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Biographical entry Hamilton, William Haywood (1880 - 1955)

CB 1937; CIE 1919; CBE 1921; DSO 1916; MRCS 14 May 1903; FRCS 10 December 1908; LRCP 1903; DPH Cambridge 1913; DTM London 1922; DTM RCPS 1923; DPH RCPS 1928; Cavaliere, Corona d'Italia.

12 December 1880
18 October 1955
St Helier, Jersey
General surgeon, Physician and Tropical medicine specialist


Born on 12 December 1880 son of W R Hamilton, Indian Civil Service, he was educated at Tonbridge School and St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he won a prize in anatomy in 1902, and served as house physician and ophthalmic house surgeon. He played cricket and Rugby football for his school and hospital. He also played football for the United Hospitals, Blackheath and Middlesex clubs, and cricket for Netley and in India. He was commissioned in the Indian Medical Service on 1 February 1905 and promoted Captain three years later, serving at first as an ophthalmic specialist. From 1911 to 1915 he was Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services at Lucknow and served during 1911-12 in the Abor expedition on the North-East frontier, winning the medal and clasp. During the first world war he was posted to Mesopotamia, as Assistant and later as Deputy Director of Medical Services at General Headquarters. He won the DSO in 1916 and was mentioned eight times in dispatches between 1916 and 1921, for he continued in the Middle East, taking part in military operations in Kurdistan 1919, for which he was created CIE, and in Persia in 1920; he was created CBE in 1921. He had been promoted Major on 15 October 1915 and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel on 1 January 1918. He won the open championship at lawn tennis for Iraq in 1922.

In India he served as ADMS for the Waziristan district on the North-West frontier, and was promoted to the full rank of Lieutenant-Colonel on 1 September 1924, having taken postgraduate courses and two diplomas in tropical medicine in England during 1922-23. Between 1924 and 1936 he was ADMS successively at Secunderabad, Rawalpindi, Bombay, and Meerut, and from 1936 to 1940 Honorary Physician to the King-Emperor. In 1940 he became Director of Medical Services at the Army Headquarters in India with the rank of Major-General, and retired in 1941. He had been created CB in 1937.

When the Channel Isles were liberated at the end of the second world war he went to live at the Grand Hotel, St Helier, Jersey. He collapsed in a shop there on 18 October 1955 and died almost immediately aged 74.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Crawford's Roll of IMS, general list, No 345, where the date of his birth is given as 21 December 1881; The Times 19 October 1955 p 11 c and 22 October, notice of funeral; Brit med J 1955, 2, 1091].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England