Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Winckworth Harold Charles

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Lieutenant Colonel Harold Charles Winckworth LDS (Eng 1900) MRCS (Eng) LRCP (Lond)
13 Aug 1878 [Brighton Sussex] – 23 Oct 1947 [Seychelles]


Lieutenant Colonel Harold Charles Winckworth was the son of Dr Charles Trew Winckworth and Alice nee Braby, of Horsham Sussex. He was educated at Epsom College from 1890 to 1894. His brother Ronald (born 1896) followed him at Epson College and studied there from 1896 to 1902. Following an apprenticeship with a dentist in Brighton Lieutenant Colonel H C Winckworth moved to Guy's Hospital London from where he graduated MRCS LRCP. He also obtained the Licentiate in Dental Surgery (LDS).

In 1904, he was commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps following a competitive examination held in London. There were thirty successful candidates. Dr H C Winckworth came joined tenth with 536 marks. The top score of 590 marks was obtained by Dr William Byam MRCS (Eng) LRCP (Lond); the lowest mark was 477.

In December 1908, while serving in Malta, Lieutenant Colonel Harold Charles Winckworth formed part of the medical contingent which sailed on New Year's Eve on HMS Duncan to Catona in Calabria. On 28 December 1908, at around 5 in the morning, Malta was shaken by a severe earth tremor which was followed two and a half hours later by a tidal wave. This rose to a height of 7 feet in the harbours, flooding the road at the end of Pieta Creek. In the evening news reached Malta from Sicily of the calamity that had befallen its northern neighbour.

A Field Ambulance mobilized from Malta to succour the victims of the earthquake which had totally destroyed Messina (pop. 150,000) and Reggio di Calabria (pop. 50,000). About 100,000 inhabitants were estimated to have perished in the rubble and accompanying tsunami. For his services in Sicily he was made an Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy.

During the First World War he served in the Mesopotamia Campaign (1916), where he gained distinction as a surgeon. He was mentioned in despatches. In 1919, he served in the 3rd Afghan Campaign. He was a distinguished naturalist and an authority on marine shells and molluscs.

Lieutenant Colonel Harold Charles Winckworth died in the Seychelles Hospital on 23 October 1947.

Service Record — Harold Charles Winckworth

30 July 1904 Appointed Lieutenant RAMC on probation; posted to Netley. Confirmed in rank in January 1905.

Sept 1905 Change of station from Netley to Malta.

Malta 26 Aug 1905 Arrived from England.

Malta May 1906 On duty at the military hospital Valletta. Acted as an anaesthetist.

Malta 27 Aug 1906 Home Leave.

Malta 16 Nov 1906 Returned from leave.

Malta Jan 1907 On duty at the Military Hospital Valletta.

Malta July 1907 On duty at Cottonera.

Malta 30 Jan 1908 Promoted Captain RAMC. On duty at Cottonera.

Malta 13 July 1908 Home Leave.

Malta 24 Oct 1908 Returned from leave.

28 Dec 1908 Part of a relief party sent to Sicily following an earthquake in Calabria on 28 Dec 1908. He was praised for his efforts and received the decoration of the Crown of Italy for aid rendered to the victims of the Messina disaster.

Malta July 1909 On duty at Cottonera.

Malta 15 Oct 1909 Posted to Cork District, tour expired.

Jan 1910 Change of station from Cork to Limerick.

May 1910 Change of station from Limerick to Queenstown.

June 1910 Change of station from Queenstown to Limerick.

1911 Appointed Specialist in Advanced Operative Surgery.

July 1911 Change of station from Royal Army Medical College to Aldershot.

Nov 1912 Change of station from Aldershot to Woolwich.

Apr 1914 Change of station from Woolwich to Quetta.

28 July 1914 Start of the Great War.
4 Aug 1914 Britain declares war on Germany.

1914–1916 Served in India.

1 July 1915 Promoted Major RAMC.

1916 Served in Mesopotamia.

1916–1921 Served in India.

1919 Served in Afghanistan (Third Afghan War). In August 1920, he was brought to notice for distinguished services during the operations against Afghanistan.

1921–1922 Served with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).

1922–1935 Served in India.

20 Dec 1923 Arrived in England from India. Exchanged with Maj Herbert St Maur Carter.

22 Nov 1927 Promoted Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.

14 Sep 1928 Posted to India.

4 June 1933 Promoted Colonel L/RAMC.

Aug 1935 Retired on retired pay with reserve liability.

13 Aug 1938 Ceased to remain on Regular Army Reserve of Officers having attained the age limit of liability for recall.

28 Aug 1941 Re-employed in rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was posted to India.

Oct 1941 Reverted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel at his own request whilst employed during the present emergency.

1941–1942 Commanding Officer India Base General Hospital Colaba.

1943–1944 Commanding Officer Convalescent Depôt Poona.

May 1946 Reverted to retired pay and restored to the rank of Colonel.


  • Entry No: 394. Drew R, 1968. Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army 1660–1960, Vol II Roll of Officers in the RAMC 1898–1960 London, Wellcome Historical Library.
  • Succession Books Vol XXII, Returns of statement of service of RAMC Officers.
  • Winckworth Harold Charles Conchology Inc Shellers from the past and present.