Ottoman coin engraved as identity disc : Lance Corporal G F Hamilton, 1 Battalion, AIF

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number REL31674
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Silver
Maker Unknown
Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1876; 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Large Ottoman circular silver piastre coin pierced by small opening through the edge and threaded with short length of soiled, knotted, cotton twine. The obverse is embossed with a row of seven five-pointed stars and the Tugrah of Sultan Abdul-Aziz above a floral border. The reverse is centrally embossed with Arabic characters and the Islamic year date 1293 (Gregorian 1876) surmounted by a triangle of three five-pointed stars, all within a wreath of tulips. The lower edge is also roughly engraved 'G F Hamilton 108.1. A. Inf'.

History / Summary

Born in Cambewarra on the NSW South Coast in 1891, George Fullard Hamilton, an electrical mechanic, enlisted in the AIF on 17 August 1914 as lance corporal 108. He served in 1 Battalion, and was killed at Gallipoli by enfilading machine-gun fire or grenades during the early hours of the morning of 5 June 1915 while taking part in the attack launched from Steele's Post on German Officers' Trench. Aged 24 when he died, Hamilton has no known grave and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial. The Ottoman coin, picked up on Gallipoli and made into an identity disc by Hamilton, was sent home to his family after his death.