were followed by other ranks No 39 GH who had been attached to No 90 GH for temporary duty. The men were in tents as the barrack rooms, which leaked during the heavy rains of March were used as accommodation for 90 patients.
13 Mar Four wards (160 beds) were fully equipped and handed over to Assistant Matron Miss O'Connell. Sister O'Connell left for the Middle East on 13 April 1943.
14 Mar No 39 GH (Mellieha Camp) became operational for just short of a year since it had been demolished at St Andrews on 25 Apr 1942.
18 Mar Miss Brady arrived as Matron Mellieha Hospital.
22 Mar No 39 GH expanded to 600 beds by using tentage. Heavy rains and strong gales blew down tentage and broke ridge poles. By 31 March, nine hospitals extending tents were pitched on the football field providing additional accommodation for 204 beds. There were beds for 468 patients.
1 to 12 June No 39 GH closed for the normal reception of patients while its wards were occupied by No 33 GH. There were 155 admissions during June.
28 June Assistant Matron, Miss Walsh, and 20 nursing sisters arrived at No 39 GH by hospital ship. Four were transferred to No 90 GH Mtarfa.
8 July A two section hospital extending tent pitched between Wards M1 and M2 burnt down. The tent was empty at the time of the fire which was caused by a cigarette thrown out of a window of the medical ward.
9 July No 39 GH was expanded by 300 beds to 900 beds.
14 July 1943 A new cemetery was opened for No 39 GH down the hill from Mellieha village.
10 Aug A convoy of 73 patients arrived from Sicily which was followed by another 89 patients the following day. Fifty arrived from Sicily on 12 August and 28 patients on 13 August. The hospital expanded to 900 beds to receive casualties from Op Husky in Sicily.
2 Oct The tentage at No 39 GH was once again blown down in the October gales. The patients were moved from the affected tents to the barracks.
19 Oct No 39 GH reduced its beds from 900 to 600 beds.
1 Nov Nursing Sister P/225447 Miss Penney A. E. QAIMNSR became Mrs Morgan on marriage. She was granted leave from 1 to 5 November.
26 Dec 1943 297421 2nd Lt Broome S. (non medical), arrived from RAMC base and joined No 39 GH as Company Officer.
16 Jan 1943 Two prisoners of War admitted from their rescue from the sea after their vessel was torpedoed.; another 7 Italian POW admitted on 17 January 1943 from the Javelin after their ship was torpedoed; on 18 Jan 3 POW admitted merchant seaman; on 19 Jan another 4 Italian survivors. Proposal to convert L Block into a POW ward.
21 Jan 470 patients now in 45 GH. Medical side overflowed into surgical. 33 POW are included in figure. All the wards damaged by air raids repaired and taken into use.
12 Mar E Block St Andrew's Barracks taken over by 45 GH for accommodation of staff. Cleared of personnel on 12 April 1943
4 May Owing to Convalescent Depôt at Ghajn Tuffieha temporary closing a convalescent ward was opened in E Block St Andrews Block St Andrew's Barracks taken over by 45 GH for accommodation of staff.
1 Nov P/225447 Nursing officer Miss Penney A E QAIMNSR married and became Mrs Morgan. Was granted leave from 1 Nov to 5 Nov 1943
9 Nov Another convoy of 89 patients arrived to 39 GH
23 Nov Another convoy of 34 patients mostly surgical arrived to 39 GH
26 Nov 1943 Another convoy of 109 patients many surgical arrived to 39 GH
Malta Command Admin Order No 26 dated 9 May 1943 cancelled Malta Cmd Adm Order No 14 dated 18 August 1942. To meet the medical needs to the fortress a static medical framework is a necessity. To provide for a rapid collection and evacuation of casualties. For the purpose of medical admin Malta is divided into Areas Malta North and Malta South. The dividing line is from the head of Msida Creek along Msida Valley Road to Grid 430260 thence to 430230 to 420230 and then down to Grid 42 to coast. The SMO of the are was the CO of the Field Ambulance in that area.
