Second World War

King’s Own Malta Regiment

A reproduction cap badge of the King’s Own Malta Regiment

As a member of the British Empire, defence was provided along the lines of the British Army, with the establishment of the King’s Own Malta Regiment as the Infantry Battalion. This Regiment had Infantry Battalions organised as inter-war British Infantry Battalion, with a Machine Gun Platoon of four guns, each with six-man sub-sections.

Royal Malta Artillery

The Royal Malta Artillery also had Vickers machine guns included within their war establishments. In 1940, the Harbour Fire Command, 1st Heavy Regiment, Royal Malta Artillery, had 34 Vickers machine gunners on their establishment and these were to be shared with the Outer Fire Command, 4th Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery, as required. Full transcripts of both units are available as PDF downloads:

By 1942, there were additional units listed that showed the inclusion of the Vickers machine gun, including the 1st Coast Regiment, Royal Malta Artillery, with two .5-inch Vickers machine guns but it is not clear what role those were or which particular mark.

British units serving in Malta

The Garrison was supplemented during the Second World War by British Regiments, including the 1st Bn, Cheshire Regiment for a significant period of time.

Whilst serving in Malta, units camouflaged their equipment with a unique design that matched the environment they were serving in by replicating the stone patterns of the local buildings and walls. This is shown on the photograph of a crew cleaning the Mk V .5-inch Vickers of their Mk VI Light Tank during an exercise in May 1942.

The crew work on the Vickers gun of a Light Tank Mk VI during an exercise in the Maltese countryside, 24 May 1942.


  • Bevis, 2005b
  • Cook, H E (1942), GM 835, London: Imperial War Museum.
  • The National Archives, WO 24/938, War Establishments 1940 July to December.
  • The National Archives, WO 24/944, War Establishments 1942 July to September.