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The Alex Fitch Room

 

This room is history.

Sir Cecil Fitch at the opening of the Alex Fitch Room, 1 July 1926.

The Alex Fitch Room in the War Memorial Building has a particularly poignant history. 

An Old Harrovian, Alex (Bradbys 1914³) left Harrow in the summer of 1917, to serve his King and Country as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

He served with distinction until his death from battle wounds at Jeancourt on 18 September 1918.

Devastated by the loss of their only son, Sir Cecil and Lady Fitch gifted Harrow the Alex Fitch Room – in memory of their son and as a monument to all those Harrovians who had been killed.

Alex’s portrait hangs above the 600-year-old fireplace and the light above it is never put out.

 

 

the harrovian: commemoration of alex fitch - 18 September 2018

“On Tuesday 18 September, the descendants of Alex Fitch (Bradbys 1914³) returned to the Hill to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. All gathered in the Alex Fitch Room to hear stories about Alex Fitch and the sacrifice he gave. Jamie Ingham Clark (Bradbys 1973¹) recounted the story of Alex Fitch from his birth through his time at Harrow to his premature death in 1918. He read from Alex’s last letter home to his mother a few days before he died, in which Alex tells of the wet weather, mud and Australians: ‘It’s been a long time since I have wrote to you I think. Been busy.’. 

Afterwards, General Nugee gave an account of the horror of the war at the time. He told of the mud and devastation in which Alex would have found himself, highlighting the juxtaposition of Alex’s post-school innocence and the terrors of the war. In writing home, Alex didn’t want to expose his family to the harshness of the conflict. Norman Taralrud-Bay (The Knoll 1962³) then supported the General’s narrative with a dark poem. 

Tace Fox, the School’s Archivist, then gave a historical overview from the time of Alex’s death to the building of The Alex Fitch Room. Father James Power spoke eloquently of the nature of the public-school system in bringing up boys with the development of character in mind.

Alex Saunders (The Knoll), Head of the Harrow Rifle Corps, ended the memorial by describing the state of the CCF at Harrow today. He told of how Alex Fitch’s name still resonates with those considering active service and how he hopes that the CCF will continue to go from strength to strength.

Alex Fitch was a great Old Harrovian who, although killed in the prime of his life, still helps to remind us of the importance of comradery.”

– George Wauchope (The Knoll) from The Harrovian, 29 September 2018 (edited).