About Richard Hamilton

Wes Richards:

I am certain that all those walking away from Richard's memorial service did so feeling proud to have known such a wonderful person and at the same time humbled. Apart from his never ending list of qualifications, scholarships and awards a wide variety of people delivered eulogies outlining some of the many ways he had expanded their own and other's lives. For all of us the service was not only a celebration of such a full life but also a revelation and I am sure even his closest friends learnt something amazing about him that he had been typically too modest to share.

I first met Richard on the back of a four-tonner en route to Bisley for a TA recruits assessment weekend. At the time he was a trainee solicitor working in the city but as I found on the drive down his suited life belied one that constantly sought out adventure and the chance to expand his vast knowledge of just about any subject. We shared travel and climbing stories as well future ambitions and, even before the tail gate dropped, thanks to Rich I'd made up my mind that I wanted to join up and mix with people like this more regularly. As if taking on a part time job was not enough during this period he conducted lengthy pro bono appeals to the Privy Council, the UNHCR and the Inter-American Commission for several prisoners on Death Row in the Caribbean. His experiences on army hospital attachments fuelled his desire to do the right thing and before long he had enrolled at the University of Sheffield's School of Medicine. Tragically he was just a year off completing his studies when he was killed in a canoeing accident in Scotland. Typically he left his body to medical science.

Don't let me give you the impression that Richard was an angel... he enjoyed a few too many beers and the company of the fairer sex just as much as any one of us and although he often looked squeaky clean that glint in his eye revealed a strong sense of mischief temporarily latent and always just below the surface. As in everything he did in life he sort to get the very most out of his military service and this, on occasion, led to 'an interview without coffee' whether that be for breaking into farmhouses during survival exercises or by-passing the normal chain of command when he wanted to get on a course of some sort. This was never done maliciously, or for the sake of it, but typically just so that he could get the very last drop of available experience and adventure out of every situation. The sort of 'can do' attitude most of us admire and secretly envy.

Rich was the sort of person that, not matter how hard things were for him, he always kept in touch, was always supportive and encouraging, and who without fail was interested in you as a person. His interests encompassed everything from the smallest creature to the most complex piece of technical equipment. He was proactive where most were too tired or idle and being with him was always an education. It was refreshing to be with someone so rounded yet so totally unaware of his charms or the effect he had on so many. Above all he was always infectiously excited by some new venture. There will not be a day for me, and I suspect many others, when his memory will fail to provide that extra inspiration needed to get on.

Bob Dobson
James Sowerby
Mike Cole
Wes Richards