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Ian Standish Monteith HAMILTON (1853-1947)

Known As
Sir Ian Hamilton
Biographical Details

General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton (1853-1947) was a senior officer in the British Army, who commanded the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Gallipoli Campaign.

Sir Ian Hamilton was educated at Cheam, Surrey, then at Wellington College.  He attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In 1871 he joined the Suffolk Regiment but shortly after transferred to the 2nd Battalion The Gordon Highlanders stationed in India, taking part in the Afghan War.  He was appointed Lord Kitchener's Chief of Staff during the South African War of 1899-1902. 

Following the Boer campaign Hamilton received a knighthood in 1902.  He was made Commander in Chief of British forces in the Mediterranean in 1910.  On the outbreak of war in 1914 he was placed in charge of home forces.

In March 1915 Kitchener appointed Hamilton to command the Allied Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to gain control of the Dardanelles Straits from Turkey and to capture Constantinople.  The failure of this campaign - considered risky and inadvisable by many even before it began - led to the end of his military career.  He was made a scapegoat for the failure of the operation (despite being hopelessly undermanned and having faced formidable logistical difficulties), and was recalled to London in October 1915. 

Sir Ian Hamilton died at his home in Hyde Park Gardens, London, on 12th October 1947, aged 94.

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