Second Lieutenant Walter Gamble Hamilton



Walter Gamble Hamilton was born on 13 November 1883 at Church Street, Dromore, County Down, the fifth of six children of linen manufacturer's clerk John Hamilton and his wife Emily (nee Daniel). He was educated at the Intermediate School, Banbridge and the Royal Academical School, Belfast. In 1901 he was employed as a clerk with the Northern Bank, over the next fifteen years working at head office in Belfast and in branches at Grafton Street, Coleraine, Elphin, Newtownstewart and Shaftesbury Square.

Hamilton enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 29 November 1915 (No.1988 – later Corps of Hussars No.71656), understating his age by two years. On 5 February 1916 he was promoted to corporal. Three months later he fractured a rib, spending two weeks in Belfast Hospital.

On 3 August 1916 he embarked for France, where he was posted to the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment at Flesselles. A year later, when the regiment was dismounted and the men transferred to the infantry, Hamilton applied for a commission, expressing a preference for the Royal Irish Regiment. He left France for officer training on 24 September 1917 and after a period of leave reported for duty at No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion, Fermoy, on 9 November.

Hamilton was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 1 May 1918 and posted to the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment. Two months later he embarked for France where, although formally posted to the 2nd Leinsters, on 29 July he was sent to join the newly re-formed 7/8 Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at Steenvoorde.

Hamilton may have seen action in the early days of the Advance to Victory Offensive, but during August he fell ill with dysentery and was evacuated to England for treatment and convalescence. It was not until 21 February 1919 that a medical board at Chiseldon found him fit for home service.

In the meantime, at the end of 1918, he had married Alice Ann Chamberlain in London.

Following his demobilisation on 16 April 1919, Hamilton rejoined the Northern Bank. He died in Belfast on 6 November 1950.


At least one of Hamilton's four brothers served during the war. Sergeant Bruce Hamilton of the 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele on 16 August 1917.


Image from the Belfast Bank Great War Roll of Honour pictorial record held in the Northern Bank Head Office, Donegall Square West, Belfast


First image sourced from - contributor 'marionrichardson901'. Second image and some of the information sourced from Gavin Bamford's site honouring the officials of the Northern Bank and Belfast Bank who served during the two World Wars and in more recent conflicts.