Field ambulance was to man and administer Static Reception Stations, Camp Reception Stations, Area Medical Inspection Rooms (M I) and First Aid Posts (in Docks area only). In addition each infantry battalions and certain artillery units have their own regimental medical establishments. There were two Reception Stations.
Casualties were to be collected under regimental arrangements and directed or taken to the nearest collecting medical post or improvised Casualty Collecting Post.
Medical Units directly under DDMS
39 Gen Hospital Mellieha GR 316347
45 Gen Hospital St Patricks GR 441300
90 Gen Hospital Mtarfa GR 364252
Command Medical Store Depôt Mtarfa GR 364252
Convalescent Depôt San Pawl Tat Targa GR 410289
57 Field Hygiene Section GR 457298
Static Medical Establishments
Area Malta North
SMO HQ San Pawl Tat Targa GR 410289
Reception Station Gharghur GR 420291
Camp Reception Station
Mgarr GR 335288
Wardija GR 365308
St Andrews GR 448293
Rabat GR 376243
Medical Inspection Rooms
Mellieha GR 332335
Victoria Gozo GR 212438
St Paul's Bay GR 376321
Siggiewi GR 404204
Tigne GR 479272
Attard GR 407254
Gzira GR 459270
Naxxar GR 410289
Area Malta South
SMO HQ Hamrun GR 445248
Reception Station Hamrun GR 445248
Camp Reception Station
Zejtun GR 498211
Zabbar GR 503232
Medical Inspection Rooms
Floriana GR 470257
Tarxien GR 481221
Valletta GR 479257
Zurrieq GR 443181
St Elmo GR 486267
First Aid Posts (Dock Area Only)
Marina Pinto GR 475250
Mifsuds Verandah GR 469241
Bomb Defence Depôt GR 471237
16 Mar 1943E Block St Andrew's Barracks was taken over by No 45 GH for use as staff accommodation.
5 May Part of A Block upper 30 beds was equipped and taken into use as wards Owing to closure of Convalescent Depôt two huts 40 beds were used for convalescent patients.
1 June Miss M E Harris and Miss L M Flower QAIMNS reported from Middle East for duty as matron and assistant matron respectively.
3 June Convoy of 158 patients embarked on HMHS Somersetshire. It was the first convoy to have left the hospital in two years.
15 June Authority granted to expand the Hospital to 1600 beds including African Section, but without any further increase in personnel.
16 June Families transferred from Mtarfa resulting in the closure of the garrison infant school and use of the building for hospital needs.
19 June All other ranks personnel moved out of H Block and moved into recently vacated married quarters.
23 June Hospital laboratory commenced to function independently from Command Laboratory. Situated in Q Block.
3 July No 45 GH stopped accepting light and routine admissions so as to prepare itself to receive casualties from the invasion of Sicily. No 45 GH expanded its beds to 1,200 beds. Patients were transferred out of No 45 GH to No 39 GH and No 33 GH.
14 July 1943 First casualties arrived from Sicily and were admitted to No 45 GH.
1 Jan 1943 No 90 GH had a total of 715 casualties: 254 British troops, 154 local troops, 91 naval sick and 213 Royal Air Force patients. The garrison school was closed owing to cases of anterior poliomyelitis. On 6 January, two Paul Bragg Ventilators arrived from the Middle East to ventilate paralysed polio patients.
11 Jan The gymnasium ward (60 beds) was reopened and taken over by the Surgical Division. Patients were moved from S 1 ward which became the Medical Division.
10 Feb Reinforcements of medical officers and nursing sisters arrived from the Middle East.
12 MarE Block St Andrew's Barracks were taken over by No 45 GH for accommodation of staff.
12 Apr Arrival of No 2 BASUTO Station Hospital.
13 Apr Maj F H Newland registrar of No 90 GH was tried by General Court Martial.
1 June The following arrived at Malta: T/Maj Gavey C. G., W/Capt Vaughan Jones J. E., W/Capt Pattison G. N., Lt Bandler P., Lt Goldberg K., W/Capt Christie R., Lt Kohn S. R., Lt Pechthold Z., Lt Beker D.
