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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Frederick Brook Hitch (1877–1957)

Sculptor, born in London, son of the sculptor Nathaniel Hitch. He studied at the Royal Academy (RA) Schools, 1902–07, winning, in 1902, second prizes for a model of a design and a model of a statue or group, and in 1904, a second prize for a set of four models of a figure from the life. He exhibited at the RA from 1906 to 1947. His exhibits up to 1914 are of imaginary and classical subjects. In 1917 he showed a medal commemorating the Victory of Jutland Bank. Thereafter, almost all of his exhibits were portraits, with the exception of a work entitled Grief, shown in 1924, and the ‘premiated competition sketch model for the Canadian National War Memorial for Ottawa’ (RA 1926). He was elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy in 1907 but resigned in 1915. In 1919, Hitch and the architect A.H. Ryan-Tenison were commissioned to design the Memorial to the 8th and 9th Submarine Flotillas in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, Shotley, Suffolk, the success of which led to their being awarded the commission for the National Submarine War Memorial (1922) on Victoria Embankment, London. Hitch also produced two public monuments for Adelaide, Australia: one to Sir Ross Smith (unveiled 1927) and the other to Captain Matthew Flinders (unveiled 1934). In the early 1930s, he carved a considerable amount of work to the designs of the architect W.D. Caroë for St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, including the Rood (1933); a memorial to Bishop John Owen (d. 1926) and the tomb of the Countess of Maidstone (d. 1932). In 1939, Hitch’s statue of the hymn-writer Charles Wesley was unveiled at Wesley’s New Room, in The Horsefair, Bristol, where it joined A.G. Walker’s equestrian figure of John Wesley (1932). Hitch’s statue of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (1951), in Pembroke Gardens, Portsmouth, is supposed, according to its inscription, to be correct ‘to the smallest detail’, including the coat in which Nelson received his fatal wound. Hitch was a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. He lived in Hertford.

Bibliography: D. Buckman, Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; R. Cocke, Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, Liverpool, 2013, pp. 243–44;  J. Darke, The Monument Guide to England and Wales, London, 1991, pp. 74, 76, 101; Imaging the Bible in Wales Database: ‘Frederick Brook Hitch (1877–1957)’; T. Lloyd et al, Pembrokeshire (The Buildings of Wales), New Haven and London, 2004, pp. 407, 408, 414; Mapping Sculpture; D. Merritt and F. Greenacre, with K. Eustace, Public Sculpture of Bristol, Liverpool, 2011, pp. 130–31; Royal Academy of Arts: ‘Frederick Brook Hitch (1897–1957)’; Royal Cambrian Academy: Members – Frederick Brook Hitch’; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 423–24; Who Was Who, 2007.

Philip Ward-Jackson, 2003; revised Terry Cavanagh, May 2024