Lieutenant Walter Hamilton

Hamilton was from Ireland and a great nephew of General Sir George Pollock who led the Army of Retribution in the First Afghan War. He joined the 70th (Surrey) Regiment in 1874 and transferred to the Corps of Guides, one of the most famous and active Indian Army regiments. He won his VC at Futtehabad where he was obliged to assume command of two squadrons of Guides Cavalry following the death of Major Battye in a charge against 5000 Afghans who had streamed out of their defensive position behind breastworks at the top of a steep slope. Hamilton and his intensely loyal men were spurred on by a sense of revenge for their leader's death and drove the ememy back to the breastworks and scattered them. In the fight, Hamilton rescued a sowar (Indian trooper) from three tribesmen.

He was to achieve yet more fame with his heroic part in the defence of The Residency in 1879.

A statue of Walter Richard Pollock Hamilton VC stood in Kildare Street, Dublin. It is now located in the National Army Museum in London.

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by Stephen Luscombe