No. 249365, 58th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment)
Killed in action on Wednesday 28 August 1918 (aged 23)
Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, France (Grave X. A. 9)
Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM)
Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance
Greyabbey and District War Memorial located on the outside wall of
Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Saviour’s)
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for
Trinity Presbyterian Church Greyabbey
Hamilton grave headstone in Greyabbey Old Graveyard
James Hamilton was born on 15 July 1895 at Mountstewart and he was a son of Samuel and Margaret Hamilton (nee Kelly, sometimes Kelley, sometimes Caul) who were married on 6 June 1884 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. Samuel Hamilton from Ballyblack was a son of John Hamilton, a labourer. Margaret Kelly from Mountstewart was a daughter of William Kelly, a labourer.
The Hamilton family lived in Mountstewart Lodge, Newtownards.
Samuel Hamilton worked as a gardener’s labourer and he and Margaret had at least eight children including:
John (born 29 December 1884 at Mountstewart)
Mary Ann (born 16 March 1886 at Mountstewart)
Samuel (born 5 August 1888 at Mountstewart)
William (born 21 January 1890 at Mountstewart; died of rheumatism 28 April 1903 aged 13 years)
Isabella (born 29 October 1891 at Mountstewart; died of whooping cough 1 May 1892 aged 6 months)
James (born 15 July 1895 at Mountstewart)
Margaret (born 12 May 1897 at Mountstewart)
Agnes Anna (born 13 July 1907 at Ballycastle)
James Hamilton’s mother Margaret died of a strangulated femoral hernia on 2 January 1913 (aged 47) and his father Samuel died on 22 February 1924 (aged 59).
James Hamilton worked as an office apprentice before he moved to Canada and there he worked as a policeman. James lived at 32 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto and he enlisted in Toronto on 12 April 1916. It was noted in his attestation papers that he was 5 feet 11¼ inches tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair and that he had scars on his forehead and on his right thumb. He was stationed in Canada until 3 May 1917. He travelled on board the HMT Justicia to England and disembarked at Liverpool on 14 May 1917. In July 1917, he was admitted to the Canadian Military Hospital, Bramshott, Hampshire suffering from tonsillitis. On 22 June 1917, he was promoted to the rank of Acting Sergeant. On 15 February 1918, Sergeant James Hamilton reverted to the rank of Private, at his own request, and he landed in France the following day.
Vis-en-Artois is a village on the road between Arras and Cambrai and it was taken by the Canadian Corps on 27 August 1918. Private James Hamilton was 23 when he was killed in action there on 28 August 1918. He was buried in Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, France.
The Hamilton family burying ground is in Greyabbey Old Graveyard and in addition to the family members who are buried there James Hamilton is also remembered:
Gone but not forgotten
Private James Hamilton is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM); in the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance; on the Greyabbey and District War Memorial located on the outside wall of Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Saviour’s) and in the PCI Roll of Honour for Trinity Presbyterian Church Greyabbey.
At the time of Private James Hamilton’s death his brother Samuel was living at 13 Rosevear Avenue, Toronto.