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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

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Friday, 29 August 2008
50 Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Hamilton, MM, 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, "C" Squadron.
Topic: AIF - 1B - 1 LHR

50  Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Hamilton, MM, 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, "C" Squadron.

50 Lance Corporal Robert Hamilton

Robert HAMILTON brief military biographical details from The AIF Project:

Regimental number :  50
Religion:    Presbyterian
Occupation:    Labourer
Address:    Urana, New South Wales
Marital status:    Single
Age at embarkation:    21
Next of kin:    Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Enlistment date:    10 September 1914
Rank on enlistment:    Private
Unit name:    1st Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number:    10/6/1
Embarkation details:    Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A16 Star Of Victoria on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal Roll:    Regimental Quartermaster Sergaent
Unit from Nominal Roll:    1st Light Horse Regiment
Recommendations (Medals and Awards): Military Medal
Recommendation date: 4 November 1917
Fate:    Discharged 15 March 1919
Medals:    Military Medal, 14/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal

Of course, there is a bigger story behind this man than the bare facts reveal. 

Born at Kittymuir Farm, Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, Scotland on the 30 December 1892, Hamilton grew up tough and resilient.

At the tender age of 16, in 1909, he sailed for New Zealand to find work. A few years later, in 1912, he enlisted as a volunteer in the New Zealand Territorial formation, the Otago Mounted Rifles based around the Dunedin region. The Otago Mounted Rifles was composed of the following regional squadrons: the Southland Mounted Rifles, the Otago Hussars, and the North Otago Mounted Rifles. Since Hamilton's bank account was located at Invercargill, it is reasonable to assume that was the region and town close to where he worked and lived. If that is so, then it is highly likely the Territorial squadron Hamilton served with was the 7th (Southland) Squadron, Otago Mounted Rifles

Hamilton's first camp began in July 1912. A photographer was there to take a picture of this event.


Hamilton standing guard outside the Guard Tent on his first bivouac with the Otago Mounted Rifles.


Under the tent, various faces of men can be seen. These men include: Sergeant Paterson, Tpr Kerse, Tpr Turnbull, Tpr Edge, Tpr Watt, Cpl France, Buglar Paterson, and Cpl Kerse.

By 1914 Hamilton was working at Urana, NSW but was still a registered member of the Otago Mounted Rifles. When the Great War began, he was one of the very first men to put his name down to serve with the 1st Light Horse Regiment, then being formed and trained at Rosebery Park, Sydney. Hamilton was allocated the regimental number  "50" on 28 August 1914 and allotted to the Machine Gun Section. However something happened which immpeded his enrolment to the regiment. Hamilton was obviously a man the officers wanted so his position was held open for him in the regiment although his place in the Machine Gun Section was taken by someone else. His problems seem to have been resolved by 11 October and duly allotted to the last squadron to be formed - "C" Squadron.


Routine Order No. 48, 14 October 1914 appointing Hamilton to "C" Squadron


After serving time in Egypt, the Light Horse volunteered to go to Gallipoli and fight as dismounted infantry. The 1st LHR embarked from Alexandria with 25 officers and 447 other ranks,  9 May 1915 on the HMAT Devonha for Gallipoli. The Regiment landed at 6.00am, 12 May 1915, some 200m south of Fisherman’s Hut, ANZAC Cove. Their place at Gallipoli involved work around Pope’s Hill where they remained for most of the campaign.  The Regiment was evacuated from Gallipoli by 21 December1915 and sailed for Egypt.


Hamilton taking a snooze under his horse just before going into action.


Hamilton followed his regiment throughout the Sinai and Palestine campaigns. After the opening of the Third Battle of Gaza with the taking of Beersheba, the next objective was Tel el Khuweilfeh where a battle ensued for almost the next week. It was a difficult and tough fight whereby the attacking units were attempting to dislodge Ottoman forces which were well entrenched around hill tops. The hills themselves provided little cover for the attacking force and thus winning this battle was accompanied by outstanding bravery and sacrifice. It was here that Hamilton was awarded a Military Medal for bravery. The citation reads:

On 3rd November 1917 at Tel el Khuweilfeh this NCO took forward a Hotchkiss gun detachment to a forward flank position and considerably helped to keep down the enemy’s fire, and carried in a wounded man under very heavy fire. His coolness and bravery set a fine example to his men all day. Recommended by Lt Col Granville 

On 12 November 1917 Hamilton was wounded in the neck at Jisr Esdud, a place north of Gaza. The wound was not serious enough to require evacuation so Hamilton remained on duty.

