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Zulu Dawn:Col Crealock. “Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC.

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ADMIN

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1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC. Empty
PostSubject: 1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC.   1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC. EmptyThu Jul 02, 2009 11:05 pm

1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC. Died 13th Jan 1913, Buried St Nicholas Churchyard, Old Chiswick.
His death occurred unexpectedly on January 7, 1913, at his home in Cranbrook Road, Chiswick, following an attack of pneumonia.
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SURGICAL EXPERIENCES OF THE ZULU WAR.

1362 PRIVATE FRED HITCH 2/24TH , was hit at rorkes drift in the right shoulder, the bullet entered near the base of the scapula, having been fired from the hills opposite to which he was fighting. The bullet made its exit over the bicipital groove in the humerus. There was great swelling of the whole shoulder when seen by me on the 26th and also ecchymosis. the tract of the wound was sloughing. poultices and cold water sufficed to allay this, and the case did well.

Article provide by forum member 90th


Last edited by ADMIN on Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:28 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Posts : 2581
Join date : 2009-04-24

1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC. Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC.   1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC. EmptyWed Sep 01, 2010 10:08 pm

"Frederick Hitch was born a shoemaker's son
In Southgate, a hamlet to the north of London
It was eighteen fifty-six on a November day
Born to a large Victorian family as was the way

Fred didn't wish to follow in his father's trade
So as a builders laborer his way was made
But when he was barely twenty years of age
He was finding it tough to earn a decent wage

So to petty crime as extra income he sought
But he soon found himself up before the court
To the judge he pleaded guilty for his crime
His sentence join the army or serve prison time

A Victorian prison was the harshest punishment
So as hobsons choice he chose to join a regiment
Two days later private Frederick Hitch was put
In the 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment of Foot

Very soon they were on their way to South Africa
And they all set sail on the Troopship Himalaya
Reaching Simon's Bay and East London town
They were sent on trains to King William's Town

This was known locally as "White Man's Grave".
The regiment marched from here for several days
To find the Galekas and the rebellion crush
Soon they skirmished in the dense Petrie Brush

There were further battles on that day before
Chief Sandili was defeated in the last, Kaffir War.
For several months stationed at Mount Kempt
There were few things, for a young man to temp

It was a tough way of life to earn a penny a day
But Fred still sent some home to mother anyway
By this time the Zulu nation had reached its peak
No other African tribes had any strength to speak

Only the "red soldiers could ever be a threat
And soon the 24th foot would there orders get
Lord Chelmsford led the army to the other side
To wage a war across the buffalo river wide

Defeat at Isandhlwana and Chelmsfords shame
Then too Rorkes Drift the victorious Zulu's came
At the drift a hospital and Swedish mission stood
To be defended by only a few if they could

Less than one hundred and fifty made the stand
To fight the Zulu impi of more than four thousand
Young private Frederick Hitch was one such man
Who with his comrades stood fast and never ran

Fred was ordered to the roof to act as a lookout
Firing the first three shots at the enemy without
During the fray comrade's fell to left and right
As wave upon wave of warriors came to fight

Private hitch was shot through his shoulder blade
And a comrade helped him as his dressing made
Doing his best to help his soldier brothers
He then began serving ammunition to the others

Then exhaustion washed over him like a flood
And finally he collapsed from loss of blood
He awoke confused finding himself in a stable
With victory won and awaiting the surgeon table

After Durban hospital care neath the southern star,
He was finally sent home aboard the ship Tamar
He was at Netley Hospital on his return to England
His Victoria Cross was given by Victoria's own hand

But yesterdays hero was tomorrows unemployed
A medical boards decision Fred could not avoid
Unfit for duty and discharged from his regiment
With his medal and a pension he had to be content

In July of eighteen eighty one he married Emily
They move to Portchester Square to raise a family
Working at the Imperial Institute as Commissionaire
His V.C. was stolen while his tunic hung on a chair

After twenty years and just as many occupations
Fred with his family growing changed vocations
He invested in a hackney carriage and horse
Then a little later he owned a motor car of course

Fred finally received his replacement Victoria Cross
Three pounds, seven shillings and sixpence the cost
Only the second person ever to receive a duplicate
But the first to be charged a fee even to this date

On January 5th 1913 Fred Hitch died in his sleep
Leaving behind eight children and a wife to weep
At his funeral his coffin on gun carriage borne
With dignity and reverence the people mourn

Thousands came despite the cold and the biting rain
To say goodbye to the hero and remember him again
The gun carriage was flanked by Army outriders
Fred's cab came next manually pulled by taxi drivers

A boy scouts troop and the Chiswick firefighters
And a firing party from the South Wales Borderers
Two thousand cab drivers bringing up the rear
Respects and Tributes to pay from far and near

A memorial was erected to mark Fred's Grave
At Chiswick cemetery befitting a soldier brave
On top of granite block some seven-foot in height
The Union Jack carved with a sun helmet in site

The helmet bears the badge of Hitch's old regiment
Finally in bronze the cross and palm leaf represent
After more than eighty five years of standing sentinel
The magnificent monument fell victim to a criminal

The memorial found vandalized when visitors went
Even the sun helmet stolen that adorned the monument
Also years had left stonework lackluster on the edifice
And the once bright bronze work tainted by verdigris

Thanks to Chiswick Council and the British Legion
The monument restored and fit for rededication
In Nineteen ninety nine on Rorkes Drifts day of glory
The gathered crowd remembers the Fred Hitch story"
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ADMIN

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1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC. Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC.   1362 Pte Frederick Hitch VC. EmptyThu Nov 23, 2017 7:27 pm

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Pte. F. Hitch VC 'B' Coy 2nd Btn    24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment, present at the Defence of Rorke's Drift   -  Memorial VC Plaque (Hounslow)

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Pte. F. Hitch VC 'B' Coy 2nd Btn    24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment, wounded at the Defence of Rorke's Drift   -  Victoria Cross Memorial (Union Jack Club, London)

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Pte. F. Hitch VC 'B' Coy 2nd Btn    24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment, wounded at the Defence of Rorke's Drift (Chiswick)

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Pte. F. Hitch VC 'B' Coy 2nd Btn    24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment, wounded at the Defence of Rorke's Drift   -  Memorial Plaque (Chiswick)

Photos by Tim Needham
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