1. Memorial:White House Cemetery, St. Jean-Les-YpresIII. A. 1.
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.125
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour21B GQS

Awards & Titles:

Mentioned in Despatches

Family :

Only son of the late Maj. General and Mrs. Hitchins, of East Lodge, Belmont, Hove, Sussex.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 1/Manchester Regiment 

1st Battalion August 1914 : in Jullundur, India. Part of the 8th (Jullundur) Brigade in 3rd (Lahore) Division. This Division left India on 29 August 1914 as part of the Indian Corps and moved to France, landing at Marseilles on 26 September 1914. It served on the Western Front until leaving France on 10 December 1915, whereupon it moved to Mesopotamia, landing at Basra on 8 January 1916. The Division moved to Egypt in March 1918 and later moved into Palestine.

Action : The Battles of Ypres 1915 (Second Ypres) 

22 April - 25 May 1915. On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans used poison gas at Ypres. This was the first 'official' use of gas and took the Allies by surprise. After initial success capitalising on the confusion and horror of this weapon, a heroic stand, initially by the Canadians and then supported by British and Indian Battalions, held the German advance. However it became clear that the Germans had achieved a tactical advantage and eventually the British were forced to retire to more a more defendable perimeter closer to Ypres. These positions were on the last ridges before Ypres and their loss would have resulted in the loss of the town and possibly open the Channel coast to German occupation with disastrous consequences for the re-supply of the BEF.

Lieutenant, Belmont, Brighton (1892).
Major, Dalhousie, N.India (1912).

Detail :

HENRY WILLIAM ERNEST HITCHINS LIEUTENANT COLONEL, 1ST BATTALION MANCHESTER REGIMENT Henry HITCHENS (shown in the 1921 Masonic Roll of Honour as Hitchens) was the only son of the late Major-General Henry White Hitchins, R.E. and grandson of the late Lieutenant General Benjamin Hitchins. He was born London 31st May, 1865 and educated privately and at the Royal Military College Sandhurst. He was Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant to the 1st Battalion The Manchester Regiment on 25th August 1886. He was promoted Captain May, 1895. In 1906 Major Hitchins proceeded to India, serving with his old battalion the 1st Manchesters. On the outbreak of war in 1914 he was temporarily in command of the 1st Battalion which left India with the Lahore Division at the end of August. On 20th December during the critical fight for Givenchy it was in action for 30 successive hours, and earned the name of The Gallant Manchesters. At the taking of Givenchy for which the battalion earned much praise he was shot in the thigh. Arriving in England on Christmas Eve he was sent to hospital, where he received his Colonel's thanks for his good work. On 1 April 1915 he embarked again for the Front, and was given the Colonecy of his Battalion (being gazetted two days before his death), and was in command at the Second Battle of Ypres. Colonel Hitchins directed operations till on the night of 26 April 1915 he was shot through the heart. He was carried by his men to a ruined farm house, where it was ascertained life was extinct. To quote a brother officer, Capt. Buchan DSO: The Colonel was as brave as a lion. A Military Memorial Service was accorded to Lieut. Col. Hitchins at the depot of his regiment at Ashton-under-Lyne, in the presence of the troops, the mayor and corporation and public bodies. Col. Hitchins was twice mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished service in the field, first on 31 May, 1915, and again on 1 Jan 1916, in which General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien specially named the 1st Battalion The Manchester Regt. as deserving of the highest praise for its great services at the end of April, at Ypres. Col. Hitchins was a zealous Freemason and belonged to several lodges in England and in India.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Hova Ecclesia No. 1466 E.C.Sussex
Joined : Light of the North No. 1308 E.C. Northern India

5th November 1892
3rd December 1892
31st December 1892

Source :

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Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2018-10-08 16:10:08