Thomas de Courcy Hamilton VC

b. 20/07/1825 Stranraer, Scotland. d. 03/03/1908 Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Thomas de Courcy Hamilton (1825-1908) was born on 20th July 1825 in Stranraer, Scotland, the second son of T.T. Hamilton, who hailed originally from Ballymacoll, County Meath, Ireland, and a grandson on his mother’s side of the 26th Baron Kingsale. He joined the 90th Light Infantry on 30th September 1842, and served with this Regiment in South Africa during the Kaffir Wars of 1846-47. It was however, in the Crimea that he established his reputation as a soldier.

Thomas d C Hamilton VC

He went to South Russia with the 68th Light Infantry, and served with it throughout the campaign. He took part in the Battles of Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman, and the siege operations before Sebastopol. It was following a promotion to Captain, when his actions on the 11th May 1855, would eventually lead to the award of the Victoria Cross.

On the night of the 11th May, during a determined sortie, he boldly charged the enemy with a small force, from a battery of which they had obtained possession in great numbers, thereby saving the works from falling into the hands of the enemy. He was conspicuous on this occasion for his gallantry. Besides the award of the VC (24th February 1857), he was also awarded the Crimean Medal with four clasps, Turkish Medal and was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour by France.

On his return from the Crimea, he was appointed a Brigade Major at Colchester. It was about this time he married a daughter of the late Sir William Baynes, and accepted a Staff appointment in the Ionian Islands, which he held from 1857 to 1862. He was given his majority in the 8th Regiment of Foot, and on promotion five years later he was transferred to command the 64th Regiment of Foot. He became a Colonel on 20th May 1873, and retired the following year on full pay, with the honorary rank of Major General. He spent the last 27 years of his life in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and took a great interest in the formation of the Gordon Boys’ Brigade. He died on 3rd March 1908 at his home, Dunboyne, in Cheltenham. He was buried in Cheltenham Cemetery. His medals are not publicly held.






Kevin Brazier – Cheltenham Cemetery Map.