Prime Minister Scott Morrison came to Penshurst RSL Club yesterday to honour the memory of local WWI war hero, John Patrick Hamilton VC.
John Hamilton served in WWI and WWII, was in the original landing at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 and received the Victoria Cross for his bravery at the Battle of Lone Pine.
Mr Morrison presided at the official dedication of the club’s lobby in John Hamilton’s memory.
The gathering included members of John Hamilton’s family.
John Hamilton was born in Orange in 1893, the eldest of six children.
After his mother died his family moved to Penshurst where John worked as a butcher in his father’s shop at Penshurst.
He enlisted on September 15, 1914, joining the 3rd Battalion which was then being formed and embarked with the unit on October 18.
As a Private he took part in the original landing at Gallipoli on April 15, 1915.
At aged 19, John took part in the battle of Lone Pine on August 9 where his bravery saw him awarded the Victoria Cross.
According to the London Gazette, during a heavy bombing attack by the enemy of the newly captured position at Lone Pine, Private Hamilton, with utter disregard of personal safety and under heavy fire secured a better fire position against the enemy’s bomb-throwers. “His coolness and daring example had an immediate effect. The defence was encouraged, and the enemy driven off with heavy loss.”
He was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace.
He then travelled to France with his unit and fought at Pozieres, Mouquet Farm and Flers during the Somme offensive with the rank of corporal.
During his three years of active service there is no recorded of him ever being wounded.
After the war, John Hamilton settled at Tempe and worked as a docker, shipping clerk, storeman and packer. He was an active member of the Waterside Workers’ Federation.
During WWII he returned to active service as a lieutenant and served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion in New Guinea. He joined the Army Labour Service in 1944 where he was promoted to Captain and where his unit supported the Australian forces who landed on Bougainville in July 1945.
John Patrick Hamilton died in the Repatriation General Hospital, Concord on February 27, 1961, leaving his widow Myrtle and son Alwyn.
He was buried in Woronora Cemetery.