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William Hamilton

198 Private

2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 98th Infantry Brigade, 33rd Division

Age: 26

Date of Death: 25.9.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 141 to 143

Family History: Son of Mrs Mary Hamilton and the late James Hamilton, Homeside, Hamilton, Ontario and formerly of 5 Steps Street, Stenhousemuir and brother of Mrs Janet Govan, James Street, Stenhousemuir.

William, who was employed as an Iron Moulder, enlisted in February 1909 at the age of 18. During his service he had minor infractions for drunkenness, being absent from the parade and causing a nuisance in his barrack room. He saw service overseas with the Battalion providing the garrison for the island of Malta. He was in service at ‘Home’ and joined the 2nd Battalion in France on 19 December 1914. He was hospitalised, sent back to the UK, between 15 February and 30 April 1915, in Aberdeen General Hospital with Frost Bite. After one months leave he rejoined the Battalion in France in June 1915.

The action leading to his death

On the night of the 24/25 September, the 98th and 100th Brigades of the 33rd Division were in preparation for the attack on Polygon Wood, the Reutelbeke and Polderhoek Chateau. The 2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and the 1st Middlesex in the 98th Brigade, were to be supported by a machine gun barrage from the from their machine gun groups and by the 207th (Independent) Company. The attack was ordered for dawn on 26 September. At 3.30am on the morning of the 25 September the Germans opened a bombardment on the British front and support lines. They then launched an attack with five divisions on the 33rd Divisional front. Heavy fighting then took place throughout the day with S.O.S. calls from the infantry for fire support while at the same time coming under heavy shell fire themselves. The Argyll’s and the Middlesex held their ground with one company of each battalion being cut off and continued to fight and counter attacks were made. By 9pm the situation had been stabilised. Battalion casualties were Officers : 1 killed, 3 wounded. Other Ranks: 37 killed, 152 wounded and 12 missing.

(Linesman Map)

Medals Awarded

The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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