Edward Hamilton (British Army officer)

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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.

Early career[edit]

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 served in the Tochi Valley 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]

Regimental and senior command[edit]

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]


  1. ^ a b Access to Archives
  2. ^ a b c d e Who Was Who
  3. ^ The History of the Twentieth (Light) Division
  4. ^ Regimental Association


Military offices
Preceded by
New formation
General Officer Commanding the 20th (Light) Division
Succeeded by
R. H. Davies
Preceded by
Thomas Kelly-Kenny
Colonel of the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Succeeded by
C. C. Monro
Government offices
Preceded by
Robert Auld
Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Lawson