b. 23/05/1869 Dublin, Ireland. d. 07/03/1931 South Kensington, London.
Hamilton Lyster Reed (1869-1931) was born on 23rd May 1869 in Dublin, Ireland, son of Sir Andrew Reed, KCB, CVO, Inspector-General, Royal Irish Constabulary, and Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Hamilton Lyster. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was gazetted into the Royal Field Artillery on 16th February 1888, becoming a Captain in 1898. His uncle was Harry Hammon Lyster VC.
In the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, he was at first Captain, 7th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, later Adjutant, Royal Field Artillery. He took part in the operations in Natal (1899), was at the relief of Ladysmith, and the action at Colenso, where he would be awarded the Victoria Cross.
On 15th December 1899 at Colenso, Captain Reed, who had heard of the difficulty, shortly afterwards brought down three teams from his battery to see if he could be of any use. He was wounded, as were five of the thirteen men who rode with him, one was killed; and thirteen out of twenty-one horses were killed before he got half-way to the guns, and he was obliged to retire.
Having been gazetted on 2nd February 1900, he received the VC from Lieutenant-General Sir G Butler in Ladysmith on 4th March 1900. He then saw action at Spion Kop, Vaal Krantz, and at the Tugela Heights (17th-24th February 1900). From March to June 1900, he saw action in Natal, particularly at Laing’s Nek. He then moved onto Transvaal, east of Pretoria, and saw action at Belfast and Lydenburg. He then served in the Orange River Colony from 1900-1902.
He was mentioned in despatches three times, received the Queen’s South Africa Medal with six clasps, the King’s Medal with two clasps as well as the VC. He was promoted to Major in 1904, passed the Staff College in 1905, and was on the General Staff at Army Headquarters from 1906-1910. In 1911, he married Marjorie Eleanor, younger daughter of A. Theodore Olive, and they went on to have a son and two daughters. He was then additional Military Attache with Turkish Army 1912 to 1913, during the Balkan War.
Colonel Reed served through the Great War and was mentioned in despatches seven times. He was created CMG in April 1916 and Companion of Bath in 1918. He was promoted to Major General in June 1919. He retired from the Army and lived in London for the remainder of his life.
Major-General Reed passed away at his home, 27b Bramham Gardens, South Kensington, on 7th March 1931, aged 61. He was buried in East Sheen Cemetery, Richmond, Surrey. His medals are held by the Ashcroft Trust and are displayed in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: RICHMOND & EAST SHEEN CEMETERY, SURREY.
Hamilton Reed's medals including VC on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
SECTION E, GRAVE 210.
RA Chapel, Woolwich