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Lt.Col. Ralph Hamilton

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I have just finished reading The War Diary of the Master of Belhaven for the second time and this time I have been creating trench maps of all the positions mentioned. However, when it comes to his final day, there is absolutely no clue in the book as to where he was. Has anyone ever researched this to pinpoint the exact position where the shell killed him?

Bob Findley

Beselare

Belgium

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Is this your man?

Name:HAMILTON, THE HON RALPH GERARD ALEXANDERInitials:R G ANationality:United KingdomRank:Lieutenant ColonelRegiment/Service:Royal Horse ArtillerySecondary Regiment:Royal Field ArtillerySecondary Unit Text:Commanding 106th Brigade,Age:35Date of Death:31/03/1918Additional information:Master of Belhaven. Croix de Guerre with Palm (France). Son of 10th Baron Belhaven and Stenton and Lady Belhaven and Stenton, of Wishaw House, Wishaw, Lanarkshire; husband of Lady Grizel Hamilton.Casualty Type:Commonwealth War DeadGrave/Memorial Reference:Near N.W. Corner.Cemetery:ROUVREL COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Picture of Grave

http://www.cwgc.org/CWGCImgs/Rouvrel%20Communal%20Cem%20A4%20landscape.jpg

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Lieut. Colonel The Hon Ralph Gerard Alexander Hamilton, Royal Field Artillery, Master of Belhaven, only son of 10th Lord Belhaven & Stenton.

Born Feby. 22 1883

Served with the 7th Division in Flanders in 1914.

In August 1915 he took out C Battery 108th Brigade R.F.A.

Fought in the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Battles of Ypres, Loos, The Somme Offensive & Messines.

Killed in action by a shell on Easter Monday March 31, 1918 at Castel near Amiens whilst commanding 106th Brigade R.F.A.

defending the ridge where the German advance was finally stayed. Buried in Rouvrel Cemetery

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Lieut. Colonel The Hon Ralph Gerard Alexander Hamilton, Royal Field Artillery, Master of Belhaven, only son of 10th Lord Belhaven & Stenton.

Born Feby. 22 1883

Served with the 7th Division in Flanders in 1914.

In August 1915 he took out C Battery 108th Brigade R.F.A.

Fought in the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Battles of Ypres, Loos, The Somme Offensive & Messines.

Killed in action by a shell on Easter Monday March 31, 1918 at Castel near Amiens whilst commanding 106th Brigade R.F.A.

defending the ridge where the German advance was finally stayed. Buried in Rouvrel Cemetery

Hi Atnomis

Thank you very much for the information. Now I have the location as Castel, I might be able to find the exact spot.

Regards

Bob Findley

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Bob,

Glad to help.

Keep us updated. Do we have a picture of the man?

I will look in my data base. Most Lords/Peers seem to be on roll of honour.

Simon/Atnomis

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Hi Simon

Many thanks for the photo - it is the one which is included on the fly cover of the book. I know that we should not have such a thing as 'hero-worship', but he is definitely 'my hero'. I intend to make finding the exact spot of his death a life-long ambition if necessary and then I will make a pilgrimage to that place and to his grave.

Best Regards

Bob

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Bob,

Good luck. Please keep us informed. We all need hero's.

Simon

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Dear Bob,

As luck would have it, I'm also doing a bit of research on 106 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, as my grandfather served with this unit between October 1914 and April 1919; he was posted to "B" Battery.

I was recently going through the Brigade's war diary at the National Archives, and you may be interested to know that the entry for 31st March 1918 states that Lt. Col. R.G.A. Hamilton was killed while in the vicinity of "B" Battery. To help narrow it down even further, the war diary gives a reasonably precise location: from the afternoon of 29th March "A" & "B" Batteries were covering the Moreuil Crossings, and were located near Estrees-sur-Noye, in or around the woods 2,000 yards west of Moreuil.

I think that after Hamilton had been killed these two batteries were moved to new positions west of the Bois de Senecat.

Hope this gives you the information that you need to narrow it down even further.

Regards,

S.

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He is commemorated on the House of Lords War Memorial.

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