Biography

Birth date: January 1896
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Orange
Death date: February 1961
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Final rank: Lieutenant
Service number: 943 - First World War, 1914-1918
N73242 - Second World War, 1939-1945
NX150350 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • 30 Employment Company
  • 1st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Born in Orange, New South Wales, in January 1896, John Hamilton was working as a butcher near Lithgow when he enlisted in the AIF in September 1914. He was posted to the 3rd Battalion and after training in Egypt, took part in the landing on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

On 9 August, during the battle of Lone Pine, the Turks launched a violent assault with intense rifle and machine-gun fire. Hamilton, together with several other men, was ordered out of the trenches onto the parapet, in order to halt the enemy advance. For six hours he lay in the open, protected only by a few sandbags, telling those in the trenches where to throw their bombs, while keeping up constant sniper fire.

For his coolness and daring example Hamilton received the Victoria Cross, the only one awarded to his unit during the war. Hamilton later served in France, and he was eventually commissioned as a second lieutenant after the Armistice. During the Second World War he again served in the army, attaining the rank of captain. Hamilton died in Sydney in February 1961.

Citation (abridged):
During a heavy bomb attack by the enemy on the newly-captured position at Lone Pine, Private Hamilton, with utter disregard of personal safety, exposed himself under heavy fire on the parados in order to secure a better firing position against the enemy s bomb-throwers. His coolness and daring example had an immediate effect. The defence was encouraged and the enemy driven off with heavy loss.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 20 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 1st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Photograph

044844

VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS FROM THE BOER WAR AND WORLD WAR 1 WHO GATHERED TO MARCH IN THE SYDNEY ANZAC DAY PARADE. BACK ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: LIEUTENANT (LIEUT.) J. ROGERS, SERGEANT (SGT) R. R. INWOOD, BRIGADIER A. S. BLACKBURN, SGT J. W. WHITTLE, SGT S. R. MCDOUGALL, MAJOR E. T. TOWNER, CAPTAIN (CAPT) A....

044844

061100

MURCHISON, VIC. 1943-11-23/30. AFTER THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD, MANNED BY TROOPS OF THE 23RD AUSTRALIAN GUARD BATTALION, AT THE 13TH AUSTRALIAN PRISONER OF WAR GROUP, THE OLD GUARD MARCHES OFF THE PARADE GROUND FOR DISMISSAL. SHOWN ARE: V51304 LIEUTENANT K. A. FINDLAY (1); V143357 CORPORAL C. G....

061100

061101

MURCHISON, VIC. 1943-11-23/30. OLD GUARD, MANNED BY THE TROOPS OF THE 23RD AUSTRALIAN GARRISON BATTALION, AT THE 13TH AUSTRALIAN PRISONER OF WAR GROUP WAITING TO BE DISMISSED. THEY ARE: V51034 LIEUTENANT K. A. FINDLAY (1); V14723 CORPORAL J. HAMILTON (2); V331637 PRIVATE P. A. BOSCHETTI (3); V16996...

061101

084063

SYDNEY, NSW. 1944-12-15. CAPTAIN J HAMILTON, VC, OFFICER COMMANDING NO 5 WORKS COMPANY, (1), WITH PRIVATE A DONNELLY, (2), CHECKING TOYS MADE BY MEMBERS OF THE UNIT IN THEIR SPARE TIME FOR THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AT CAMPERDOWN.

084063

084066

SYDNEY, NSW. 1944-12-15. MEMBERS OF NO 5 WORKS COMPANY UNLOADING TOYS MADE FROM SCRAP MATERIAL FOR THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AT CAMPERDOWN. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- PRIVATE A DONNELLY, (1); SERGEANT F R MAIDMENT, (2); SGT G C JANSEN, (3); PTE F D POTTER, (4); CORPORAL W HOWLETT, (5); PTE J...

084066

084068

SYDNEY, NSW. 1944-12-15. CAPT J. HAMILTON, VC, OFFICER COMMANDING NO. 5 WKS COY, (1), WITH SGT F.R. MAIDMENT, (2), PRESENTING LEONARD, (3), WITH HIS GIFT AT THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CAMPERDOWN.

084068

J03071

PORTRAIT OF 2ND LIEUTENANT J. HAMILTON, VC. (FULL FACE)

J03071

J03071A

PORTRAIT OF 2ND/LIEUTENANT J. HAMILTON, VC

J03071A

J03072

PORTRAIT OF 2ND LIEUTENANT J. HAMILTON, VC. (SLIGHTLY SIDE FACE)

J03072

J03075

1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE ANZAC DAY MARCH IN MELBOURNE, WAITING TO ENTER THE EXHIBITION BUILDING, WHERE A COMMEMORATION SERVICE WAS HELD. LEFT TO RIGHT: CAPTAIN R.C. GRIEVE, 2ND LIEUT W. RUTHVEN, CAPT J.E. NEWLAND, 2ND LIEUT J. HAMILTON, LIEUT. A....