3 June A convoy of 158 patients left No 90 GH on the HMHS Somersetshire.
30 June 1943 In June 90 GH MEF had 398 British Troops, 137 Local Troops, 129 naval sick, 198 Royal Air Force sick - a total of 862 patiens. 180 patients were evacuated by HMHS Maine including 6 with pulmonary tuberculosis.
15 June Expansion of No 90 GH to 1,600 beds excluding African Section. On 10 June, the BASUTO Hospital Section moved under canvas.
16 June The Garrison Infant school was closed following the transfer of families from Mtarfa. It was used as Company stores.
1 July A/Maj Cragg S. G. was posted from No 2 Base Depôt Medical Stores MEF.
2 July W/Capt Jennings B. C. was posted from Convalescent Depôt. W/Capt Kennedy H. C. was posted to No 39 GH.
3 July No 90 GH ceased to admit patients other than special patients in preparation for the invasion of Sicily. Casualties were directed instead to No 33 GH. T/Maj Todd J. V. was posted in from No 4 Orthopaedic Centre.
13 July Patients with venereal disease were transferred from No 45 GH to No 90 GH which became the VD centre for the command. Sixty beds were set aside in huts for the other ranks, while four beds were kept in a married quarter for officers.
8 Aug Detention ward closed. All POWs transferred to No 45 GH.
2 Oct A/Matron M E Harris QAIMNS posted to (BTE) GHQ MEF and sister H F M Horne TANS evacuated to Uk as an invalid on 26 Sept 1943 and Assistant Matron L M Flower QAIMNS posted to 42 GH on 5 Nov 1943
22 Oct 1943 Matron S A Perry QAIMNS posted from 12 GH and assistant matron I I Scruton QAIMNS posted from 13 GH for duty at 90 GH Sister HRM Buist QAIMNS(R) arrived for duty as Sister in charge Families Hospital..
29 May 1943 15th Field Ambulance was now referred to as 15th Independent Brigade Group Field Ambulance. The unit strength was 1 Lt Col, 2 Majors, 7 Captains and Lts and 1 QM.
Capt (T/Maj) Elliott J. E. - TOS: 25 June 1941, Medical Liaison Officer attached to HQ RA.
Lt (QM) Duggan B. G. - TOS: 5 January 1942.
Capt Portelli J. P. A. P. (Army Dental Corps) – Taken on strength on 10 April 1942.
31 May In May, the Royal Engineers prepared a 60 bed Reception Station at Gharghur, with the capacity to expand to a 100 beds. The facility was scheduled to become operational on 10 June.
2 June 216857 Capt W. S. Campbell, 133658 Capt M. J. Pleydell, Lt A. Weigh were taken on strength of 15th Independent Bde Group Fld Ambulance on their arrival from the Middle East.
4 June Lt (QM) W. C. Cox was taken on the strength of 15th Independent Bde Gp Fld Amb.
8 June Camps 1, 2, and 3 were set up in Area North covered by 5th Fld Amb. The Camp Reception Station (CRS) was increased from 120 to 320 beds. About 200 personnel arrived and were allocated to Camp 2. By 10 June, Camps 1 and 2 had 1,400 personnel; Camp 3 had 815 personnel. The camps were gradually filled up with troops in preparation for the invasion of Sicily (Op Husky). Medical cover for the camps was from medical officers arriving with the troops. SMO Area North (CO 15th Fld Amb) arranged for a medical officer from the Field Ambulance to attend sick parades in those camps which had no medical officer. Ten camps had been set up by 20 June.
13 June Capt R. Christie and Lt L. Rosenmann were posted to 15th Ind Bde Gp Fld Amb.
2 Aug 99435 Captain W. G. Timmis and Lt A. Weigh embarked for Sicily. Capts Bolton J. R., Houston G. F., Oakes W. F. A., Roberts L. G. R., Campbell W. S. were detached from 15th Ind Bde GP Fld Amb.
5 Aug 15th Ind Bde Gp Fld Amb took over the duties of 161 (EA) Ind Bde Gp Fld Amb.
9 Aug Capt Mawby Norman Earl and Capt Said W. G. V. were taken on strength of the unit.
2 Sep Static MIR Gzira closed as troops moved away from the area. MIR Tigné took over cover for the Gzira area.
15 Sep The huts built by the Royal Engineers at San Pawl Ta' Targa were taken over and opened as Static MI Room Naxxar. This replaced CRS Gharghur and had Capt R. Christie as medical officer-in-charge.