At the end of the war, Hamilton took UK leave and travelled to South Hampton on the HT Bermudian where he arrived 19 December 1918. Hamilton returned to Scotland and his parents in time for his 26th birthday, a five year veteran and a war hero. One can only imagine the jubilation in the Hamilton household in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire that Christmas and New Year. The next year, Hamilton applied for his discharge in the UK which was granted on 15 March 1919.


Hamilton displaying his passion for fishing.


He returned home to Stonehouse and married Annie Naismith (grandaughter of Robert Naismith author of Stonehouse Historical and Traditional) of Cross View. The couple established their family home at Hamilton Ferme at the Cross. They brought eight children into the world, they being Minnie, Robert, James, William, Ian, Douglas, Evelyn and Norman.
Hamilton, in partnership with his brother in law, James Watson of Thorndale, Manse Road, set up a bus company,  The Admiral. They ran Lancier’s from Strathaven to Cathedral Street in Glasgow. Eventually they gave up the service due to the evil practice by competitors of running buses a few minutes before their scheduled service. This practice still occurs to this very day.

After the bus business, Hamilton took over High lanrig Farm for a year. With the completion of the Council houses built in Newfield Road, Hamilton moved his family into 4 Newfield Road, December 1927.   He bred Greyhounds, and had kennels down at the oilworks under the viaduct. His best dog was Avonhope, a prolific winner and nick named "The rent payer". In pursuit of his passion Hamilton took on work with Sam Park of  Lesmahagow and his business partner George Reid of Larkhall. His role was as the Racing Manager and Handicapper at Larkhall Greyhound Stadium. He held this job from 1936 until 1964 when it closed.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Hamilton was appointed Section Commander of the Local Defence Force, No 5 Coy,  No 22 Platoon  Section 1.
The platoon members names taken from his diary 26 August 1940 include  David Brown,  Alexander Bambrick,  James Cryan,  William C S Whitelaw,  Henry McFarlane,  David Finnie,  George Harrison,  Archibald Miller,  David Miller,  James Miller, Walter Mitchell,  Henry Speirs,  Andrew McLellan,   Walter Lang,  Thomas Moffat  Hugh Boyle,  John Whitelaw, and George Spence.

Hamilton’s four eldest enlisted in the armed forces

L/Cpl W/ 217659 Minnie Hamilton, 11 September 1942  to  9 March 1946
Auxiliary Territorial Service; Attached   606 (Mixed) Heavy Anti Aircraft Bty   Royal Artillery; Plotter operator on gun sites, South Coast of England and Newhaven.

Cpl Robert Hamilton 1942  to 1947, Royal Artillery served  in  India  and  Burma

WO2 James Hamilton 1942 to 1947; 1 year Royal Artillery, 4 years Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, served in India

Lt Ian Hamilton 1944 to 1948; 1st Bn Seaforth Highlanders, served in India, Java and Malaya.                                                            

Hamilton retired in 1964, kept bee’s, went fishing and carried out maintenance on the vehicles of his sons fruit & veg business and did some handicapping for Shawfield Stadium. Robert Hamilton died in 1970.


Acknowledgement: Many thanks to the kind assistance of William Mackie, the grandson of Robert Hamilton who kindly provided the photographs and biographical details for this entry. Also thanks to Phil for providing the information regarding the Otago Mounted Rifles.


Further Reading:

1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF, History 

1st Australian Light Horse Brigade

Otago Mounted Rifles, NZMRB, History

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle


Citation: 50  Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Hamilton, MM, 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, "C" Squadron.

