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Charles Leonard Hitchings

Leonard as a young man





My father was Charles Leonard Hitchings, always known as Len and he was born in Malmesbury on the 11th of April 1903.

Well my father was certainly a very intelligent man He didn’t have a particularly good education. He went to the elementary school and left as so many children did then at about fourteen so beyond that he was more or less self-educated. He was a very caring man he was as most people were then a kind of devout Christian, a sidesman in the church. He certainly was a very good caring husband and father I never hardly ever heard a cross word between him and my mother. I think that, he was certainly very determined in his life to do the best for me and for my mother and he looked after us all very well. I think you wouldn’t say he had a particularly exciting life he was too young to serve in the first world war and wasn’t sufficiently fit to serve in the second world war though he did work for the St Johns ambulance brigade. In the Second World War so he didn’t actually serve in the forces in either of the two wars and he’d had a sort of caring life. He was very interested in politics and was a member of the conservative party from quite a young age and occupied various positions in the local party. 

Leonard and brother Arthur

Leonard and his brother Arthur


Dorothy May Hitchings

Dorothy asa young woman

My mother was Dorothy May Hitchings, Nee Cornish and she was born, I think, on the 14th of January 1899.
She was born at Monkton Farley near Bath

My mother was, seems to have moved to Malmesbury with my grandmother after the death of my Grandfather in about 1921 and she met and married my father and she looked after him. He had a period of illness in the thirties and she had quite clearly a difficult time as a mother in particular the loss of my elder sister who only lived for a year. It hit very hard and for many years I think she found it quite difficult to cope with that loss and it was fortunate I think for her that she was able to have another child relatively late in life. She was a good businessman. She fully supported my father, she looked after, organised the home and everything at home She cared for my Grandmother for very many years who lived to my mother’s old age really and like my father she was a Christian she belonged to the mothers union and generally tried to give support I think to the rest of. She was the only girl amongst several brothers so she did fill a kind of a role as the one sister giving help and support to the other brothers and generally keeping the family together a bit even though they were beginning to be spread around the country. I’m sure she also supported my grandmother after the loss of her elder brother in the first world war.




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Dorothy and father

Dorothy and her father