by Gillian Clegg, Journal 13, 2004
English Heritage are putting up two new blue plaques in Chiswick. The plaque on 62 Cranbrook Road commemorates Frederick Hitch (1856— 1913), the hero of Rorke’s Drift. Hitch was one of a little party of men defending a small mission hospital and supply depot known as Rorke’s Drift during the Zulu War in South Africa. In January 1879 the outnumbered British managed to defend the hospital against an attack by a large Zulu force. Hitch was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism. Invalided out of the army, Hitch became a taxi driver. He lodged with his friend Henry Wylie at 62 Cranbrook Road from about 1911 until his death.
The second plaque is on 19 Grove Park Gardens, the house known as Belfairs, and commemorates Jack Beresford (1899-1977) who lived there between 1903 and 1940. Beresford was the only rower before Steve Redgrave, to win five consecutive Olympic medals. He won silver in the single skulls in 1920, gold in the single skulls in 1924, silver in the eights in 1928, gold in the coxless fours in 1932 and gold again in the double skulls in 1936.