Tales from History

Above: Col Harding addresses members and the Mayor of Southend at the annual dinner

Seventy members and their guests attended the annual dinner held at Essex County Bowls Club in November. Our guest speaker was Colonel Michael Harding, a Windsor Knight who explained how the order was formed by King Edward 111 following the Battle of Crecy in 1346.

They were knights who had raised troops to fight for the king but were taken prisoner by the French who demanded heavy ransoms in return for their release which often meant the men had to sell their estates to raise the money. The king gave 26 poor knights accommodation at Windsor Castle.

Their duties involve attending services in St George's Chapel to represent knights of the Order of the Garter.

The current knights are retired Army officers dependent on their Army Pensions living in the Castle and taking part  in ceremonial duties including the Garter Ceremony.

Colonel Harding and his wife Annie were Endeavour's guests at Windsor last July when the Dunkirk Little Ships were allowed to moor on the Royal Park prior to meeting the Duke of Edinburgh.

During the evening members were able to see the new projector and screen which have been in use at talks around the county.

Also at the dinner were our President, Sir David Amess, the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Fay Evans and Alfred Smith, our Dunkirk veteran.

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