The Royal Army Medical Corps
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1923

Sandfly Fever

In 1921, 1922 and 1923, the Royal Air Force Sandfly Fever Commission Malta consisted of:

  • 1921: Sqn Ldr Harold Edward Whittingham, Cpl G H Noakes, and Aircraftman 341189 R Stewart (June 1921).
  • 1922: Sqn Ldr H E Whittingham MB DPH DTM, Flt Lt Alan Filmer Rook MRCP DPH, Cpl R Stewart, and 337215 Aircraftman H A Collett (1922).
  • 1923: Wg Cmdr H E Whittingham, Cpl R Stewart and Leading Aircraftman H A Collett, all of the Royal Air Force Medical Service (May 1923).

On 25 May 1923, Wg Cmdr Whittingham and his medical orderlies returned to Malta on the SS Khiva to complete their investigations on Sandfly Fever. The Sandfly Fever Commission aimed at proving or disproving the transmission of the virus from phlebotomus to phlebotomus, and the isolation of the causal organisms of phlebotomus fever.

Wg Cmdr Whittingham paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Malta. The Commission stayed in Malta for seven weeks. Eggs of sandflies were returned to the Laboratory RAF Central Hospital Finchley for further research work.

Garrison Strength

1 Jan 1923: 74 officers, 696 rank and file.
1 July 1923: 22 officers, 387 men.

Red Cross Badge

The wearing of the Red Cross Badge on the sleeves of RAMC soldiers was discontinued in 1923. This was at a time when the Corps had not yet recovered from the Great War years and when not every one was qualified as a nurse. Many were therefore not in a position to uphold the reputation of the Red Cross.

Sgt E Newell RAMC

L M Newell
Lucy Margaret Newell (Mtarfa Military Cemetery)

Lucy Margaret Newell daughter of Sgt and Mrs E Newell RAMC died on 30 Sep 1923, aged 13 mths.