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In Memoriam
  Robert Frederick Hitch  
South Wales Borderers
Died 22nd. November 2002.
It is with regret that I report the death of Major R.F. (Bob) Hitch, South Wales Borderers. Major Hitch was the first Permanent Staff Regimental Sergeant Major at the All Arms Junior Leaders Regiment, Tonfanau.
Robert Frederick Hitch (the grandson of Pte. Frederick Hitch VC of Rourkes Drift) was born on the 16th. July 1916 and followed his grandfather and father into the South Wales Borderers on 6th. November 1934. Bob Hitch served on the North West Frontier and Malaya and after being appointed WO1 in 1958 was posted as the R.S.M. at A.A.J.L.R. In 1963, he was Commisioned and served in Hong Kong and the Junior Tradesman's Regiment Troon, before retiring on 8th. October 1970 after 28 years and 201 days service.
He was for an R.S.M., a kindly man who acted more like a father figure that a typical R.S.M. He died on the 22nd. November 2002 and will be sadly missed.
Terry Doyle

I would like to add a few words in remembrance to Major F. Hitch. Before he left AAJLR he came onto the main square where I was going through the actions of acting J/RSM for that time, practising a pass-off parade. He motioned to me to hold everything for a moment. He wanted to say goodby to all the lads. He could not resist asking me “Now do you like drill?” Yes sir was my answer.
Many years later I was requested by my boss to go meet him at the 1 RRW Officers mess. I got a Rover and went down to 1RRW. I went to the side entrance and was met by one of the mess staff. I introduced myself and explained that I had come to meet Major Nuttal as we had arranged. He took my headdress and asked me to wait inside. A few moments later I heard the familiar voice of my old RSM, but as I looked to see where the voice came from I could see Major Hitch.
As he came nearer with a beam on his face he put his hand out and said “Now do you still like drill?” I could have broke down in tears but just burst out laughing and warmly shook his hand. I told him that I knew he was going to say that.
My boss had been waiting in the wings and appeared laughing. He had arranged it for me to see my old RSM again before he returned to the U.K. after being there to celebrate “Rourkes Drift”. I had explained to my boss about my 'Boys Service' and how RSM Hitch had addressed all of us who had just passed-out of 'R' Company. He had asked the question “Who does not like drill?” Like a silly sod I was the only one to come to attention and stick my left hand out and shout “Sir”. I was immediately given the order to get my rifle above my head and double round the square before falling back in.
When I got back into file, the RSM said ”Well at least I know that I’ve got one honest man amongst you all." That is something that I am proud to take to my grave.
God bless him. What a gentleman he was.
John M. Cliff.

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