17 Sep CRS Gharghur handed over the building to the Civil Education Authorities.
5 Oct Closure of the Harbour Aid Post at Mifsud's Veranda. Maxims Club Palace Square Valletta was taken over as an MI Room, Emergency Treatment centre and dental centre.
18 Oct HMHS Leinster arrived at Malta and disembarked its casualties. HMHS Dinard arrived with its casualties on 20 October.
20 Oct The nucleus of 15th Fld Amb consisting of 7 officers and 81 other ranks RAMC were concentrated at CRS Wardija in anticipation of the unit move.
9 Nov HMHS St David arrived at Malta and disembarked its casualties.
23 Nov 1943 HMHS St Dinard arrived at Malta and disembarked 57 stretcher cases and 134 walking casualties. 15th Independent Brigade Group Field Ambulance RAMC embarked on HMHS St Dinard. It left Malta for Brindisi on 24 November 1943.
21 Feb 1943 A conference was held among medical officers at MDS Hamrun to discuss the high incidence of amoebic dysentery. Examination of cooks and other preventive measures to be taken were discussed. The outbreak of acute food poisoning occurred in Malta South among Fortress REs at Floriana, and RHQ 7th HAA Regiment at Tal Handaq.
21 Apr Malta operational order No 43 re-organisation of 161 (EA) Field Ambulance to an Independent Brigade Group Field Ambulance.
12 Feb 1943 Arrangements were made to transfer the Convalescent Depôt to Ghajn Tuffieha Camp. The advanced party moved on 22 February and occupied the ridge formerly used as a Naval Firing Range. While the Convalescent Depôt was shut to organise transfer, a temporary convalescent ward was set up in E block 45 General Hospital on 4 May 1943.
9 May The administration of Convalescent Depôt Ghajn Tuffieha Rifle Range fell under SMO Malta (North) who was also CO 15th Field Ambulance. On 11 May, all barrack buildings were taken over by CO 15 Fld Ambulance.
25 May The Royal Engineers commenced work on the Rifle Range and laid down concrete bases for tents.
30 May Tentage for the Convalescent Depôt arrived from 45 General Hospital. Ten tents were erected by 31 May.
6 June Administrative control of Convalescent Depôt Ghajn Tuffieha was transferred to Col MacKinnon OC 33 General Hospital.
11 Aug The Convalescent Depôt took over the site vacated by No 33 General Hospital at Ghajn Tuffieha Camp. The convalescents moved to the new site on 14 August. A special section was opened for treatment of convalescent malaria patients. In August, a total of 734 patients had been admitted (408 medical, 328 Surgical of which 58 were orthopaedic cases).
21 Aug 1943 All the tentage from the Naval Range was struck down and the site handed over to the Naval Authorities.
14 Jan 1944 British patients at No 39 GH were transferred to No 45 GH to prepare the wards for Yugoslav Partisan patients. On 16 January, a total of 226 Yugoslav patients were admitted, 13 of which were female, for whom no provisions had been arranged as they were not expected. Another 219 patients arrived on 23 January. The women Yugoslav patients were visited by Mrs Campbell, wife of the Lt Governor. On 31 January another convoy of 175 Yugoslavs reached Malta. On 11 February, a Yugoslav doctor Yanovich arrived as medical liaison officer.
19 Feb A convoy of 100 Yugoslav patients arrived at No 39 GH.
5 Apr 1944 Hospital equipment was packed away in preparation for the closure of No 39 GH Mellieha. The barracks was handed over to 1st/KOMR. On 8 April 1944, No 39 GH embarked and left for Naples and on to Glasgow.
1 Jan 1944 Bed state of No 45 GH was rapidly reduced as few air casualties were arriving. All naval patients were transferred to the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi.
