b. 28/09/1843 Dawlish, Devon. d. 20/04/1919 Camberley, Surrey.
Arthur George Hammond (1843-1919) was born on 28th September 1843, the son of Major Thomas John Hammond, who served with the Honourable East India Company, and his wife, Anne (nee Warren). He was educated at King Edward VI School, Sherborne, Dorset, and at Addiscombe College, which he entered in February 1861, and on 7th June he obtained his commission. He was posted to India, and landed at Calcutta on 31st December 1861, and was attached to the 82nd Regiment of Foot.
On the 17th October 1862, he joined the 12th Native Infantry, and following a successful examination in Hindustani, was posted in September 1863, to the Corps of Guides, whom he joined at Mardan. He was then involved in the Umbeyla Campaign, and commanded a detachment of corps which held the fort at Mardan. In May 1864, he was made Quartermaster of his regiment. In June 1867, he joined the Bengal Staff Corps, and in April 1875, passed in Military Surveying and Field Engineering at Rurki College. He served in the Jowaki Campaign of 1877-1878, being mentioned in despatches, and thanked by General Keyes.
He then served throughout the Afghan Campaign of 1878-1880. He took part in the assaults on Takht-i-Shah on 13th December, and the Asmai Heights on the 14th. He was mentioned in despatches on 23rd January 1880 by Sir Frederick Roberts VC, for his actions on the Asmai Heights.
On 14th December 1879, he defended the top of the hill with a rifle and fixed bayonet, against a large number of the enemy, while the 72nd Highlanders and Guides were retiring. On the retreat down the hill, he stopped to help a wounded Sepoy, with the enemy just sixty yards away, firing heavily.
Following the gazetting of his Victoria Cross on 18th October 1881, he received his medal from Queen Victoria on 1st December 1881 at Windsor Castle. On 2nd June 1886, at St George’s, Campden Hill, London, he married Edith Jane, daughter of the late Major H J Wright, Indian Army. They would go on to have three children. During the Hazara Campaign of 1888, he commanded the 3rd Sikhs and was mentioned in despatches. On April 12th 1889, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions on the North West Frontier. He then became Commandant of the Queen’s Own Corps of Guides from 1891 to 1895. In 1897, he was Brigadier-General of the Assam Brigade, and commanded the Peshawar Column and later the 3rd Brigade, Khyber Field Force, in the Tirah Campaign of 1897-1898. He also served as Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria. In 1903, he was knighted by King Edward VII.
Following his retirement, he enjoyed watching cricket, and racquet sports. He died on 20th April 1919 aged 75 in Camberley, Surrey, and was buried in St Michael’s Churchyard, Camberley. His medals are held by the Ashcroft Trust and displayed in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IW MUSEUM.
BURIAL PLACE: ST MICHAEL'S CHURCHYARD, CAMBERLEY, SURREY.
Arthur Hammond's medals including VC and DSO on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London. (August 2014).
Sherborne School Memorial
Hammond's grave renovated by the VCT in May 2016