1919 - 1993

John Alan Hamilton was born at Breinton House, Lower Breinton, Herefordshire on 13 June 1919, third son of Hans Patrick Hamilton (14 December 1889-1967), a gentleman farmer, and his wife Rosamond Mary Frances Trevelyon Dixon (1887-8 November 1985), daughter of Revd James Murray Dixon, who married at St Leonard's Church, Swithland, Leicestershire on 4 September 1913. In 1921, John was a 2-year-old living at Breinton House with his parents, 31-year-old Patrick, who was born in India, and 34-year-old Rosamond who was born in Swithland and his three siblings Gerald 6, Arthur Patrick Henry 3 and newly born May, they retained four indoor servants and a governess. After education at Bradfield College, a Reading boarding school, he served in the Army in the Far East during the Second World War winning the Military Cross for gallantry during active operations against the enemy. He married at Westminster, London in 1946, Betty Gwendolen Silvey née Roberts (21 July 1920-4 November 2009) and one of their children was Jane Hamilton. After the war he moved to Grundisburgh near Ipswich and worked in a Suffolk Borstal Institution before going to the Gold Coast, now Ghana, to start the approved school system. After eight years in West Africa, he returned to England to work in industry and whilst holidaying in Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly, decided to become and artist and in 1972 he sold his business and began painting on a full-time basis. A self-taught painter living in Tresco and his studio became popular with the many people visiting the islands from where he painted local scenes, primarily of beaches and bird life selling prints to pay his bills during the years of research. He painted island scenes, the sea and traditional sailing ships, but gradually his interest turned to researching and recording the historical naval battles of the second world war and historical sailing ships and was noted for his accurate details. His first extensive collection covered the war in the Atlantic, over seventy pictures now in the Imperial War Museum’s HMS Belfast. The war in the Pacific was depicted in about one hundred pictures, now in the Pentagon, in America; there was also a series on the Falklands campaign; and Hamilton then started on a run of two hundred Antarctic paintings, setting up a branch of the Antarctic Heritage Trust in 1992. He also exhibited with the Royal Society of Marine Artists and had solo shows in Hamburg, 1979, and London, 1980. John Alan Hamilton died at The Parade, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall on 30 December 1993

Works by This Artist