J03075

J03076

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE 1927 ANZAC DAY MARCH. IN THE BACKGROUND ARE THE KING'S AND REGIMENTAL COLOURS OF THE A.M.F. BATTALIONS AND REGIMENTS. LEFT TO RIGHT:- CORPORAL (CPL) B.S. GORDON MM, CPL T.L. AXFORD MM, CPL J. CARROLL, SERGEANT...

J03076

P00559.011

Outdoor portrait of three Australian soldiers outside Tedworth Barracks, Hampshire, England. Identified from left to right: 2407 Warrant Officer Wilfred Henry Garland, 2nd Battalion from Cootamundra, NSW; 943 Corporal John Hamilton VC, 3rd Battalion from Penshurst, NSW; and 312 Staff Sergeant...

P00559.011

P01312.001

SYDNEY, NSW, C. 1941. LIEUTENANT (LATER CAPTAIN) JOHN HAMILTON VC, 16TH GARRISON BATTALION, WALKS IN UNIFORM ALONG A CITY STREET, WITH HIS WIFE. (PHOTOGRAPHER G. MCGRATH, P15 HER MAJESTY'S ARCADE, SYDNEY. DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P01312.001

P01312.002

Probably SYDNEY, NSW, C. 1944. PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN JOHN HAMILTON VC IN A CITY STREET. HE WAS THEN WITH THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY EMPLOYMENT SERVICE. (DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P01312.002

P01383.001

A portrait of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, his Grace Dr Daniel Mannix. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne,...

P01383.001

P01383.002

A portrait of the Melbourne entrepreneur John Wren. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.002

P01383.003

A portrait of Private William Matthew Curry VC, a Presbyterian. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The...

P01383.003

P01383.004

A portrait of Sergeant George Julian Howell VC MM. TThis photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.004

P01383.005

A portrait of Corporal Walter Peeler VC. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph...

P01383.005

P01383.006

A portrait of Private John William Alexander Jackson VC. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.006

P01383.007

A portrait of Lieutenant Joseph Maxwell VC MC DCM. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.007

P01383.008

A portrait of Lieutenant John James Dwyer VC. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph...

P01383.008

P01383.009

A portrait of Sergeant Maurice Vincent Buckley VC DCM, a Roman Catholic. Buckley was a member of the delegation to the Melbourne City Council that sought and obtained permission to hold the 1920 St Patrick's Day March; he was accidentally killed the following year. This photograph is a portion of...

P01383.009

P01383.010

A portrait of Private George Cartwright, a protestant of the Church of England. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17...

P01383.010

P01383.011

A portrait of Corporal Thomas Leslei Axford VC MM. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.011

P01383.012

A portrait of Corporal John Carrol VC. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph...

P01383.012

P01383.013

A portrait of Private Edward John Francis Ryan VC. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.013

P01383.014

A portrait of Sergeant John Woods Whittle VC DCM. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.014

P01383.015

A portrait of Lieutenant John Patrick Hamilton VC, a Roman Catholic. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920....

P01383.015

P01383.016

A portrait of Lieutenant Lawrence Dominic McCarthy VC Croix de Guerre, a Roman Catholic. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in...

P01383.016

P01383.017

A framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria, on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph comprises portraits of fourteen Victoria...

P01383.017

P01383.018

This is a restored version of P01383.017. The original is is a framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by his Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The...

P01383.018

P00843.001

SYDNEY, NSW(?), 1919-07. LIEUTENANT JOHN HAMILTON, VC, 3RD BATTALION, 1ST AIF, ON THE TROOPSHIP RETURNING HOME. HE IS ON THE LEFT, ASTRIDE THE SHIP'S RAIL. (DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P00843.001

P00843.002

BOUGAINVILLE, C. 1945. CAPTAIN JOHN HAMILTON, VC, 30TH EMPLOYMENT COMPANY, 5TH WORKS COMPANY, WITH A GROUP OF NATIVES IN THE BACKGROUND. (DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P00843.002

P00843.003

SYDNEY, NSW(?), 1940-06. LIEUTENANT (LATER CAPTAIN) JOHN HAMILTON VC, 16TH GARRISON BATTALION, POSES WITH SWAGGER STICK AND SLOUCH HAT OUTSIDE AN ARMY HUT. (DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P00843.003

P00843.004

SYDNEY, NSW(?), C. 1940. LIEUTENANT (LATER CAPTAIN) JOHN HAMILTON, VC, 16TH GARRISON BATTALION, LEADS A COMPANY IN A MARCH PAST AT AN ARMY CAMP. (DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P00843.004

P00843.005

SYDNEY, NSW, C. 1930. A GROUP OF VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS MARCH (PROBABLY ON ANZAC DAY) BEHIND A RETURNED SERVICEMEN'S BANNER. FAR LEFT (LIGHT SUIT, PARTLY OBSCURED) T.J. BEDE KENNY, GEORGE J. HOWELL (CARRYING BANNER), JOHN HAMILTON (WEARING HAT), FAR RIGHT CARRYING COAT UNIDENTIFIED. (DONOR A....

