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Leader Magazine
JULY 1961.
R.S.M. Hitch
The Regimental Sergeant Major, W.O.I. R. Hitch, South Wales Borderers.
The Regiment will lose another of its founder-members at the end of this term, when the Regimental Sergeant Major, W.O.I. R. Hitch, the South Wales Borderers, leaves for Singapore to become R.S.M. at the Far East Training Centre.
Mr. Hitch has seen unbroken service in the Army since he first joined his Regiment in 1934. At the outbreak of war he was serving with the 1st Battalion on the North-West Frontier in India. In 1941 he was an instructor at the Small Arms School at Saugor in India, and in the following year he re-joined the 1st Bn. to fight against Rommel in the Western Desert. He was taken prisoner near Tobruk, but was free again by September, '43.
Several posts at instructional centres followed, at the School of Infantry, Warminster, at the West African Method of Instruction School in Ghana, for members of what was then the Royal West African Frontier Force, and at Mons Officer Cadet School. After another spell with the South Wales Borderers, as R.S.M., Mr. Hitch was posted to this Regiment in January, 1959. He arrived at the very beginning when the camp was closed and deserted. The Regiment comprised the Commandant, Adjutant, Quartermaster, one W.O.II, the Chief Clerk and a handful of soldiers, who all worked and planned in one small office in Morfa Camp.
It says much for his energy and enthusiasm that by 1st April, 1959, this Camp was opened and the W.Os. and Sgts. Mess was functioning. By 12th May, 1959, over 200 Junior Leaders joined the Regiment and were soon to discover that the R.S.M. was more than ready to teach them the necessary drill movements on the square.
The graduation parade at the end of this term will be the fourth for which he has been responsible and will bring the total number of boys who have passed out to over 400. Preparation for these parades has become a matter of routine, but Mr. Hitch recalls the first important parade which was held here under General Sir Otway Herbert. This was held only ten weeks after the Regiment had opened and preparation for it was somewhat hectic.
Mr. Hitch has also found time to devote his energies to Adventure Training and in the past he has been out once a week with groups of Junior Leaders on their expeditions in the hills. He has played as a member of the Regimental Hockey Team and one of his chief relaxations is swimming and surf boarding. The latter sport, originally taken up in West Africa, is now pursued by him most summer evenings on Tonfanau beach.
Mr. Hitch comes from a military family. His grandfather, Frederick Hitch, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in the action at Isandhlwana and the famous defence of Rorke's Drift, and his medals are now one of the most treasured exhibits in the Regimental Museum at Brecon Barracks. His father, another Frederick Hitch, was R.S.M. of the 8th Bn. S.W.B. during the first world war.
Those of us remaining here will long remember Mr. Hitch and we take the opportunity in wishing him and his family every good fortune and success in the future.





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