Person    | Male  Born 15/11/1906  Died 19/3/1941

Oswald Hitchen

Categories: Emergency Services

War dead non-military, WW2 i

Commemorated on a memorial as being a civilian who was killed in WW2. Includes mercantile marines and emergency services personnel.

Oswald Hitchen

Oswald Hitchen was born on 15 November 1906 in Todmorden, Yorkshire, a son of Elias Hitchen (1874-1949) and Betsy Hitchen née Halstead (1875-1971). His birth was registered in the 4th quarter of 1906 in the Todmorden registration district, Yorkshire.

When his father completed his 1911 census return form he was shown as at school, living in a nine roomed property at 1 Sandbed Villas, Charlestown, Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, with his parents and three siblings: Edwy Hitchen (1902-1976); Cedric Hitchen (1905-1975) and Bernice Hitchen (1907-1985). His father described himself as a fustian merchant.

Electoral registers confirm that he was still listed at 1 Sandbed Villas from 1929 to 1935. In the 1939 England and Wales Register he is shown as a single man and an analytical chemist living at 16 Dulverton Road, Leicester, the home of Edward W. and Ethel H. Penny. 

He died, aged 34 years, as a result of enemy action whilst working in the Royal Victoria Yard, on 19 March 1941. It was announced in the London Gazette dated 30 May 1941 that as a Temporary Assistant Mechanical Training Officer, Admiralty Outstation, he had been posthumously commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence. Probate records show that administration of his estate was granted to his father on 14 July 1941 and that his effects totalled £406-18s-9d.

He is shown as Hitchen O on the Royal Victoria Yard war memorial located at The Colonnade, Grove Street, London, SE8, as O. Hitchen on the Victoria Cross Holders and local WW2 Civilian Heroes plaque inside Lewisham Shopping Centre, Molesworth Street, London, SE13 7HB, as Hitchen, Oswald on the Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour 1939-1945 that is kept just outside the entrance to St George's Chapel at the west end of Westminster Abbey and as Oswald Hitchen in the Civil Defence section of the Todmorden War Memorial in Centre Vale Park, Burnley Road, Todmorden, OL14 7LG. He is also commemorated on the Lewisham War Memorials website that tells the story of what happened on the night of his death and on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.

Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Oswald Hitchen

Commemorated ati

Royal Victoria Yard war memorial

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