8/3615 Serjeant George McDonald Hamilton
2nd Battalion Otago Regiment
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
16th February 1918
Born at 10.30pm on 18/08/1885 in Carluke, Scotland.
His parents were Robert Harvie Hamilton(1701/1849-21/06/1901) and Helen McDonald(1849-20/11/1931). They were married on 27/01/1871.
George had 6 brothers; Hugh McDonald(03/09/1874-24/12/1968),William(born in 1877),James(born in 1882),John (born in 1884),Andrew McDonald(born in 1890) and Daniel(born on 28/03/1895).
He also had 2 sisters; Mary Gilchrist(16/01/1873-24/12/1912) and Janet(Nellie)McDonald(12/02/1882-24/10/1958).
In the 1891(Scottish)census, the family were recorded as living in Carluke Lancashire.
Robert was working as a baker.
The details in the 1901(Scottish) census were the same ,but George was now working as a bakers apprentice.
Later this year Robert died and this could have been the trigger for the family to emigrate to New Zealand.
On 09/06/1909 George married Adelaide Lucas(26/07/1880-21/02/1959). She was a widow, who had previously been married to John Redmond Murphy(02/03/1862-1903) in 1900 and had a son,
Arthur Michael Murphy(10/04/1904-20/12/1984)from that marriage.
With George she went on to have 3 more children; Robert Albert(11/05/1911-1970),Helen Eileen(born on 26/06/1913) and George McDonald(12/10/1915-1961).
George enlisted on 19/10/1915 having previously had his medical on 25/09/1915, details below;
Apparent Age 30 years 1 month
Height 5 Feet 2 Inches Weight 161 Lbs
Chest Minimum - 34 1/4 Inches
Maximum - 38 1/4 Inches
Complexion - Fresh, Colour of Eyes - Grey, Condition of Teeth - False and Good, Colour of Hair - Brown.
He was posted to D Company 9th Reinforcements as a Private on 19/10/1915.
George was sent abroad and on whilst onboard was appointed cook to 10th Company 2nd Battalion. On 14/02/1916 he disembarked in Suez,Egypt and was posted to 8th Company in Moascar on 21/03/1916,at the same time relinquishing his appointment as cook.
He then joined 2nd Battalion(from 1st Battalion) on 24/03/1916,posted to 8th Company.
Just 2 weeks later, on 09/04/1916, George was to embark for France.
On 18/08/1916 he was transferred to No.1 Company Depot in Boulogne
On 22/08/1916 he was at the depot in Rouen , France.
Returned to camp at Etaples France on 23/08/1916,before re-joining his battalion in the field on 22/09/1916.
Appointed Lance Corporal on 28/10/1916.
On 11/08/1916, whilst in action George was wounded receiving a slight gunshot wound to the head and he was admitted to No.3 NZ Field Ambulance,before being transferred to No.8 Casualty Clearing Station. He was later evacuated back to London on 27/08/1916 and admitted to No.13 General Hospital.
George did not rejoin his battalion until 22/09/1916.
A couple of quick promotions followed for George,first to Lance Corporal on 28/10/1916 and then to Corporal on 18/12/1916.
Towards the end of 1917,George was to suffer from a sickness(the type of illness wasn't recorded)that saw him admitted to No.8 Australian Field Ambulance on 18/10/1917,before being moved to No.44 Casualty Clearing Station on 22/10/1917. The next day he was then transferred to No.51 General Hospital at Etaples.
Whatever the illness was, he wasn't fit enough to return to base until 16/12/1917. Having spent Christmas at the base, George returned to his battalion in the field on 04/01/1918.
Promotion to Serjeant came to George on 29/01/1918,but just over 2 weeks later on 16/02/1918, he was killed in action.
He was awarded the 1914-11918 British War and Allied Victory medals.
In his will that he had signed on 31/12/1916, he left all his property and money to his wife and children.