Maltese Light Infantry (1800 - 1802)

​The first two companies of the Maltese Light Infantry were raised in April, 1800, and these were placed under the command of Captain Weir of the Royal Marines, who was helped by the officers of the 89th Foot. In June the Regiment was at full strength and under the command of Brigadier-General Moncreiff. In July the Battalion was reviewed by Sir Ralph Abercrombie. The Regiment served in the blockade of Valletta and in all the assaults made against the French defences. On 4th of September, General Vaubois and his troops were forced to ask for terms of surrender, faced as they were by famine, sickness and rapidly diminishing stores of ammunition. General Pigot and Captain Martin, R.N., who had succeeded General Graham and Captain Ball respectively, took the salute as the French troops marched out of Valletta with all the honours of war, and on the following day the British troops entered Valletta. Two medals were struck to commemorate the blockade of Valletta. The gold medal inscribed Patria Liberata was awarded to Emanuele Vitale, Vincenzo Borg and Canon FS Caruana. The silver medal was given to all those who had served against the French during the period 1798 - 1800. It showed the recipient's name on one side and Malta ai suoi difensori, 1800 on the other.
 Maltese Light Infantry
Very little is known about the history of the Maltese Light Infantry after the French had been driven out of the Islands. What is certain is that 300 men of this Regiment under Major Weir volunteered for service overseas and they were sent on an expedition to relieve a small British garrison besieged by the French at Porto Ferrajo in the Island of Elba. The expedition was successful and the beleaguered garrison was relieved. In the spirited action, the Maltese troops supported a force of Swiss Pioneers under the command of Colonel De Bersey. Ensigns Bartoli and Arena of the Maltese Regiment were wounded in leading the Maltese troops in a bayonet charge and their names should be remembered as the first of a long list of men from Malta "to shed their blood in the service of the British Crown in a Regiment that was part of the British Army on active service outside Malta."
In 1802, the Maltese Light Infantry was disbanded on the expiration of the period for which the men had enlisted. Most of these men, however, enlisted again - this time in the newly formed Provincial Battalions. The Regimental Colours were presented to Major Weir whose connection with the Regiment has already been referred to. In the year 1884 Major Weir's son - Dr Thomas Weir of Edinburgh - returned these colours to Sir Arthur Borton, then Governor of Malta, by whom they were presented with the proper military ceremonial to the Royal Malta Fencible Artillery during the parade held on the Palace Square. The Colours were then deposited in the Palace Armoury. An interesting point about these colours is the absence of the Cross of St. Patrick, which figured, on all King's Colours after the Union of Ireland with Great Britain (1800).
The uniform of the Maltese Light Infantry consisted of blue-grey coats with red facings and gold lace, and nankeen trousers.
(Adapted from Regimental History RMA and KOMR, History of the RMA, Historical Records of the Maltese Corps in the British Army Illustrations by Chev Edward Caruana-Dingli)
 Contact Name 
Headquarters AFM
Luqa Barracks
Luqa VLT2000

(+356) 2249 4000 /
(+356) 2249 4019 /
(+356) 2249 4020