Maltese Provincial Battalions (1802 - 1815)

​The Maltese Militia and the Maltese Militia Coast Artillery were succeeded by the Maltese Provincial Battalions. In the terms of the Treaty of Amiens (1802) it was stipulated that at least half of the Garrison of Malta should consist of Maltese troops officered by Maltese. The number of troops in the Garrison was then approximately 4,000 and instructions were received from London that 2,000 Maltese were to be enlisted in the new corps. In February 1803, however, Sir Alexander Ball, recommended that the force to be raised should consist of the following corps: -

Officer Maltese Provincial Battalion
     2 Battalions of Infantry of 700 men each, called the Maltese Provincial Battalions;
     1 Battalion of Artillery of 300 men, called the Malta Coast Artillery; and
     1 Battalion of Veterans of 300 men, called the Maltese Veterans
The Maltese Provincial Battalions were the first Maltese Regiments to wear the red coat. The 1st Battalion had sky-blue facings and silver lace. On 13th November, 1804, the two Battalions were reviewed on the Floriana Parade Ground and were warmly commended in the General Orders issued on 14th November, 1804, for their "smartness, soldierlike appearance, conduct and steadiness .. which would be highly creditable to any Corps whatever". Marquis Parisi commanded the 1st Battalion while Count Gatto commanded the 2nd Battalion.
(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
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Luqa VLT2000

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