Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


The King's Lancashire Convalescent Centre

A year after the end of the War the Kings Lancashire Military Convalescent Hospital at Squires Gate was converted into a convalescent centre to help soldiers return to civilian life. Ex-servicemen were taught trades.

The King's Lancashire Convalescent Centre opened 25 November 1919 and was officially opened 20 February 1920.

Lancashire Evening Post, Friday 27 February 1920


Squire's Gate Centre Opened.

The King's Lancashire Convalescent Centre, at Squire's Gate, for the treatment and training of disabled soldiers was formally opened on Friday by the Minister of Pensions, Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bart., in the presence of a large and representative gathering of ladies and gentlemen, who assembled in the Gymnasium.

Prior to the opening ceremony the Minister of Pensions, accompanied by Mr. Geo. Crystal, C.B., permanent secretary to the Ministry of Pensions; Mr. Fred Wilkinson, Director of Education, Bolton, and chief technical adviser to the Ministry of Pensions; Dr. Wilson, technical adviser to the Ministry of Pensions; Major Stoddart Walker, of the Ministry of Pensions; Colonel Rostock; Mr. Mellor, of St. Annes, Chairman of the Central Fund; and a number of other gentlemen, made a tour of inspection of the various departments, Colonel Shea, the Medical Superintendent of the Centre, and Mr. Frank Thornley, B.A., the Chief Training Officer, escorting the company and explaining the respective trades in which the men were seen at work.

Colonel F. H. Shea presided over the meeting in the Gymnasium, and there was a strong platform of representative gentlemen connected with the Ministry of Pensions, Council of the Central Fund, as well as Mr. A. L. Parkinson, M.P., the Mayor of Blackpool (Coun. E. H. Howe), the Town Clerk (Mr. D. L. Harbottle), etc.

 The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) visited the Centre during his tour of Lancashire in 1921.

"There are 750 men at present in the camp, being trained in various avocations, and the Prince shook hands with them all as they passed in single file."

Lancashire Evening Post - Friday 08 July 1921


Captain Howard Redmayne Harker M.C.

Howard Redmayne Harker (1891-1919).Howard Redmayne Harker (1891-1919), was born in Prestwich, Manchester, the son of Lancashire architect John Dent Harker. He was educated at Lawrence House School, St.Annes-on-Sea, Rossall School, Fleetwood and Manchester University. 

He joined the Royal Flying Corps and passed his Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate at Birmingham in May 1916. He went on to become a First World War flying ace credited with five aerial victories and was awarded the Military Cross.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 9 January 1918

2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Howard Redmayne Harker, R.F.C., Spec. Res.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. For nearly, a year he has carried out extremely valuable work in taking aeroplane photographs and leading bombing raids far behind the enemy lines, often in the face of great opposition and trying weather conditions.

On a recent occasion while returning from a successful bombing raid his formation was attacked by more than twice its number, but by his fine offensive spirit and skilful leadership, the enemy were dispersed. He has consistently set a splendid example to his brother officers.

Edinburgh Gazette, 10th January 1918

He died of influenza at Tidworth Barracks Hospital in February 1919. The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than all the fighting in World War One.

Grave of Howard Redmayne Harker, Manchester