Henry Fortescue Hitchins

Jun 29, 1890

Born in Falmouth, Cornwall, England


Feb 19, 1915

Attested into the 39th Battalion in Cobourg, Ontario 

Ø      Number 412382

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Ellen Hitchins, mother, 5 Station Parade, Ruislip, Uxbridge, Middlesex, England

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Wesleyan 

It is noted that he remained on the payroll of the 40th Northumberland Regiment Canadian Militia until March 23rd 

The battalion trained in the Belleville, Ontario area


Jun 17, 1915

Embarked the SS Missanabie in Montreal, Quebec


Jul 3, 1915

Disembarked in Plymouth, England and proceeded to Shorncliffe and then on to Lydd to continue training


Sep 24, 1915

The 39th Battalion moved to West Sandling to continue training


Nov 30, 1915

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Dec 1, 1915

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 583 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Dec 13, 1915

After leaving the CBD he joined the 21st Battalion in billets in La Clytte, Belgium and was assigned to “A” Company


Dec 4, 1916

Admitted to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Influenza


Dec 8, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital


May 19, 1917

Appointed to the rank of Acting Lance Corporal without pay


Jun 3, 1917

Granted 10 days leave


Jun 17, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Aug 15, 1917

Appointed to the rank of Acting Lance Sergeant with pay to replace L/Sgt Dean 469211 who had had been wounded


Sep 7, 1917

Promoted to the rank of Lance Sergeant


Feb 11, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Feb 26, 1918

Rejoined the battalion from leave


May 12, 1918

During an enemy artillery barrage in the early morning, L/Sgt Hitchins received wounds to his abdomen and left leg.  He was evacuated and admitted to the No. 6 CFA for first aid.  He was transferred the same day to the No. 3 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) where his left foot was amputated.  He died from his wounds later that day and was buried in the Bagneux British Cemetery in Gezaincourt, France

Below is from the January 1962 issue of the Communiqué, the 21st Battalion post war newsletter

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Ellen Hitchins, 5 Station Parade, Ruislip, Middlesex, England


Henry Hitchins is commemorated on the War Memorial in Brighton, Ontario


Return to Tribute list