In 2014 the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, Cumnock History Group began researching the names on the Cumnock War Memorial plus other men and women with Cumnock connections mentioned on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission or in the Cumnock Chronicle of the time. The research is not limited to those who died but also to men and women who served, using family history information.

The group would like to appeal to individuals with knowledge of family members for photographs of the soldier, either in uniform or not, and photos of medals or other memorabilia eg letters sent home from the Front. If you would be prepared to share these on this site, please email the web manager cumnockhistory [at] The group is willing to share any copies of documents found with the soldier's descendants.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

John Hamilton

John Hamilton of  New Cumnock was born in Cumnock. His mother was Jane Hamilton and he was brought up by his grandparents John and Maggie Hamilton.

Cumnock Chronicle - 26th October 1917 THE LATE PTE JOHN HAMILTON

After an anxious wait of many months, hoping against hope that all would be well, the sad news arrived last week that all hope had been abandoned of Private John Hamilton, R.S.F., and that it was now presumed that he was dead. Pte Hamilton was one of the lads who took part in the great attack of the 30th July 1916 and who never returned. At the time he was posted as wounded and missing, but it was hoped that he was a prisoner, as many of his comrades who were similarly posted were afterwards found to be prisoners. All enquiries failed to trace him, and the official notice just received has put an end to any hopes still lingering amongst those he left behind. Pte Hamilton, when only 17 years of age, enlisted a year after the outbreak of hostilities, and three months later he was sent to France. There he took his place in the fighting line until he fell, as stated, on the 30th July last year. He was never home from the day he sailed. Pte Hamilton was brought up by his grandparents, Mr and Mrs John Hamilton, Burnfoot Rows, two much respected residenters, and worked with his uncles at New Cumnock Collieries. He was a likeable lad and was held in general respect. Although not a player himself, he was a keen follower of football and regularly accompanied his uncle Tom, the well known Kilmarnock F.C. full back, to the games. As a carpet bowler he held several prizes won in local competitions. Much sympathy is extended to Mr and Mrs Hamilton and other relatives, all of whom were specially attached to the deceased.

His service papers survive. He enlisted on 24 Aug 1915, stating his age as 19 yrs and 4 months (which seems to tally with the 1901 census).  He was a miner of 155 Burnfoot, New Cumnock.
His grandparents are named as his relatives along with uncle Alex 32, Robert 28 and Thomas 26. The grandmother provided this information after his death.

Here is the family in 1901 at Mansfield Village
John Hamilton             51
Margaret McCracken Hamilton             47
John Hamilton             19
James Hamilton             16
Robert Hamilton             11
Janet Hamilton             11
Thomas Hamilton             7
John Hamilton             4 grandson

He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme, France and on Cumnock War Memorial

Commonwealth War Grave

Cumnock Connections tree

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