Arthur Shirley Hamilton1

#19022, b. 1849, d. September 1925

Arthur Shirley HAMILTON

Individual's Timeline

Birth1849Arthur Shirley Hamilton1
Marriage7 June 1892Arthur Shirley Hamilton1
Death25 August 1925Arthur Shirley Hamilton2
Death RegSeptember 1925Arthur Shirley Hamilton3
Probate13 October 1925Arthur Shirley Hamilton2

Primary events

  • Birth: Arthur Shirley Hamilton was born in 1849 Possibly Co Mayo in Ireland.1
  • Marriage: He married Ethel Mary Jackson, daughter of Frederick Jackson and Elizabeth Mary Jane Caunter, on Tuesday, 7 June 1892 in St Peter's, West Lynn, Norfolk, England, when they were 43 years ~&~ 26 years, 4 months and 5 days old. ceremony performed by the bride's father, assisted by Rev. Canon James Lyons, Rector of Fiddown, County of Kilkenny. They had 3 children (2 daughters and 1 son). The daughters Florence and Violet were with them in 1911 but the son was not. So may be named Anson.1
  • Death: Arthur died on 25 August 1925 in Coolroe, Mudford, Hampshire, England, (Aged 76 years, worked back from recorded birth date).2
  • Death Reg: Arthur's death was registered in the quarter ended in September 1925 in the Bournemouth registration district. (His age calculates to 76 years).3
  • Probate: His estate was probated on 13 October 1925. Ethel Mary Jackson were the administrators and/or the beneficiaries. The other executor was Edward Hamilton Everard WOODWARD, engineer. The Estate was valued at £4,041.2

Secondary circumstances

  • Occupation: Arthur was Lieutenant R.N. retired and formerly of the Labuan Civil Service. His brother Edward HAMILTON was a Major General in the Army in 1911, and had previously served in the Boer War.
    * He was actually the acting Gov of Labuan in 1889 - "his Excellency Arthur Shirley Hamilton Acting Consul-General for Her Britannic Majesty in Borneo and Acting Governor of Labuan."1,4

Census details

  • In the census taken on the night of 2nd April 1911, Arthur Shirley was the head of the household and Ethel was his wife. The address was Christchurch, Hampshire, England. Married for 18 years with 3 children all still alive. They had 2 sevants for the 11 roomed house.
Some aspects of Arthur Shirley Hamilton's life. I found this letter from Anson to his father on a blog site which talks about the restoration of the boat mentioned in the letter ~~

I believe the letter writer is Arthur Anson Shirley HAMILTON, born 1894 in Hampshire, and who died in France in 1916. See exhibit for a photo of this very good looking Officer (One of the camera Icons under the picture of Arthur)

3 Loraine Crescent, Newcastle on Tyne. June 11th 1914

My Dear Father,

We have had a fearful rush to get the boat done as the lad has to go for his holidays next Wednesday. All this week he has worked from 6 till 9 o’clock at night and it is very hard for a young chap. I rather want to give him something before he goes as I have been using his tools all the time. I fancy including that; the boat will come to £5 but she will be well worth it. The estimating man was in today and ran over her and said he must charge a little for the wood because it is so good. I suppose we pay the transit at the other end.

We took her off the stocks today and turned her bottom up. She was not half as heavy as I thought and two can lift her about easily. In the design I had estimated her weight to be 3 ½ cwt but the old man says he does not think she is much more than 2 cwt so I was some way out. She looks fine bottom up and is really quite pretty for all her great beam. The old man says he has never seen a boat with such good wood throughout. The planking wych elm is very hard to get now. It is English and the great advantage is that the planks close up within a few minutes of launching. That is why warship boats are built of it and not American elm.

The knees of grown crook oak were so tough I had quite a job drilling holes through them today for the ring bolts. The old man found two ten feet oars which were for a 14 foot dinghy which had been ordered but not built some years ago. We keep hundreds in stock but these were the only spare short ones. We are cutting them down to fit inside the boat. They won’t be too long as the pram is the same width as the punt. They are the usual Admiralty pattern ash oar and not that soft pine of the punts. These oars are all turned out in America and sent over ready made. They go through a machine and come out the proper article. We could only find two spare sockets for rowlocks, they were rather large but cut them down and fitted them in. We can fit the other sockets when I get home. We have only 5/8” brass rowlocks here and the sockets are for ½”. Would you have a look round for some ½” rowlocks (brass). Tucker may have a pair but I expect you will want the diameter of the oar. I will send a card with it as I can’t remember. If he does not stock them we can send away for some.

