John William Hitchcock was a medical missionary in Nigeria with the Free Church of Scotland. Born in England at Bures, St. Mary, Suffolk, Hitchcock studied at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and went to Nigeria in 1911. He first did a tour of relief duty at Itu hospital, then went north on an exploratory journey into Igbo land to locate a site for a mission hospital. He recommended Uburu, the site of a significant regional market; a hospital was built there, and Hitchcock became the first doctor. After serving there from 1912 to 1917, he contracted influenza during the epidemic of 1918 and died at Itu in January 1919.
Geoffrey Johnston, Of God and Maxim Guns: Presbyterianism in Nigeria, 1846-1966 (1988); W. P. Livingstone, De Hitchcock of Uburu (1920); M. Ross and N. Obini, Presbyterian joint Hospital, Uburu, 1913-1988 (1988).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.