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HAMILTON, Alexander Turnbull Russell

Born: 1875 01 09
Died: 1917 05

Architect


He was born on 9 January 1875 at East Viewfield, Trinity, Edinburgh. He was the son of Robert Hamilton, an iron and oil merchant (unconfirmed) and his wife Anne Carmichael. At the time of their marriage in 1862 Robert Hamilton was described as a general merchant and in the 1881 Census he is described as ‘iron and provision merchant’ but the word provision is unclear. In the 1881 census it looks as if Hamilton’s mother is a 'student science' (meaning unclear). The address in the 1881 census is Trinity Lodge which probably means the family were fairly well-off. He was educated at George Watson's College, served his articles with Robert Moreham, City Architect of Edinburgh. On completion of articles he went as an assistant to an architect in Ayr and joined the Ayrshire Yeomanry on the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War.

He left for active service in South Africa where he settled, after briefly returning to Britain and joined George RANSOME's office. He was there only a short time (1901-1902) before, in September 1902 he and W Tait CONNER, both of them assistants in Ransome's office, left for Johannesburg. Here Hamilton joined the office of LECK & EMLEY where he remained until 1904, leaving to enter into partnership with Tait Conner (cf TAIT CONNER & HAMILTON). The partnership continued until 1911 when Hamilton joined the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT in Pretoria. On the out-break of the First World War he joined the Natal Light Horse and took part in the South West Africa campaign, fighting at Gibeon and then entered an Officers' Training Course in England. He was posted to France, a Lieutenant with the Second Battalion, Border Regiment and died in action. Frank EMLEY, writing Hamilton's obituary for the Journal of the Association of Transvaal Architects, said that Hamilton 'was a brilliant draughtsman ... perhaps too little ambitious, perhaps too modest in his own estimation ... but more brilliant by far than many who were infinitely better known'

(Jul ATA, 1916 1(1):9; Jnl ATA Sep 1917:47; Jnl ATA Sep 1917:46, 47 obits by W Tait Conner and Frank Emley; PWD ar 1918; Early history supplied by Yvonne Hillyard - Dictionary of Scottish Architects Manager)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.