Assistance Required - Maltese Artilleryman

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Assistance Required - Maltese Artilleryman

Postby Alex30 » 14 Feb 2016 03:11

Hi All,

I am trying to find out some information about my Maltese ancestor, Vincent Agius (see attached photo).

My family believe the photo was taken in Alexandria Egypt, 1903.

Discussions with various people have led me to believe that he was a gunner with the artillery (possibly Royal Malta Artillery), that the two good conduct chevrons marked at least 5 years service and the crossed cannons with the star indicated he was awarded a second class battery prize.

My research has verified that a few units of the Royal Malta Artillery were in fact in Alexandria at this time.

I have attempted to locate him on various rolls and registers with no luck so far.

If anyone would be able to assist with my search, it would be greatly appreciated.

Alex.
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Re: Assistance Required - Maltese Artilleryman

Postby Frogsmile » 28 Dec 2016 16:23

Your picture shows a 'Gunner' of the Royal Malta Artillery and he is wearing an undress frock made of unlined serge and normally worn in hot weather. It was fastened by 5-buttons and blue with a red collar and yellow cord piping and simple trefoil cuff knot.

1 June 1899. Strength of the Royal Malta Artillery (RMA) : 734 men. The RMA formerly consisted of 6 companies. During the year it was augmented with an additional two companies for service outside Malta.

2 Jan 1900. No 7 Coy RMA (4 officers, 117 men, 16 children) embarked for Egypt under command of Maj H. A. Balbi. It served in Cairo and Alexandria until March 1905.

In Jan 1903. HQ Coy moved from Cairo to Alexandria, leaving a detachment at the former station. The RMA detachment in Egypt had 118 men.

In Dec 1903. the overall RMA Strength (including the companies remaining in Malta) was 5 coys. Officers 32, females 125, children 285, men 690 (the second company that was raised for foreign service in 1899, was disbanded on the re-organisation of the RMA in that year). The company in Egypt was re-designated from No 7, to No 5.

As No 7 and No 5 companies served in Cairo, but only HQ company staff moved to Alexandria it seems certain that your ancestor was in HQ company, probably as a clerk.

No 5 Coy. On 4 Mar 1905, the company at Alexandria left the command and returned to Malta.
It was no longer listed in the returns of Oct 1905.

I imagine that Agius is a common family name on Malta, as it appears frequently in the military records of the indigenous Maltese garrison right up into the 1960s.

The enclosed photo of a single Gunner shows Giovani BASTIANTINI, 339, Gunner, Royal Malta Fencible Artillery, who as a contemporary might well have been known to your forebear.
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Last edited by Frogsmile on 18 Jan 2017 12:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Assistance Required - Maltese Artilleryman

Postby Alex30 » 18 Jan 2017 12:06

Thank you for the valuable information Frogsmile!

Would you by any chance be aware of any lists or rolls I can search which may give me further information about Vincent's service?

Frogsmile wrote:Your picture shows a 'Gunner' of the Royal Malta Artillery and he is wearing an undress frock made of unlined serge and normally worn in hot weather. It was fastened by 5-buttons and blue with a red collar and yellow cord piping and simple trefoil cuff knot.

1 June 1899 Strength of the Royal Malta Artillery (RMA) : 734 men. The RMA formerly consisted of 6 companies. During the year it was augmented with an additional two companies for service outside Malta.

2 Jan 1900 No 7 Coy RMA (4 officers, 117 men, 16 children) embarked for Egypt under command of Maj H. A. Balbi. It served in Cairo and Alexandria until March 1905.

In Jan 1903 HQ Coy moved from Cairo to Alexandria, leaving a detachment at the former station. The RMA detachment in Egypt had 118 men.

In Dec 1903 the overall RMA Strength (including the companies remaining in Malta) was 5 coys. Officers 32, females 125, children 285, men 690 (the second company that was raised for foreign service in 1899, was disbanded on the re-organisation of the RMA in that year). The company in Egypt was re-designated from No 7, to No 5.