20 Jan A death occurred on the operating table on 20 Jan 1944 while an anaesthetic was being administered.
12 Feb One officer 135177 Lt James Peter Lawless RAPC brought in dead to No 45 GH apparent suicide shot through the head with a revolver bullet. Buried at Pembroke military cemetery.
17 Feb No 45 GH closed for admissions. 107 patients transferred to 90 General Hospital. The wards were cleared and equipment boxed up in preparation for re deployment on 21 February 1944. officer patient died at No 45 GH.
7 Mar 1944 No 45 GH consisting of 10 officers, 33 nursing officers and 151 other ranks sailed in HMHS Dorsetshire. It arrived at Taranto on 8 March 1944 where it treated Yugoslav patients. The hospital also took patients from No 22 (UK) Hospital when this closed on 31 March following an outbreak of small pox.
4 Jan 1944 12 Naval patients were transferred to RN Hospital Bighi from 90 GH and 65 naval patients 7 officers and 58 ratings were evacuated on the HMHS Maine. On 7 January 1944 the naval medical staff consisting of two medical officers, 3 nursing officers and 20 Sick Bert Attendants returned to Bighi.
25 Jan No 2 (Basuto) Section General Hospital ceased to be attached to 90 GH and was posted abroad on 28 January 1944.
Dec 1947 RSM Sgt–Maj Rigby 30 Coy RAMC left Malta. He was succeeded by RSM Sgt–Maj Bullough and family. No 30 Coy and the Hospital Agricultural Scheme, better known as The Good Earth to the men, was established by the new RSM. About an acre of the best North of Ireland seed potatoes were sown in December 1947 by Sgt–Maj Bullough. Psychiatric patients were encouraged to perform light duties in the nursery beds; instead of weeding the spinach beds they carefully removed the spinach and left the weeds. The Commanding had to water his own garden and look after his own hens when he lost his gardener.
The Christmas party for the children of the RAMC and the RADC was held on 19 December 1947. Major Oldershaw dressed up as Father Christmas.
Jan 1948 Leisure amenities for the men were augmented through the opening of an NCOs' club which admitted wives. Junior NCOs became honorary members. This proved a popular innovation and added considerably to the social life of Mtarfa which was isolated from the rest of the island's activities by difficulties in obtaining transport.
25 May Miss M Hunnings, Chief Principal Matron, visited the BMH and the Military Families Hospital Mtarfa.
30 June Strength British Military Hospital Mtarfa: 9 Officers, 15 Nursing Officers and 105 Other Ranks
28 Aug – 6 Sep Brigadier Munro, Consulting Surgeon MELF, visited BMH Mtarfa. Brig Hamilton, Consulting Physician MELF visited Military Families Hospital on 2 December 1948. Brig Bowie, Consulting Surgeon MELF visited the hospital on 8 December 1948.
30 Sep Strength: 15 Officers, 15 Nursing Officers and 96 Other Ranks. Locations of medical units:
British Military Hospital (BMH) Mtarfa – MR 364254
Military Families Hospital (MFH) Mtarfa – MR 278357
HQ 30 Coy RAMC Mtarfa – MR 369254
Medical Incident (M I) Room St Andrews – MR 438269
Medical Incident (M I) Room Floriana – MR 473238
Dental Centre St Andrews – MR 448292
20 Nov 1948 Death of Col Victor Joseph Bonavia at BMH Hamburg, Germany. Dr Bonavia was born in Malta on 2 September 1893 and qualified MD from the University of Malta and passed the Membership examination of the Royal College of Physicians (London). He was commissioned Lieutenant on 10 February 1917 rising to the rank of colonel on 10 November 1947. He served in various military hospitals in Salonica (1917–21), Lahore (1927) where he represented the corps in cricket, and China (1932–36), as a medical specialist. His last posting was in 1947 to BMH Hamburg. He died suddenly at No 94 British Military Hospital, Hamburg aged 54 years.
