Early Life In Ireland
Rex Ingram was born Reginald Ingram Montgomery Hitchcock at 58 Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, in Dublin. He was a rectory child, moving from parish to parish as his father rose up the ranks of the Church of Ireland. Finally they settled in Kinnitty in Co. Offaly, a quiet village in the Irish midlands. There the Rev Hitchock was free to pursue his two favourite occupations – writing and boxing. The books alternate between theological treatises and more robust tales of ancient Celtic warriors. The boxing was a little more startling, but parishioners were to grow used to the sight of this tall well-built man jogging along the footpath at Kinnitty on his way to the post office. He rigged up a punch bag in the rectory coach house and there he passed his skills on to his sons, Reginald and the younger Francis Clere Hitchcock. In 1904, Rex (or Reggie, as his family knew him) went to St Columba’s College, an elite boys’ school in the Dublin foothills. But despite his athleticism, Rex was a loner and a rebel; as one of his school friends, R. D. Greer, recollected, ‘A rebel at heart he had a discomforting disdain for authority, and escapades brought him into close conflict with those responsible for discipline. But Rex was never at a loss, and actually on one occasion challenged a master “to lay down his master’s robes and come out behind the ‘gym’ and see who is the better man.” Rex’s beloved mother Kathleen died when he was just fifteen. Later Rex was to honour her by adopting her name. Possibly as a consequence of his failure to gain a place at Trinity College Dublin, or maybe because of his intrinsic restlessness, and the lack of opportunity in a small country, Rex left Ireland in 1911, never to return.