Major General Hubert Ion Wetherall Hamilton, CB, CVO, DSO (27 June 1861 – 14 October 1914) was a senior British general who served with distinction throughout his career, seeing battle in the Mahdist War in Egypt and the Second Boer War in South Africa, before being given command of the British Third Division at the outbreak of the First World War. Just two and a half months later at the height of the Race for the Sea, General Hamilton was killed by artillery fire whilst surveying the front line, the first British divisional commander to be killed in action during the conflict. He had received several honours for his service and was popular amongst his men, who nicknamed him "Hammy" and expressed sorrow at his death; each regiment in his division despatched representatives to his funeral, despite being involved in heavy fighting less than a mile away.
Born in 1861, Hubert Hamilton was the son of General Henry Meade Hamilton, CB, and one of four brothers to enter military service, including General Sir Bruce Meade Hamilton (1857-1936). As a child the brothers were surrounded by military figures; in addition to their father, their brother-in-law was General Sir George Pomeroy Colley, who was killed in action at the battle of Majuba Hill in 1881. Hamilton was educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College and, following attendance at the Royal Military College, entered service with the 2nd Foot Regiment (Queen's Royal Regiment) in 1880.
In the early 1880s he travelled to India with his regiment, and there was involved in the Burma Expedition 1886 to 1888, remaining in the country as Adjutant from 1886 to 1890 and winning the campaign medal with two clasps. He was promoted to Captain in December 1890. By 1896 he was back in England, and was appointed an ADC to Major-General Thomas Kelly-Kenny, commanding an Infantry brigade at Aldershot Garrison.
In the following year, he was involved in the Mahdist War, when he accompanied Lord Kitchener's army against the Mahdist forces, fighting at the battle of Atbara and the battle of Omdurman, and in November 1899 as Deputy Adjutant general in the final advance against the Khalifa during the Battle of Umm Diwaykarat. He was mentioned in Despatches (5 September 1898) and rewarded for his service with the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Imperial Ottoman Order (Fourth Class) from the Khedive of Egypt.