Thomas Edward HAMILTON

Poppy

HAMILTON, Thomas Edward

Service Number: 1926
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 45th Infantry Battalion
Born: Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia, 1894
Home Town: Manildra, Cabonne, New South Wales
Schooling: Meranburn State School
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Died of wounds, France, 23 November 1916
Cemetery: Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban
(Row H, Grave NO. 41)
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

22 Apr 1916: Involvement Private, SN 1926, 45th Infantry Battalion
22 Apr 1916: Embarked Private, SN 1926, 45th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Warilda, Sydney

Help us honour Thomas Edward Hamilton's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Father

Able Seaman John Hamilton, was one of only six Australians who died during the Boxer Rebellion. He was serving with the NSW Marine Light Infantry when he was killed at Tung Chao in China on the 6th November 1900. He was the first sailor to die in an Australian expeditionary force overseas.

Brother

1750 Private John Hamilton 3rd Battalion AIF killed in action 10 July 1915, age 24.

Thomas Edward Hamilton 45th Battalion AIF left Australia in May 1916, and was with the 45th Battalion when they moved into the trenches at Goudecourt in November 1916. The winter of 1916 was one of the coldest ever recorded in Europe, the trenches were very wet and muddy with only a few duck-boarded sections and the conditions were so bad that every 48 hours the two support Companies had to relieve the two forward Companies. The troops suffered indescribable discomforts and hardships from the rain, mud, frost and snow. On the 22nd November Hamilton was hit by a piece of artillery shrapnel which fractured the base of his skull and he died in a dressing station the next day. Thomas Hamilton is buried in the Bernafay Wood British Cemetery. Thomas was only 21 years old when he died and had stated on his attestation form that his father was dead, and his mother’s whereabouts was unknown. As a consequence he had to seek the consent of his guardian Herbert Williams of Meranburn NSW in order to enlist. He also left his will in favour of Mr. Williams.

Another brother 3988 Private James Joseph Hamilton 18th Battalion AIF had trouble being accepted into the AIF as he was only 5 feet and two inches in height, but successfully enlisted, age 19 years and 4 months, with the consent of Mr. Williams. James transferred to the Cyclist Corps AIF in France and survived a long war, married an English girl in London in October 1917 and did not return to Australia until February 1920.

A fourth son, 774 Private William Hamilton enlisted with the 7th Light Horse Regiment in early 1915 and served on Gallipoli with the regiment from late May 1915.  The 7th Light Horse became responsible for a sector on the far right of the ANZAC line and William Hamilton was there until evacuated with a septic throat in September 1915. Not suited to military discipline, he spent much of the war in detention for various misdemeanors, and in between stints in France with the 56th Battalion, he also married in England. He did not return to Australia but was discharged in England during October 1919.

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