I was dining with Randall Davis last night and he said he would find out if there was any boat sailing to Poole next week. I could stick the pram on board and perhaps Major Pratt would tow her round for me. The boat goes into the painters hands tomorrow when she takes two coats of paint inside and out and varnish as well. I shall enamel the outside when I get back. We have now got the keelson and bottom boards to make and two bilge pieces and a general touch up, and then I think that is all. The old man thinks the design is very good and says for her length I have got the biggest possible craft without taking away from her good looks.

I booked my passage on Tuesday but I was too late for a cabin and have to content myself with the smoke room. I am afraid it won’t be very pleasant but luckily I have no baggage and it is better than the deck. You can just leave the front door unlocked on the Sunday night and must not stay up as you never can tell what time I shall arrive. I wrote to Bond full instructions about London. Perhaps you would send the money for the boat and my lodging at the same time.

We had it pouring with rain all Monday and Tuesday and on Tuesday afternoon I felt sorry for the band and spectators at the launch of the Norwegian (?) battleship. They were all standing out in the pouring rain. I went along at the last minute and climbed onto the deck of her sister ship which was right alongside. I got about as good a view as anybody and ran back directly afterwards only being out about a quarter of an hour. They had a big do in the Loft as usual but I was too busy to waste time in there, as I had been off all Monday aft (?) in the Tuck (?).

I shall be very interested to see how the pram floats as it is my first design. We shan’t put her in the river so we can have the launch at home down the slip.

Must stop now. With much love your affect. son

Anson S. Hamilton.

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: His record can be obtained from the National Archives - 513 / 478      PDF 1.2      1      359      1      3.50.
  • Research note 02: Edward's enrty in Wiki - Edward Hamilton (British Army officer)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Edward Owen Fisher Hamilton
    Born      17 February 1854
    Died      30 March 1944 (aged 90)
    Allegiance      United KingdomUnited Kingdom
    Service/branch      Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
    Years of service      1873–1914
    Rank      Major-General
    Unit      Queen's Royal Regiment
    Commands held      2nd Battalion Queen's Royal Regiment
    2nd Brigade
    GOC West Africa
    GOC and Lieutenant-Governor Guernsey
    20th (Light) Division
    Battles/wars      Second Anglo-Afghan War
    Third Anglo-Burmese War
    Second Boer War
    First World War
    Awards      Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
    Mentioned in Despatches

    Major-General Sir Edward Owen Fisher Hamilton KCB (17 February 1854 – 30 March 1944) was an officer of the British Army during the late 19th century. Originally a junior officer in the Queen's Royal Regiment, he oversaw signalling in the Indian Army during the late nineteenth century, before commanding a battalion and then a brigade in the South African War. He was later the commanding officer for Army forces in West Africa and Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey before retiring in 1914; on the outbreak of the First World War, he briefly returned from retirement to command a division in the New Armies.

    Hamilton was born in Ireland in 1854, and after studying at the Hermitage School, Bath, joined the Army as a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Queen's Royal Regiment, in 1873.[1] He served in the Second Anglo-Afghan War from 1878 to 1880 as the aide-de-camp to General J. M. Primrose, and was mentioned in despatches.[2]

    In 1883 he was promoted to captain, and served with the 2nd Battalion in the Third Anglo-Burmese War before being appointed a brigade-major under Sir William Lockhart in 1887. He then was appointed a brigade-major at Cawnpore from 1887 to 1888, continuing in India as the Inspector of Signals in the Punjab and Bengal from 1888 to 1893. During this period, he oversaw signals in the Hazara Expedition of 1891. He married Isabel Harris, daughter of General Philip H. F. Harris, in 1886; they would have one son and two daughters.[2] The best man at their wedding was Hubert Hamilton, a fellow captain in the regiment.[1]

    He accompanied the Tochi Expedition in 1895 under Lockhart, and served on the staff of the Malakand Field Force in 1897. He returned to field service that same year with the 2nd Battalion, Queen's Royal Regiment, as the second-in-command of the Tirah Expedition, with a brevet-promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.[2]
    [edit] Regimental and senior command

    He commanded the 2nd Battalion, Queen's Royal Regiment during the early stages of the South African War, in 1899, and then commanded 2nd Brigade from April 1900 to 1902. For his services in South Africa, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath and mentioned in despatches. On leaving South Africa in 1902 he was appointed to command the 1st Brigade of the Secunderabad Division in India, promoted to Major-General in 1906 and relinquishing command in 1907.[2]

