David Bruce Naval Hospital Mtarfa

Regimental Surgeons of the Malta Garrison
Schembri Giuseppe

Assistant Surgeon Giuseppe Schembri
1771 – 15 Mar 1835 [Malta]

Dec 1800 Accompanied the Maltese Pioneers to Egypt.

1801 Served in the medical services of the Order of St John, prior to entering British Service as a medical officer in 1801. He was 30 years old when first appointed to HM Service.

15 Sept 1801 Appointed second assistant surgeon in the Maltese Light Infantry or I Cacciatori Maltesi. The MLI was raised by Brigadier Thomas Graham in 1800. The men were enlisted to serve locally, but on 11 Oct 1801 three volunteer companies under the command of Major Weir were sent to relieve the British garrison at Porto Ferrajo, Elba.

22 Sept 1801 Accompanied a detachment of 200 men to Elba.

1 Jan 1802 Assistant Surgeon at Elba with 9 officers (1 Maj, 2 Capts 3 Lts 3 ensigns and 1 As Surg) 16 sergeants, 6 drummers, and 191 men.

Malta 3 Nov 1802 Joined the garrison at Alexandria. Served with the Maltese Pioneers.
In his returns of service, he states that he was "In the glorious expedition of Egypt".1

Mar 1803 Returned to Malta following the withdrawal of the garrison in accordance with the Treaty of Amiens.

26 Apr 1804 Married in Malta.

10 Feb 1805 Birth of a son, Anthony.

Malta 1 Nov 1805 Attached as an Assistant Surgeon to Froberg Levy. By June 1806 the strength of Froberg's Regiment had risen to 483 rank and file, 12 sergeants, and 18 Buglers.

Malta 25 Apr 1806 Assistant Surgeon Froberg Levy.

29 May 1806 Inspector of Hospitals William Franklin recommended to Lt Gen W A Villettes, commanding the Malta Garrison, that: "the present strength of Froberg's levy rendering the service of an assistant surgeon necessary, I beg leave to recommend to you Dottore Giuseppe Schembri, who has been doing duty as an extra mate for some time past with the regiment, and has conducted himself in such manner as to induce me to believe that he is in every respect qualified for the situation. He has attended the hospitals of Malta, and has also studied and taken a degree at the University of Naples".2

War Office letter dated 8 Sept 1806: "I have the Secretary-at-War direction to transmit for the consideration of HRH The Commander-in-Chief a letter from the Surgeon General, submitting for the reasons therein mentioned, the propriety of nominating hospital mate Strakmeyer as assistant surgeon Froberg Levy and of Mr Giuseppe Schembri being submitted to a medical and surgical examination at Malta, on passing which Mr Keate recommends that he may be appointed assistant surgeon to the Royal Regiment of Malta, there being no longer a vacancy in the Corsican Regiment".3

Malta 1807 Assistant Surgeon Froberg Levy.
Froberg Levy was disbanded in May 1807 following mutiny due to irregularities in recruitment.

Malta May–Oct 1807 Attached to the Military Hospital Valletta following the mutiny of Froberg Levy.

Malta 10 Sept 1807 Commissioned Assistant Surgeon Royal Regiment of Malta. Held the rank without either purchase or any payment.
The Surgeon General of the Army Medical Department, Mr Thomas Keate, stated that there was "no objection to Mr Schembri being appointed to the situation in question for which he has been deemed qualified by the Board who examined him". In addition, Sir James Murray-Pulteney, Secretary at War (1807–1809), was "not aware of any grounds which should prevent the appointment from taking place accordingly".4

25 Oct 1807 Accompanied the invalids to Gibraltar.

Malta 10 Nov 1807 Accompanied the Royal Malta Regiment to Sicily.

Capri

Map of Capri showing location of the Royal Regiment of Malta on 4 Oct 1808. (From Chesney A G. Historical Records of the Maltese Corps of the British Army. London 1897).

4 Oct 1808–11 Feb 1810 Prisoner at Capri.
In 1808, the garrison of Capri, which had became a British possession in May 1806, consisted of: The Royal Corsican Rangers (750 men), The Royal Regiment of Malta (680 men) based at Anacapri, The Royal Marines (150 men) and De Watteville Regiment (200 men) all under the command of Lt Col Hudson Lowe. On 4 Oct 1808, a Franco–Neapolitan Force under General Lamarque, attacked Anacapri, and captured almost the whole of The Royal Regiment of Malta. Capri was bombarded from the heights of Anacapri, forcing Hudson Lowe to surrender Capri on 16 Oct 1808.

1809 POW Surgeon Royal Regiment of Malta.

Malta Mar 1810 Released from captivity and returned to Malta.

Malta 25 Mar 1811 Reduced to half-pay in consequence of the disbandment of the Royal Regiment of Malta in March 25th 1811.

1813–1814 Gave his services gratis as surgeon in the country during the plague in Malta.

7 Nov 1816 Had a daughter, Maria.

29 May 1821 Had a daughter, Luigia.

1829 In his Return of Service dated 4 Mar 1829, Schembri stated that owing to his "advanced age" he was not desirous of either Civil or Military Service in the Mediterranean.1

15 Mar 1835 Died at Malta.

Sources

  1. Entry No: 2777. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol 1 (20 June 1727-23 June 1898), Aberdeen (1917).
  2. Bonnici W, Early 19th century Maltese doctors in the Service of the Crown. J R Army Med Corps (1997), 143: 171–175
  3. 1TNA:WO 25/773 f 64. Returns of Service of Officers on half-pay rendered under the circular letter 22 Oct 1828.
  4. 2TNA:WO 1/293 Colonies Correspondence Dispatches from Commanders at Malta 1802–12.
  5. 3TNA:WO 4/402 f 506 War Office, Secretary-at-War out-letters, Medical Department, Dec 1805–Sept 1806.
  6. 4TNA:WO 31/236, War Office Foreign Department, Memorial of Schembri dated 1 Sept 1807.