22nd Special Air Service
Captain Hamilton was born on 15th May 1953.
He was killed near Port Howard when he was in an Observation party attacked by Argentine troops in the only action to take place on West Falkland, on 10th June 1982. He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on that day.
He now rests in Port Howard Cemetery, Falkland Islands.
Information courtesy of www.roll-of-honour.com
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
HONOURS AND AWARDS
MONDAY, 11th OCTOBER 1982
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to approve the Posthumous award of the Military Cross to the undermentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during the operations in the South Atlantic:
Captain Gavin John Hamilton, The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment)
Between 19th April and 10th June, when he was killed in action, Captain Hamilton and his SAS Troop were responsible for some of the most successful SAS operations carried out in the campaign in the South Atlantic.
Having survived two helicopter crashes in appalling weather conditions on the Fortuna Glacier in South Georgia, two days later Captain Hamilton led the advance elements of the forces which captured the main enemy positions in Grytviken. This action resulted in the total surrender of all enemy forces in South Georgia.
Ten days later, Captain Hamilton led his Troop on the successful and brilliantly executed raid on Pebble Island in the Falklands Islands when eleven enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Acting quickly and decisively and with great courage and coolness, he personally supervised the destruction of seven of the aircraft.
Later, even though his Troop had lost half of its strength in a helicopter crash the previous day, Captain Hamilton led the remainder of his men on a highly successful diversionary raid on Darwin in order to cover the main amphibious landings on East Falkland. That he was able to do this after such losses is an immense testimony to his resilience and leadership qualities.
Next, Captain Hamilton deployed with his Squadron to a position 40 miles behind the enemy lines overlooking the main enemy defensive positions in Port Stanley. Again, his leadership and courage proved to be instrumental over the next seven days of continuous operations in seizing this vital ground from which the attack on Port Stanley was ultimately launched. On 27th May he identified an enemy probe into the Squadron position and in the ensuing battle captured a prisoner of war. The next night, he and his Troop successfully held off another enemy attack and by doing so enabled 42 Commando to fly in as planned to reinforce the position – an important step in the repossession of the Falklands. On the following day he ambushed another enemy patrol wounding three and capturing all five members of the patrol.
On 5th June, he was deployed in command of a four-man observation patrol into a hazardous position again behind enemy lines on West Falkland to carry out observation of enemy activities in Port Howard. He managed to establish himself in a position only 2500m from the enemy, from where he sent detailed and accurate reports on the enemy.
Shortly after dawn on 10th June he realised that he and his radio operator had been surrounded in a forward position. Although heavily outnumbered, and with no reinforcements available, he gave the order to engage the enemy, telling his signaller that they should both attempt to fight their way out of the encirclement. Since the withdrawal route was completely exposed to enemy observation and fire, he initiated the fire fight in order to allow his signaller to move first. After the resulting exchange of fire he was wounded in the back, and it became clear to his signaller that Captain Hamilton was only able to move with difficulty. Nevertheless, he told his signaller that he would continue to hold off the enemy whilst the signaller made good his escape, and then he proceeded to give further covering fire. Shortly after that he was killed. Captain Hamilton displayed outstanding determination and an extraordinary will to continue the fight in spite of being confronted by hopeless odds and being wounded. He furthermore showed supreme courage and sense of duty by his conscious decision to sacrifice himself on behalf of his signaller.
His final, brave and unselfish act will be an inspiration to all who follow in the SAS.
I went to school with “John” as I remember him being called, at Grosvenor House School in Harrogate in the 60’s.
A confident and athletic (unlike me) chap, I seem to recall him living with his father – ex military. We would spend the occasional holiday day together after I had progressed to Durham School – albeit still living in Harrogate. I remember my father driving me to his home on a few occasions. I have no memory of seeing his Mum. I believe he married a Harrogate girl.
An affable fellow and one of the few “friends” I had. We sadly lost touch in our early teenage years.
I can only read his exploits with pride and admiration. At close to 30 years old, he left his family and friends far too early – to read of his exploits now, so late in my life, serves to remind us all of the fragility of friendships and life itself. You have to work at maintaining them – I truly wish I had.
With fond but distant memories of a great chap.
Family and friends are encouraged to contribute.
We will add information to this memorial as we receive it.
If you have a photo, an anecdote, or simply to say you remember him, we will be very pleased to hear from you, so please contact the sama office at email@example.com
In 2022, as part of the 40th Anniversary commemorations, geographical features were identified and named after the fallen of 1982. HAMILTON POINT is situated at the exit of Double Stream into Port Howard, West Falkland.
It is in position
51° 39′ 56.29″ S, 059° 35′ 14.02″ W
As well as Hamilton Point, Captain Hamilton was chosen to have a street named after him at the Mount Pleasant Complex (MPC). MPC is the base for British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI).
HAMILTON RISE & HAMILTON ROAD are located at
51° 49′ 57.28″ S, 058° 27′ 22.42″ W
51° 49′ 54.19″ S, 058° 26′ 24.36″ W