31 Dec 1948 Strength: 15 Officers, 11 Nursing Officers and 108 Other Ranks
Officers and Nursing Officers on the strength of Mtarfa Military Hospital 1948: Officer Commanding, Medical Specialist, Surgical Specialist, Radiologist, Specialist Anaesthetist, Specialist in diseases of women and children, Graded Pathologist, Medical Officer, Quartermasters, Company Officer, OC Reception Station, OC Dental Station, Dental Officer, MO i/c Medical Inspection Room Floriana, General Duties MOs x 2, Matron, Senior Sister Military Families Hospital, Senior Sister British Military Hospital, Midwives x 3, General Duties Military Families Hospital x 2, General Duties British Military Hospital x 3, Theatre Sister - duties carried out by Senior Sister BMH.
A permanent RAEC Sgt Instructor was attached to the hospital. Ambulant patients attended evening classes from 17:00 to 18:00 hours daily.
During the year, No 30 Coy RAMC looked after the families of the Royal Marines after the men departed on operations, leaving their families at Mtarfa.
23 June 1948 A memorandum from the Director General of 30 July 1948, stipulated that henceforth the 23 June will be commemorated as Corps Day to perpetuate the day of the birth of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
1 Feb 1949 The Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) became a corps of the Regular Army, replacing the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS). Queen Mary accepted the appointment of Commandant-in-Chief. Regular officers of the QAIMNS transferred to the new corps and became liable to the full provisions of the Army Act in common with male officers. They were granted rank and titles similar to those held by officers of the WRAC, but continued to be styled Matron or Sister when performing professional duties. A short Service Commission was also introduced with nursing officers serving for 2, 3 or 4 years with a gratuity of £50 awarded for each full year of service.
31 Mar Strength Military Hospital Mtarfa: 15 officers, 8 Nursing Officers and 101 Other Ranks.
Locations of medical units:
British Military Hospital (BMH) Mtarfa - MR 364254
Military Families Hospital (MFH) Mtarfa - MR 278357
HQ 30 Coy RAMC Mtarfa - MR 369254
Medical Incident (M I) Room St Andrews - MR 438269
Medical Incident (M I) Room Floriana - MR 473238
Dental Centre St Andrews - MR 448292
9 Aug Special Establishment ME/5021/2 (S) was implemented with effective force on 8 June 1949. This superseded ME/3021/1 (S). As a result of this change the designation the 30 Company RAMC became obsolete.
31 Dec 1949 Strength: 8 Officers, 6 Nursing Officers and 70 Other Ranks.
Officers and Nursing Officers on the strength of Mtarfa Military Hospital 1949: Officer Commanding, Medical Specialist, Surgical Specialist, Radiologist, Specialist Anaesthetist, Specialist in diseases of women and children, Graded Pathologist, Company Officer and Registrar, M I Room St Andrews x 2, M I Room Floriana x 1, Officer in charge Dental Centre, Dental Officer, General Duties MOs x 3, Matron, Senior Sister Military Families Hospital, Senior Sister British Military Hospital, Midwives x 3, General Duties Military Families Hospital x 2, General Duties British Military Hospital x 2, Theatre Sister - duties carried out by Senior Sister BMH.
22 Feb 1951John Harry Alexander Mullington son of Beryl Joan and 221701 Capt Harry Albert Mullington RAMC of No 3 Officers Quarters Hospital Compound Imtarfa, born on 2 June 1950, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
Lt Col R. S. Vine, CO David Bruce Military Hospital arrived at Malta around Oct 1952.
The annual administrative inspection was followed by visits from Gen Sir Cameron Nicholson C-i-C MELF and Col Smith QARANC, DDANS MELF. In Dec 1952, No 30 Coy RAMC Malta had two visits from Maj Gen A. J. Beveridge.
RAMC Corps Week was inaugurated on Sunday 21 June with a parade church service at St Oswald Hospital church. At the march past which followed, the salute was taken by Col Kenneth McNeill L/RAMC DDMS Malta. The following day, half the unit went to Ghajn Tuffieha for a day on the beach. The officers' annual cocktail party was held in the hospital grounds on the evening of Corps Day. The Acting Governor of Malta and Countess Mountbatten of Burma attended. Several medical officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and representatives of most units in Malta were present. Maj-Gen William Alexander Drummond, Director Medical Services GHQ MELF, visited 30 Coy RAMC for a few hours during his short stop before taking up his appointment as DMS GHQ MELF.
