Robert Ainslie Hamilton 27 March 1918

Robert Ainslie Hamilton was the eldest son of Dr RJ Hamilton, a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and Mrs Hamilton of Liverpool, where he was born on 13th August 1894. He resided in School House from 1909-12, but his school career rarely made it to the pages of the Laxtonian magazine. All that can be gleaned is that he won a prize for French and played for a not very successful senior School House rugby team.

After Oundle, he gained a commission in the King’s Own Light Infantry and went out to France in November 1915. The Army records show that he was thought to have been killed in the early hours of 28th March 1918, aged 23. At this time, the Germans had just launched their great Spring Offensive on the Somme and were making substantial gains.

Robert Hamilton’s Commanding Officer later wrote to his grieving parents. “The enemy had filtered through a weak part of our line, and your son took a platoon out to bomb them back. In this he was successful, but was killed by an enemy machine-gun…he was always cheerful and set a fine example to all ranks.”

His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial on the Somme, close to where he fell.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow