Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Richard Hamilton

In memory of:

Able Seaman Richard Hamilton

May 31, 1941

Military Service


Age:

29

Force:

Merchant Navy

Unit:

Canadian Merchant Navy

Division:

M.V. Scottish Prince (London)

Citation(s):

Albert Medal

The London Gazette - The KING has been graciously pleased to make the posthumous award of the Decoration of the Albert Medal for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea in recognition of the gallantry displayed by Second Officer Robert Allan Finlayson and Able Richard Hamilton in the following circumstances.

Their vessel was in port undergoing repairs and two members of the crew were engaged in removing plugs from the bulkhead of the port deep tank, when both suddenly collapsed, having been overcome by unsuspected gas which had generated from damaged cargo in the hold. The Second Officer, Mr. Robert Allan Finlayson, observing the occurrence and realizing the immediate need for assistance, promptly fastened his shirt around his nose and mouth and, with Able Seaman Richard Hamilton, entered the tank with a rope in an attempt to save the two men. This brave action on the part of Second Officer Finlayson and Able Seaman Hamilton unfortunately cost them their lives. Mr. Finlayson was just able to make the rope fast around the body of one of the men before he himself collapsed and died. Able Sea­man Hamilton, who had immediately followed him, did not reach the bottom of the tank but collapsed off the ladder when about half way down. Although they must have known the very great risk they ran in entering the tank, Second Officer Finlayson and Able Seaman Hamilton completely disregarded their personal safety in their gallant endeavour to save the lives of their shipmates.

Additional Information


Son of James Hastwell and Alice Catherine Hamilton, of Eel River Crossing, New Brunswick.

Commemorated on Page 148 of the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

ALEXANDRIA (CHATBY) BRITISH PROTESTANT CEMETERY
Egypt

Grave Reference:

Grave 984.

Location:

Chatby is a district on the eastern side of the city of Alexandria, between the main dual carriageway to Aboukir, known as Al Horaya, and the sea. This cemetery is located centrally within the main Alexandria cemetery complex, which is bordered by Al Horaya on the south and the electric tramway, which is parallel with Sharia Champollion on the North. Visitors can reach the entrance to the cemetery along the road Sharia Anubis, which lies centrally north/south through the cemetery area.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Gravemarker– The grave of Richard Hamilton, in Alexandria Brtish Protestant cemetery. He lies next to his other shipmates.
  • Alexandria Brtish Protestant cemetery– The overview shot of graves, of Richard Hamilton and his shipmates in Alexandria Brtish Protestant cemetery.
  • Back of Card from the King– Back of card that Richard's Parents received from the King
  • Letter– This is the front of the card received by Richard's Parents after his death.
  • Photo of Richard Hamilton– This is Richard before he went in the Merchant Navy, this picture was loaned to me by his brother Whylie who is now 88 years old, he did not have a picture of Richard in uniform, he said his Mother received a medal for Richard's bravery but could not remember which one it was.

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