As No 7 and No 5 companies served in Cairo, but only HQ company staff moved to Alexandria it seems certain that your ancestor was in HQ company, probably as a clerk.

No 5 Coy. On 4 Mar 1905, the company at Alexandria left the command and returned to Malta.
It was no longer listed in the returns of Oct 1905.

I imagine that Agius is a common family name on Malta, as it appears frequently in the military records of the indigenous Maltese garrison right up into the 1960s.

The enclosed photo of a single Gunner shows Giovani BASTIANTINI, 339, Gunner, Royal Malta Fencible Artillery, who as a contemporary might well have been known to your forebear.
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Re: Assistance Required - Maltese Artilleryman

Postby Frogsmile » 18 Jan 2017 12:12

Alex30 wrote:Thank you for the valuable information Frogsmile!

Would you by any chance be aware of any lists or rolls I can search which may give me further information about Vincent's service?

Frogsmile wrote:Your picture shows a 'Gunner' of the Royal Malta Artillery and he is wearing an undress frock made of unlined serge and normally worn in hot weather. It was fastened by 5-buttons and blue with a red collar and yellow cord piping and simple trefoil cuff knot.

1 June 1899 Strength of the Royal Malta Artillery (RMA) : 734 men. The RMA formerly consisted of 6 companies. During the year it was augmented with an additional two companies for service outside Malta.

2 Jan 1900 No 7 Coy RMA (4 officers, 117 men, 16 children) embarked for Egypt under command of Maj H. A. Balbi. It served in Cairo and Alexandria until March 1905.

In Jan 1903 HQ Coy moved from Cairo to Alexandria, leaving a detachment at the former station. The RMA detachment in Egypt had 118 men.

In Dec 1903 the overall RMA Strength (including the companies remaining in Malta) was 5 coys. Officers 32, females 125, children 285, men 690 (the second company that was raised for foreign service in 1899, was disbanded on the re-organisation of the RMA in that year). The company in Egypt was re-designated from No 7, to No 5.

As No 7 and No 5 companies served in Cairo, but only HQ company staff moved to Alexandria it seems certain that your ancestor was in HQ company, probably as a clerk.

No 5 Coy. On 4 Mar 1905, the company at Alexandria left the command and returned to Malta.
It was no longer listed in the returns of Oct 1905.

I imagine that Agius is a common family name on Malta, as it appears frequently in the military records of the indigenous Maltese garrison right up into the 1960s.

The enclosed photo of a single Gunner shows Giovani BASTIANTINI, 339, Gunner, Royal Malta Fencible Artillery, who as a contemporary might well have been known to your forebear.


Alex there is an excellent website here that may be able to help: http://www.maltaramc.com/articles/conte ... ltgar.html

I recommend that you contact the webmaster there and seek his guidance. I rather suspect that he is in contact with other enthusiasts of the British military association with Malta. Failing that you can also use the following, but bear in mind that few commercial, genealogical resources do not make a charge for their services, although in fairness there is frequently a 'free' initial period. It is a sad fact of life that museums that might once have helped are very poorly funded now as a result of 'austerity Britain' and the various funding cuts that have had to be made:

1. https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/re ... 0wodL2sI9Q

2. Family & Military History Research
Enquiries to Firepower Museum – Temporary Suspension

The RA Historical Society does not hold personal, regimental or historical records of the Royal Artillery. These are kept in the RA Museum and Library. With the closure of Firepower in Woolwich and the move into a transition period, the Royal Artillery Museums Board has decided to suspend its ability to answer queries on service records and other Regimental and Battery histories. This is due to the transition of the archives and the inability to access it. We will be working on a solution to this and will keep you updated as we progress. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

The Secretary
Royal Artillery Historical Society
Royal Artillery Institution
Artillery House
Royal Artillery Barracks
Larkhill, Salisbury
Wiltshire SP4 8QT
Email: richard.clayton@twinpines.fsnet.co.uk

3. http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Militar ... nstitution
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