John Mallon Hamilton

John Mallon Hamilton of Belfast landed with The Parachute Regiment near Oosterbeek where he sustained fatal wounds on 21st September 1944.


John Mallon Hamilton


Private John Mallon Hamilton of Belfast died of wounds sustained during fighting on the perimeter of Oosterbeek as part of Operation Market Garden on 21st September 1944.

Private John Mallon Hamilton (5109896) served in 156th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps during the Second World War. He was the son of John Hamilton and Margaret Hamilton (née Mallon) of Belfast, and the husband of Robertena Hamilton of Belfast.

John died of wounds on 21st September 1944 aged 26 years old during Operation Market Garden. He landed at drop zone DZ-Y, Ginkel Heath on 18th September 1944 under heavy mortar fire. The following day, his Battalion attempted to take the crossing at Wolfhezen. On 20th September 1944, Hamilton sustained injuries while fighting through the perimeter of Oosterbeek, Netherlands. Harry Bankhead mentioned his death in ‘Salute to the Steadfast’, a history of 151/156 Parachute Battalion.

We were now heading north-east towards Valkenburglaan through more open woods. At 1200hrs, the 10th Battalion had broken clear and was reported to have reached Valkenburglaan in close touch with the Division’s perimeter. Progress became slower because the leading files were constantly exchanging fire with the encroaching Germans.

The enemy suffered higher casualties, but our own were considerable. I passed John Hamilton lying on the ground with a serious stomach wound that was clearly mortal. He died the next day. A fortnight earlier, he had introduced me to his wife and children.

John Mallon Hamilton died at St. Joseph’s Mental Hospital, Apeldoorn, Netherlands. His grave is in Section 23, Row B, Grave 5 of Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands. His headstone bears the inscription:

He died that we might live.