Posted by Project Leader at 10:57 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 January 2009 11:06 AM EAST
22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Order 557, 22 January 1918
Topic: AIF - Fr - 22 Corps

Apart from the War Diary which presents a reflected view of Regimental history, one of the best sources of understanding the immediate challenges facing a regiment is to be found in the Routine Orders. They are a wealth of detail.

In this case, the  22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Orders for 1918 have been highlighted to illustrate the tempo of this formation from the beginning of the year towards the end of the war. The aim is to illustrate the tumultuous year that followed ending in the defeat of Germany. Too little is known of the role regarding the Light Horse in the drama on the Western Front. This should address some shortfalls of information.

 22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Order 557, 22 January 1918

22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Order 557, 22 January 1918, p. 1.

[Click on page for a larger print version.] 

Citation: 22nd Corps Cavalry Routine Order 557, 22 January 1918

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 31 August 2008 4:27 PM EADT
Memorandum on proposed Reconnaissance to Bir el Abd, 5 May 1916, Page 1
Topic: AIF - DMC - Anzac MD

Memorandum on proposed Reconnaissance to Bir el Abd, 5 May 1916, Page 1


Memorandum on proposed Reconnaissance to Bir el Abd, 5 May 1916, Page 1
[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 31 August 2008 2:08 PM EADT
Colonel Husnu, Yildirim, Page 53
Topic: Tk - Bks - Yildirim

Another entry from the book written by Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, called Yildirim. Every day, one page of the book will be posted. This is Page 53.

Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 53.
[Turkish edition: Genelkurmay Basim Evi, Ankara 2002, p. 39]

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Citation: Colonel Hüsnü, Yildirim, Page 53

Posted by Project Leader at 1:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 30 August 2008 9:52 AM EADT
9th LHR AIF War Diary, August 29
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

9th LHR, AIF

9th Light Horse Regiment

War Diary, 29 August

Pro Gloria et Honore - For Glory and Honour

Regimental March -  Marching Through Georgia



The following entries are extracted and transcribed from the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, the originals of which are held by the Australian War Memorial. There are 366 entries on this site. Each day has entries as they occurred from 1914 to 1919. In addition to the 9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary, when appropriate, entries from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade War Diary and other regiments with the Brigade will also appear. Entries from the unit history, Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924 will also appear from time to time. The aim is to give the broadest context to the story and allow the reader to follow the day to day activities of the regiment. If a relative happened to have served in the regiment during the Great War, then this provides a general framework in which the individual story may be told.


The Diary



Saturday, August 29, 1914

See 4th Military District, South Australia for militia activities.



Sunday, August 29, 1915

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Damijelik Hills

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - 0100 Second Lieutenant GM McDonald and 166 Private Morrison WN at head of 30 men bombed their way along a trench on the left for about 70 yards and connected up with 10th Light Horse Regiment. Our causalties for whole action were 15 killed, 45 wounded, 18 missing.

Total 78 which included Lieutenant Colonel Reynell, Captain Callary, and Captain Jaffray still missing.

1000 All except 25 of our men were relieved from the trenches during which time we have supplied drafts of 1 Officer 24 Other Ranks towards maintenance of positions.



Tuesday, August 29, 1916
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Hod Nabit
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Routine Work.



Wednesday, August 29, 1917
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Abasan el Kebir
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Mounted training 0600 - 0800 Troop and Squadron Drill.
General Officer in Command Division Australian Mounted Division present during training.
Bleechmore, Major C, returned from Cairo leave.
Fifteen Other Ranks returned from rest camp.



Thursday, August 29, 1918
9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Ludd area
9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Inspection of all kit and equipment carried out by Squadron Leaders also inspection of all pack saddlery and lead harnesses carried out by Regimental Quarter Master.
Lecture delivered at Brigade Headquarters at 1700 to all officers of the Brigade by Fowler, Lieutenant Colonel, ADMS.



Friday, August 29, 1919

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Adelaide

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Regiment disbanded.



Previous: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 28 August

Next: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 30 August



See: 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents
Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, AIF War Diaries of the Great War, Site Transcription Policy


Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF

Bert Schramm Diary

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: 9th LHR AIF War Diary, 29 August

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 16 September 2010 8:49 AM EADT

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