Major the Hon Arthur Hamilton-Russell



Arthur Hamilton-Russell was born in London on 8 September 1872, son of Gustavus Russell Hamilton-Russell, 8th Viscount Boyne, and his wife Katherine Frances (nee Scott).

After attending Sandhurst as a gentleman cadet he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the 1st (King's) Dragoons on 21 October 1893. He was promoted to lieutenant the following June and reached the rank of captain on 24 June 1899.

Hamilton-Russell served with the Dragoons in the Boer War from 1899 to 1902. His entry in Hart's Annual Army List read as follows:

... served at the Relief of Ladysmith, including action at Colenso; the operations of 17th to 24th Jan. 1900, and engagement at Spion Kop; the operations of 5th to 7th Feb 1900; and action at Vaal Krantz – wounded; the operations in Natal, March to June 1900; in Orange River Colony, May to 29th November 1900; in the Transvaal April to Aug 1901, March to 31st May 1902; in Orange River Colony 30th Nov 1900 to April 1901; and in Cape Colony May 1902 (mentioned in despatches).

He was promoted to major on 28 January 1908.

On 27 January 1909 Hamilton-Russell retired from the 1st Dragoons and immediately took up an appointment as a major in the North Irish Horse.

In late 1914 he was given command of D Squadron of the North Irish Horse. The squadron left Antrim for training in England that December, where it joined the 51st Division as its divisional cavalry. On 1 May 1915 D Squadron embarked for France.

Hamilton-Russell is referred to in correspondence from an officer of the London Regiment in July 1915:

Stationed in trenches in front of Rue de Tillelay, Laventie. I have command of a squadron of North Irish Horse under Major Hamilton Russel, a nice person. They are awfully sick at the class of warfare we are waging at present. I haven’t a notion of what they expected – a sort of orgie [sic] of shooting and stabbing I suppose – but I tell them they can have as much adventure as they like if they choose to send out patrols at night in front of our barbed wire.

In May 1916 D Squadron joined with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. Hamilton-Russell remained in command of the squadron through 1916 and 1917. He was mentioned in despatches on 9 April 1917.

On 15 February 1918 he was made acting lieutenant-colonel and put in command of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, following the departure of its previous commander Lord Cole. He remained in command when in March 1918 the regiment was dismounted and converted to a corps cyclist formation. (However he lost his acting rank, as corps cyclist regiments were commanded by the rank of major.) 

On 24 September 1918 command of the North Irish Horse Cyclist Regiment passed from Hamilton-Russell to Major Arthur Edward Phillips. Hamilton-Russell was posted to the Royal Field Artillery.

Soon after the war he was demobilised. On 8 September 1922, having reached the 50-year aged limit, his name was removed from the reserve of officers list.

Major Hamilton-Russell died at his home in Alton, Hampshire, on 6 February 1951.


The Tatler, 13 March 1935