Maj Thorne Frederick Anthony, Company officer 30 Coy RAMC arrived in October 1953. RSM WO1 H. J. Clarke arrived from BMH Fayid, and QM Maj Harry Albert Mullington arrived in March 1951.
16 Aug 1953Simon Jeremy Boughton Thorne son of Monica and Capt Frederick Anthony Thorne RAMC of Imtarfa, born on 11 June 1953, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
23 June 1956 Corps Day was celebrated in the grounds of the David Bruce Military Hospital. Mrs W. A. Robinson, wife of the ADMS Col W. A. Robinson OBE MD declared the celebrations open. The commanding officer Lt Col G. L. I. Humphreys, the dental SMO Lt Col J. B. Burgess RADC and Lt Col M. M. Lewis attended. On 23 June 1956, the ADMS, the CO DBMH, and other officers held an evening cocktail party in the hospital grounds for 250 guests. Surgeon Rear Admiral S. G. Weldon CBE RN and Wg Cdr E. S. Olbert OBE RAF attended.
On Sunday 24 June a ceremonial church parade was inspected by the ADMS. The service was conducted by the Rev E. I. Morris.
The Administrative Officer of the David Bruce Military Hospital was Capt P. Taylor with Capt A. J. Underwood as Quartermaster.
4 Nov 1956Catherine May Whitfield daughter of Marion Douglas and Capt Charles Richard Whitfield RAMC of 2 St Agatha's Esplanade Mdina, born on 1 Sept 1956, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
18 Nov 1956Lesley Ann Fairbrother daughter of Ann and SSgt Neville Sidney Haywood Fairbrother RAMC of 3 RAMC Block Imtarfa, born on 13 Sept 1956, was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
23 June 1957 HQ 30 Coy RAMC Malta was located at the David Bruce Military Hospital. On 23 June was celebrated Corps Day with a church parade at St Oswald's when the salute was taken by the CO Lt Col G. L. I. Humphreys. The officers of the RAMC and RADC stationed at Malta held their annual garden party on the hospital lawn.
The families had a day out at Paradise Bay. Two new activities and a puppet theatre were introduced to brighten the life of the men. There was also a small bore rifle club under the chairmanship of the pathologist.
The hospital was selected to carry out trials in the training of a team for the treatment of mass casualties. This was organised on a competitive team basis under the title of MASCAS with the results flagged up on a ladder at examination.
Some senior NCOs ventured into chicken farming with quite a thriving industry developing in the hospital grounds.
No 30 Coy RAMC played the Malta Spastics Association in a weekly match of wheelchair basketball. This training was to prepare them for the international games for handicapped persons, which were being held at Stoke Mandeville in July. Lady Laycock, wife of the Governor, took a keen interest in the welfare of the Malta Spastics Association. Through her efforts, an exhibition match was given at the Malta Stadium to raise funds to pay for the passage of the team to England.
Oct 1962 The David Bruce Military Hospital was handed over to the Royal Navy Medical Services. The link between the Army Medical Services and the George Cross Island came to an end. The hospital was refurbished by the Royal Engineers. On 2 October 1970, it was officially opened by Lady Dorman, wife of the 34th and last British Governor of Malta Sir Maurice Henry Dorman, as the David Bruce Royal Naval Hospital.
Kipling A L., King H L., Head Dress Badges of the British Army Volume One. London, Muller and White 1987.
The News and Gazette of the RAMC, ADC and QAIMNS - various issues.
1The News and Gazette of the RAMC, The Army Dental Corps and the QAIMNS, 11; xi: May 1938.
2Corps News, Journal Royal Army Medical Corps, vol 18: 72-73 (1912).
3RAMC - Designations. Br Med J (1906), 2; 2381: 398 (Published 18 Aug 1906).
4TNA:CO 158/332, Lunatic Patrick Keefe No 31 dated 20 March 1900.
General Returns of the British Army on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December 1943.
Volume of particulars of candidates for RAMC commissions (RAMC/1308).
Soldiers died in the Great War 1914–19, Part 79 Royal Army Medical Corps. London HMSO 1921.