P00843.005

P00843.006

SYDNEY, NSW, C. 1940. LIEUTENANT (LATER CAPTAIN) JOHN HAMILTON, VC (CENTRE, FRONT ROW), IN A GROUP PORTRAIT OF MEMBERS OF THE 16TH GARRISON BATTALION. MOST OF THE MEN ARE WEARING KHAKI COTTON DRILL WORKING (GIGGLE) SUITS, WITH SEVERAL IN FORAGE CAPS. (DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P00843.006

P00843.007

SYDNEY, NSW, C. 1925. PORTRAIT OF JOHN HAMILTON, VC, AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS WHILE SERVING WITH 3RD BATTALION, 1ST AIF, AT LONE PINE. (DONOR A. HAMILTON)

P00843.007

P02349.001

Informal outdoor portrait of Lieutenant John Hamilton VC (second from left) probably with his sisters and brother on his return to Australia from overseas service. With the rank of Private and seving with the 3rd Battalion on Gallipoli, Hamilton won his VC for his actions at Lone Pine on 9 August...

P02349.001

P02349.002

Formal studio portrait of Lieutenant John Hamilton VC. With the rank of Private and seving with the 3rd Battalion on Gallipoli, Hamilton won his VC for his actions at Lone Pine on 1915-08-09. (Donor A. Hamilton) (Original print housed in AWM Archive Store)

P02349.002

P02349.004

Probably Sydney, NSW, c. 1942. Lieutenant (Lt) John Hamilton VC (right, with binoculars) and a private soldier who is holding a pocket form guide enjoy a day out at the races. Lt Hamilton had won his VC for his actions at Lone Pine on Gallipoli on 1915-08-09 while serving as a private with the 3rd...

P02349.004

P02349.005

VC winners and recipients of other high awards for bravery line up on parade near the Exhibition Building (not in view) at the Anzac day march. Left to right: front row: ? Captain James Ernest Newland; Lieutenant (Lt) George Mawby Ingram MM; Lt John Hamilton; Lt William Ruthven. Second row:...

P02349.005

P02939.006

Studio portrait of Sergeant (Sgt) John Hamilton VC, 3rd Battalion. Sgt Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross as a private (Pte) for "most conspicuous bravery on 9th August, 1915, in the Gallipoli Peninsula". Pte Hamilton exposed himself to heavy fire in order to secure a better fire position for...

P02939.006

P01312.003

PASSCHENDAELE, BELGIUM, 1956. JOSEPH (JOE) MAXWELL VC (LEFT) AND JOHN HAMILTON VC (RIGHT, HOLDING HIS HAT) STAND LOOKING AT THE HEADSTONE ON THE GRAVE IN TYNE COT CEMETERY NEAR PASSCHENDAELE OF ANOTHER VICTORIA CROSS WINNER, SERGEANT LEWIS MCGEE, 40TH BATTALION, KILLED IN ACTION 1917-10-12. MAXWELL...

P01312.003

Private Record

Published Collection

Cigarette card of Corporal J Hamilton VC

Cigarette card showing portrrait of Corporal John Patrick Hamilton VC. Part of a collection of cards depicting Australian VCs printed by Sniders and Abrahams.

RC09116

Heraldry

Victoria Cross : Private J P Hamilton, 3 Battalion, AIF

Victoria Cross. Engraved on reverse suspender with recipient's details and on reverse cross with date of award.

REL/13018.001

1914-15 Star : Private J P Hamilton, 3 Battalion, AIF

1914-15 Star. Impressed reverse with recipient's details.

REL/13018.002

1939-45 Star : Captain J P Hamilton, VC

1939-45 Star. Impressed reverse with recipient's details.

REL/13018.005

Pacific Star : Captain J P Hamilton, VC

Pacific Star. Impressed reverse with recipient's details.

REL/13018.006

British War Medal 1939-45 : Captain J P Hamilton, VC

British War Medal 1939-45. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/13018.007

Australia Service Medal : Captain J P Hamilton, VC

Australia Service Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/13018.008

George VI Coronation Medal : J P Hamilton, VC

George VI Coronation Medal. Unnamed as issued.

REL/13018.009

Elizabeth II Coronation Medal : J P Hamilton, VC

Elizabeth II Coronation Medal. Unnamed as issued.

REL/13018.010

British War Medal 1914-20 : Lieutenant J P Hamilton, 3 Battalion, AIF

British War Medal 1914-20. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/13018.003

Victory Medal : Lieutenant J P Hamilton, 3 Battalion, AIF

Victory Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/13018.004

Swagger Stick : Captain J P Hamilton VC

Cane Swagger stick covered with finely plaited leather. The leather forms a small knob at each end.

REL/13020

Technology

German 'Baumbeobachter' artillery observation post camouflaged as a tree : Oosttaverne Wood, Belgium

The base section of this imitation tree consists a square section of steel placed horizontally on the ground, with turned up edges and a voided circle in the centre. Around the circle is a tube section with an entrance at one side and four steel 'buttresses' to help support the tree. The top part...

RELAWM04476

Timeline

Date of birth 1896-01
Date of embarkation 1914-10-20
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-09-01
Date of death 1961-02