Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison Winckworth Harold Charles
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.
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.