Queen appoints Barrowford old boy Honorary Colonel to Catering Regiment

A Barrowford man who started life in the Army as a boy soldier and rose to the rank of Major has now been appointed as an Honorary Colonel to the Catering Regiment by Her Majesty the Queen.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 6:34 pm

The honour was just the latest in a long line of proud moments for Mr Harry Lomas, who has also in the past been bestowed with the MBE and BEM.

Indeed, a remarkable career saw the 64-year-old swap rural East Lancashire for a life in the military at 15 and later work for the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace as senior catering adviser where he was in charge of catering for state and ceremonial banquets for a number of years.

Father-of-three Harry, who started life as a private in the Army Catering Corps, also went on to become general manager of the Excel Events Space during the 2012 London Olympics, as well as executive head chef for the Grove Hotel, London's country retreat.

Harry Lomas MBE BEM
Harry Lomas MBE BEM

Harry retired from the Army after 34 years in 2011 as a Major, Senior Catering Officer at Army Headquarters responsible for operational feeding of troops in Afghanistan and around the world.

Now, head of culinary at Wembley Stadium, Harry spoke to the Burnley Express/Leader Times about his latest honour and how he still tries to get home as often as possible to visit his mum Nora and sisters Suzanne and Maxine who still live in Pendle.

"It has been an interesting career since I left Barrowford to join the Army," he said. "I went on to serve 34 years in the Army and have since enjoyed some interesting roles. I attended St Thomas' Primary, Barrowford Secondary in Rushton Street and later Primet High in Colne.

"Under normal circumstances I still try and get back a few times a year to visit my mum, but obviously this last year has been difficult. My appointment as Honorary Colonel was a proud moment as it came directly from Her Majesty the Queen

Harry Lomas MBE BEM

"I worked at Buckingham Palace for several years which was a huge honour. Her Majesty was a very good boss, a bit like your mum. She was very thoughtful, would always pass the time of day and had an eye for detail."

After the Olympics finished Harry took on another challenging role as executive head chef at The Grove in Chandler’s Cross managing a team of 90 chefs and running the Grove Chef academy bringing on the next generation of chefs.

Harry is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Freeman of the City of London, an active member of the Craft Guild of Chefs and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks. He is a lead judge on the culinary competition circuit with Hospitality and Hotelympia events enabling him to train his team to take part in the prestigious events.