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DateOriginal Topic
8th February 2004Chiswick
By Graham Mason
It was a great deal of sadness that the events of Jan 25th went by so quick , a large number of poeple ( some say 300+ ) turned out to be part of the BLUE PLAQUE ceremony for FRED HITCH VC . Amongst the gathering was Mr ALAN CRITCHLEY of this site , Mr D MASON who had recovered from a severe bout of slight indigestion , Mr MASON from KENT and Mr WILLIAM HITCH who introduced themselves and had interesting ponts to discuss , further contact is now under way . i was pleased to see a new to me relative of PTE HOOK VC with her husband and later on the family of Drummer HAYES got in touch . Despite an overturned tanker enroute the weather Gods relented and smiled upon . Rumour control stated yet again a mischief maker was afoot but this person ( s ) did not mar the gathering but sadly cast a stain on the memory of a great and brave man .

Much good came of Jan 25th and it was the place to be . I know FRED would not have wanted all that attention but seeing that BLUEP PLAQUE in place is reward enough and thank you to ALL the HITCH family and i hope to stay with you again one day and the engraved tankard was and will always be a reminder of a great day , thanks to all that turned out .
9th February 2004Mark Taylor

As one of the many press people present at
the Blue Plaque Ceremony at Chiswick and
having covered many of these type of events.
I must say how moved I was by it all.

It looked to me that all persons present were
moved by what they were seeing unfold.
The lads in uniform really made an even better
occasion for us all and how polite and they
were and so approachable not like some groups in this line I have met in the past.

Well done Mr Mason and all present on the day you all did Private Fred Hitch V C proud.

Mark Taylor
9th February 2004Graham Mason
Dear Mr Taylor ,
Many thanks for you very kind words and apologies for the incorrect spelling and grammar of my somewhat rushed message earlier . All over the world celebrations were held to commerate those brave souls and in some quarters Isandlwana is the more important element of Jan 22 1879 . I choose to follow the exploits in the main of the events at " Kwajimu " and it has been a rich source of research for me . The men in uniform were of the 1879 Group and each one was a TRUE ambassador on that day . So many people worked hard to bring all elements together and i am proud to have played a role in the events of Jan 25th 2004 , my thanks to ENGLISH HERITAGE for the plaque and to all the new contacts made and to FRED HITCH VC for his courage ( and all the others ) to face a brave and determined foe . One day i will get out to Rorkes Drift myself and if anyone wants to be part of the ever expanding 1879 GROUP i am sure that you will be welcome , thanks FRED , THANKS . Graham Mason Archivist 1879 Group .
15th February 2004Joseph
I will say that the 1879 group are a fine lot. I am a member. 377 "Jones" as it were!
15th February 2004Mark Taylor.

It was an honour to have been present on the day in question and a well deserving award for Private Fred Hitch V C. Well done once again to all involved.