Personal info

  • Name: John Brown HAMILTON
  • D.O.B: 26th Aug, 1896
  • D.O.A: 26th Sep, 1917
  • D.O.D: 18th Jul, 1973
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Acting Lance Corporal, 1/9th Battalion The Highland Light Infantry, 100th Brigade, 33rd Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

North of Gheluvelt, Belgium 25-26 September 1917

25-26 September 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 25 September 1917, 33rd Division was north of Gheluvelt and south of the Reutelbeek to provide support for a further assault planned for the following day. However, at 5.15am the Germans commenced a ferocious counter-attack. Though the British were forced back, they managed to hold the line. Actions such as those of Acting Lance Corporal J B Hamilton, 1/9th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, in supplying ammunition to the Front Line heedless of his own danger, played an important part in enabling the British to maintain their position.


 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty, during the enemy’s attack on the line held by our brigades. The greatest difficulty was experienced in keeping the front and support lines supplied with small-arm ammunition owing to the intense and continuous belt of artillery fire placed systematically by the enemy between our various lines and battalion headquarters. It was of vital importance for the successful maintenance of the defence of the position that ammunition should be got forward. At a time when this ammunition supply had reached a seriously low ebb, L./Cpl. Hamilton on several occasions, on his own initiative, carried bandoliers of ammunition through the enemy’s belts of fire to the front and support line, and then, passing along these lines in full view of the enemy’s snipers and machine guns - who were lying out in front of our line at close range - distributed the ammunition to the men. In so doing he not only ensured the steady continuance of the defence by rifle fire, but by his splendid example of fearlessness and devotion to duty inspired all who saw him with fresh confidence and renewed their determination to hold on at all costs. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 23 November 1917. 26 November 1917, Numb. 30400, p. 12330

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