James Alexander Greer HAMILTON

HAMILTON, James Alexander Greer

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 19 June 1915
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: Hospital Transport Corps
Born: County Tyrone, Ireland, January 1854
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Trinity College, Dublin
Occupation: Doctor and Surgeon
Died: Natural Causes, North Adelaide Sister's Private Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia, 8 October 1925
Cemetery: North Road Cemetery, Nailsworth, South Australia
Memorials: Adelaide Royal Adelaide Hospital WW1 Roll of Honour, Adelaide Treasurer and Chief Secretary Roll of Honour, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, North Adelaide Christ Church Honour Board, The Adelaide Club Great War Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Major, Officer, Hospital Transport Corps
17 Jul 1915: Involvement Major, Hospital Transport Corps, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '24' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Orsova embarkation_ship_number: A67 public_note: ''
17 Jul 1915: Embarked Major, Hospital Transport Corps, HMAT Orsova, Melbourne
Date unknown: Involvement Major, Army Medical Corps (AIF), --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '24' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Kanowna embarkation_ship_number: A61 public_note: ''
Date unknown: Embarked Major, Army Medical Corps (AIF), HMAT Kanowna, Brisbane

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Excerpt from Blood Sweat and Fears: Medical Practitioners and Medical Students of South Australian who Served in World War 1. Courtesy of the Authors

James Alexander Greer Hamilton was born in January 1854 in Castle Caulfield, Co Tyrone, Ireland, the third son of a family of thirteen of Rev Robert Hamilton and his wife Emily, nee Kinley. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin with an arts and medical degree in 1870 followed by a licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. He came to South Australia and was first registered in Adelaide in 1876 and received an appointment at Walloroo Hospital. He went to Kapunda after two years and stayed there for twelve years as a respected general practitioner and a skilful surgeon. Whilst at Kapunda he became a foundation member of the newly formed South Australian branch of the BMA and in 1890 was its President, this influenced his decision to come to Adelaide. He joined the practice of Dr Way and was appointed to the Adelaide Hospital where he became a leading gynaecologist and the Head of Gynaecology at the Adelaide Hospital. He was a member of the Council of Adelaide University from 1897-1911 and at one stage was on the Medical Board of South Australia. His love of horses was shared with his brother Dr T K Hamilton who bred race horses and he bet on them. Both had a long and unsuccessful career with their hobby. It was said that: “He was a man of magnificent physique; his genial character revealed him as a characteristic Irishman. He was a great sportsman and a fine judge of horses, his love of them causing him to associate with the SAJC as honorary surgeon.” Drs T. K. Hamilton, C. W. Hamilton and R. H. Hamilton were his brothers; all practised in Adelaide.

Hamilton was commissioned as an honorary major in 1909 in the AAMC.  He volunteered for the AIF in July 1915 and was posted to the No2 Hospital Ship. He was married, 61 years old, 6ft 1ins, and weighed 14st. He nominated his wife Helen Ketmnis Hamilton of Jeffcott St, North Adelaide as his next of kin.   Hamilton made one voyage only, sailing in the Orsova in July 1915, and joining the Kanowna in Egypt. Hamilton was discharged in December 1915, with his appointment terminated on the 30th November 1915 and transferred to the Home Service staff of 7 AGH with the rank of honorary lieutenant colonel.   Hamilton was issued with the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Troubled by increasing deafness and declining health in 1920, Hamilton retired to a farm worked by his son in Katanning, Western Australia. After the death of his son Robert, in Katanning in 1922 he and his wife returned to South Australia.  In June 1923 he settled in Glenelg where he indulged in his hobby for gardening. James Alexander Greer Hamilton died on the 8th October 1925 at the North Adelaide Sisters’ Private Hospital, aged 72 years. He was survived by his son, Reginald of Perth, one daughter Miss L Hamilton and six grandchildren. He is buried in the North Road Cemetery. 



Photo: ACH Cup Book.

MJA Dec 12th 1925 p 688

Adelaide Advertiser 9th October 1925


Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Dr. James Alexander Greer Hamilton, M.B. (Dublin), L.R.C.S. (Edinburgh), died on October 8 at the North Adelaide Sisters' Private Hospital. He was 72 years of age. Born at Castle Canfield, Ireland, he  was the third son of the Rev. Robert Hamilton. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated in 1876. He came to South Australia in 1879, and built up a large practice in Kapunda, where he endeared himself to the people. and was widely known as a successful surgeon connected with the Kapunda Hospital. In later years he came to Adelaide, and was associated in professional practice  with Dr. E. W. Way. On the death of that gentleman the practice was continued by Dr. Hamilton.
Specialising in the treatment of diseases of women, he was a recognised authority on the subject, and soon after his arrival in Adelaide he was placed in charge of such cases at the Adelaide Hospital.  For many years he was lecturer in gynaecology at the Adelaide University. Taking an active interest in matters connected with the profession, Dr. Hamilton was a prominent member of the British  Medical Association, arid was at one time its president. He wrote many authoritative papers on gynaecology. Widely known and greatly esteemed by members of the profession, and a large circle of  friends, he was a man of magnificent physique. His genial character revealed him as a characteristic Irishman. He was a great sportsman, and a fine judge of horses, his love for them causing him to be associated with the S.A.J.C. as honorary surgeon. Active in military circles for many years in the volunteer days, during the Great War Dr. Hamilton bore his share, and went overseas with the  Medical Corps, with the rank of major. About five years ago, increasing deafness and declining health caused him to relinquish medical practice, and he retired to his farm in Western Australia. On the  death of his wife and son, Robert, he returned to South Australia, and lived at Glenelg, where he indulged his hobby for gardening. For the past two months he had been an inmate of the North  Adelaide Private Hospital. One daughter (Miss L. Hamilton), and one son (Reginald, of Perth) survive. There are six grandchildren. Drs. C. W. and R. H. Hamilton are brothers. The funeral will take place at the North road Cemetery to-morrow at 10.30 a.m.