    He was general officer commanding of Army forces in West Africa from 1908 to 1911, and then Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey—and correspondingly commander of the forces in Guernesy and Alderney—from 1911 to his retirement in 1914.[2]

    Shortly after his retirement, following the outbreak of the First World War, he was brought back to serve as the first commander of the newly-raised 20th (Light) Division in the New Armies. He held the command less than a month before handing over to Richard Hutton Davies, a New Zealand officer who had been invalided home from the Western Front.[3] His final military position was a purely ceremonial one; from 1914 to 1920 he was colonel-in-chief of the Queen's Royal Regiment.[4].
  • Research note 03: Edward's enrty in the regimental web site - Sir Edward Hamilton was born on 17th February 1854, son of WJ Hamilton of Fiddown, County Kilkenny, Ireland.

    He was gazetted as Lieutenant to 1st Battalion The Queen's in 1873; served in the Afghan War, 1878-80 as ADC to Major General Primrose; promoted Captain in 1883 he served with the 2nd Battalion in the Burmah War, 1886-87, and during April to August 1887 as Brigade Major to Sir William Lockhart commanding a brigade. He then became Brigade Major at Cawapore 1887-88, and Inspector of Signalling, Punjab and Bengal, 1888-93; served in the Hazara Expedition, 1891, as Superintendent of Signalling, once again he served with Sir William Lockhart in Tochi Valley in 1895. He served with the Malakand Field Force, 1897 as DAAG 2nd Brigade under Brigadier General Jeffreys.

    He was with the 2nd Battalion The Queen's, as Second-in-Command in the Tirah Experditionary Force in 1897-98. Became a Brevet Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the 2nd Battalion The Queen's in South Africa in 1899, and then from April 1900 to the end of the war he was Brigadier-General commanding a Brigade from 1902-07. Promoted Major General in 1906; he became GOC Troops West Africa 1908-11; Lieutenant General and GOC Troops, Guernsey and Alderney District, 1911-14. He retired from service in 1914 and became Colonel, The Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment 1914-1920. He married Isabel, daughter of General PHF Harris CB. He and his wife had a son and two daughters.

    During his service he was awarded the following medals and decorations,
    Mentioned in Despatches 14 times,
    Afghanistan Medal, 1878, 1 bar, Kandahar
    India General Service Medal, 1854. 4 bars, Burma 1885-7, Burma 1887-89, Hazara 1891, Waziristan 1894-5
    India General Service Medal, 1895. 2 bars, Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98
    Queen's South Africa Medal, 1899. 5 bars, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing's Nek
    King's South Africa Medal, 1901, 2 bars
    Coronation Medal, 1911
    Jubilee Medal, 1935.
  • Research note 04: One of Arthur and Ethel's sons was killed in action in WW1. His epitaph reads - Second Lieutenant Arthur Anson Shirley HAMILTON of 3rd bn, attached to 1st Bn of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. Note: Died of wounds received at the Battle of the Ancre 24th November 1916. Age 22. Son of Arthur S. Hamilton (Lt. Cmmdr. R.N. retd.) and Ethel M. Hamilton of Mudeford Hants. I. A. 73.5

Family of Arthur Shirley Hamilton and Ethel Mary Jackson


  1. Joseph Jackson Howard, Visitation of England and Wales / edited by Joseph Jackson Howard and Frederick Arthur Crisp., Jackson of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
  2. Website ( "
    England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 about Arthur Shirley Hamilton
    Name:      Arthur Shirley Hamilton
    Probate Date:      13 Oct 1925
    Death Date:      23 Aug 1925
    Death Place:      Hampshire, England
    Registry:      London, England."
  3. Find my past web sites, online or, Civil Registration event: Death
    Name:      HAMILTON, Arthur S
    Registration District: Help      Bournemouth
    County:      Dorset
    Year of Registration:      1925
    Quarter of Registration:      Jul-Aug-Sep
    Age at death:      76
    Volume No:      2B
    Page No:      691.
  4. Find my past web sites, online or,
    First name(s)      E
    Last name      Hamilton
    Service number(s)      -
    Rank      Lieutenant-Colonel
    Regiment      The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
    Literary references      Honours and Awards of the South African War 23
    Units      Unit: 2 The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) Battalion, Rank: Lieutenant-Colonel, Number:
    Casualty details      -
    Casualty notes      -
    Casualty source      -
    Gazzetteer      -
    Country      Great Britain
    Record set      Anglo-Boer War records 1899-1902
    Category      Armed forces & conflict
    Subcategory      Boer Wars
    Collections from      United Kingdom.
  5. Find a Grave, online