Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton

1863 - 1915

LTC Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton

Lieutenant-Colonel Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton VC was born on August 20th, 1863, in Brighton, England, to Maj.-Gen. Octavius Douglas-Hamilton  and Katherine Augusta Westenra Macleod. Inheriting a family tradition of military service, he received his commission into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders in 1884 after graduating from Sandhurst.

Douglas-Hamilton's early career saw him deployed across the globe, serving with distinction in the Sudan Expedition (1884-1886), Gibraltar, Malta, South Africa, North China, and India. He rose through the ranks, eventually attaining the rank of Major in the 79th Cameron Highlanders.

By 1912, Douglas-Hamilton had retired from active service and settled in St Mary's, Weirbank, Melrose, Scotland. However, the outbreak of World War I in 1914 brought him back to the military as part of the reserve list of officers. In November of that year, he was appointed to command the newly formed 6th (Service) Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders.

In September 1915, Douglas-Hamilton's battalion found itself embroiled in the brutal Battle of Loos, France. During the fighting on Hill 70, on September 25th and 26th, the battalions flanking the Camerons retreated. Despite this setback, Douglas-Hamilton displayed remarkable courage and leadership. He rallied his battalion repeatedly, leading them forward in four separate offensives. The final charge saw him at the head of a depleted force of just 50 men. Tragically, Douglas-Hamilton was killed in action during this final assault.

Lieutenant-Colonel Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton's actions at Loos were recognized with the highest military honor – the Victoria Cross. The citation for his VC commended him for "most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" in holding the line against enemy advances. His bravery and leadership were instrumental in preventing a breakthrough by German forces.

Douglas-Hamilton left behind a wife, Anna Watson Mackenzie, whom he had married in 1894. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in France, where his sacrifice is remembered alongside countless others who fell during the Great War. Lieutenant-Colonel Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton VC stands as a testament to the unwavering courage and selflessness displayed by those who served in the First World War.


News Report

The remains of a lost First World War hero who won the Victoria Cross may have been found almost 100 years after he was killed defending British lines on the western front.

Lieutenant-Colonel Angus Douglas-Hamilton led four counterattacks against a German advance at the Battle of Loos, before he was killed leading his last 50 men on September 26, 1915. He was 52. If battlefield remains are confirmed as his, it would be the first identification of a VC winner in living memory, according to Diddy Grahame, of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association. (The Times; 2013)


     Child of Major Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton, V.C. and Anna Watson Mackenzie:
Camilla Beatrice Douglas-Hamilton   b. 9 Aug 1895, d. 23 May 1957