The Lieutenancy of Dunbartonshire


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A soldier has been honoured with the laying of a Victoria Cross paving stone in Dumbarton 100 years after the action for which his gallantry was recognised.

Commemorative VC paving stones are being laid in towns across the country to honour those who earned the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

The commemorative stone for Private (Acting Lance Corporal) John Brown Hamilton, Highland Light Infantry, was unveiled at Dumbarton War Memorial  by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Dunbartonshire, Rear Admiral Michael Gregory OBE. Gathered with the Lord Lieutenant were Karen Conaghan, Deputy Provost West Dunbartonshire Council, the 3 Grand-Children of P.(AL/c) Hamilton, Councillors, Members of the Military and invited guests.

The Official Citation was published in the Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of Friday 23rd November 1917 and reads as follows:

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Men -                     ...

No. 331958 Private (Acting Lance Corporal) John Brown Hamilton, Highland Light Infantry.

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, Lance Corporal 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.


Rear Admiral Gregory believes that: the laying of these paving stones is an opportunity to remember what soldiers like Lance Corporal Hamilton, endured and achieved for this country.  They showed remarkable courage and determination in situations no-one would wish to experience and it is important that people know their local heroes and the impact that the war had on their local communities

Mr Hamilton was also made a Freeman of Dumbarton and a copy of the presentation scroll and silver cyllinder together with his photo and a cap of the time are shown in the photograph pictured bottom right.   He died on 18th July 1973 in East Kilbride and his ashes were scattered at Daldowie Crematorium.


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