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Rothesay naval hero dies aged 103

Commander Ian Hamilton, who died on February 9 at the age of 103, is seen here receiving the Arctic Star Medal from Erskine chief executive Steve Conway in April 2013.

Commander Ian Hamilton, who died on February 9 at the age of 103, is seen here receiving the Arctic Star Medal from Erskine chief executive Steve Conway in April 2013.

 

A former Rothesay resident who received an Arctic Star award for the part he played in the Arctic convoys during the Second World War has died at the age of 103.

Commander Ian Hamilton passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Erskine home for former service personnel on Sunday, February 9.

Ian Hamilton, who lived in Rothesay until October 2011, joined the Clyde division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in August 1932, and served in the Royal Navy proper from 1936 until 1957.

He saw Second World War service in the Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the battles of Taranto and Matapan and the D-Day landings as well as the infamous Arctic convoys, taking supplies to Russian ports between 1941 and 1945.

Commander Hamilton’s campaign medals included the Naval General Service Medal, the 1939-45 Star, the Atlantic Star, the Italy Star, the Africa Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal, the Defence of Malta Medal and the Soviet Union’s Arctic Convoy Medal.

His Arctic Star medal was presented at Erskine in April 2013 following approval by the Queen of an award to recognise the service of Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel on what Winston Churchill described as “the worst journey in the world”.

Commander Hamilton was also an enthusiastic supporter of many local organisations, including the Rothesay and District Pipe Band, whose members visited Erskine to play on the commander’s 102nd birthday in January 2012.

 

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