Edgar Hitchings was born in Chelsea on 6 November 1887 to Owen Orchard Hitchings and Eliza or Elizabeth Jane née Peglar. By 1901, his father was working as a timber porter at the docks, presumably near Paddington where the family were living, although his eldest siblings had spent their early childhood in Frampton. Edgar was the cousin of Charles Henry, Ashley Victor, Frederick Robert William John and Percival Leonard Hitchings.
Although his service record is incomplete, we know that Edgar was a porter when he enlisted into the 7th (The Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards on 27 September 1909, and was based at Preston Barracks near Brighton when the census was taken in 1911. By 1914 his regiment was stationed in India as part of the 9th (Secunderabad) Cavalry Brigade, along with two Indian cavalry regiments (20th Deccan Horse and 34th Poona Horse).
At the outbreak of war his brigade was moved to France, arriving at Marseilles on 13 October to form part of the 1st Indian Cavalry Division. They were immediately involved in the battles of La Bassée, Armentières and Givenchy, and although often held in reserve in case of a breakthrough, they also fought in 1916 in the Somme campaign, notably at Bazentin (14-17 July) where Edgar was wounded. This was reported in the Western Daily Press on 10 August, when his residence was given as Frampton (his father may have come back to live in the village around this time). Edgar does not appear to have returned to front line duties. On 14 December 1918 he was demobilised and transferred to Reserve Service with the Royal Tank Corps from which he was discharged on 26 September 1921 having completed his 12-year engagement with the colours and on reserve. His conduct was recorded as 'Very Good'. Edgar was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, but his service is not remembered on the plaque in the village hall.
Edgar became blind after the war and when he married Florence Annie Lewis on 31 October 1921 at St Michael and All Angels, Eastington, he signed his name with a mark, giving his occupation as commercial traveller. The couple settled in Cheltenham where, from 1923, Edgar found employment at the Workshop for the Blind. The death of Florence was registered in the first quarter of 1932, and a year or so later Edgar married Mabel E.Yates. He made the news in the autumn of 1936 when he and three of his Cheltenham workshop colleagues marched with other West Country men to London. Once in the capital, the timing of their demonstration, which was directed to bring pressure on the government to standardise welfare and employment for blind people across the country, coincided with the famous Jarrow march, itself part of a general rally against unemployment. From a personal point of view, the day of the protest did not go to plan. With badly blistered feet he was taken to hospital, while one of his sisters, whom he had not met for twenty years, searched in vain for him among the marchers. Eventually she passed a note to the organisers asking for an announcement to be made and they were reunited at the hospital. Edgar Hitchings died in Delancey Fever Hospital, Cheltenham, on 16 June 1939.