Bonnyton, Fife born centre half Jock Hamilton started his football career with Lochgelly United but moved in 1903 to Scottish League club Cowdenbeath, remaining with them for one season before a move to Dunfirmline Athletic in 1904. After a single season with The Pars he moved to Leith Athletic in 1905, making one appearance at the end of the 1904-05 season. He then became a regular making 28 League and Cup appearances in 1905-06 and featuring in 23 League and Cup games in 1906-07, before heading south to join Southern League First Division club Brentford in the 1907 close season.
Hamilton played 24 Southern League games and F.A. Cup matches for The Bees before joining Second Division Leeds City in June 1908.He was one of the first signings made by new Leeds City secretary-manager Frank Scott-Walford, moving to Elland Road with Brentford team mates Jock Watson, Tom McAllister and Adam Bowman. The four men were all in the City side that opened the season at home to Tottenham on 5th September 1908. Hamilton did well enough on his Football League debut and played in eight of City’s first ten games. A strong centre half, he was soon converted to other roles to broaden his adaptability.
City soon found that he was also equally adept in most defensive positions, turning out at right half and both full back positions as the need arose. He went on to make 25 appearances in the campaign before he returned to Brentford at the end of the season. He spent the next three years with The Bees, scoring his only only League goal in 1910-11 in a season in which he missed only one game. He made 119 appearances in his second spell at Griffin Park before he moved on to the newly-elected Southern League Second Division club Swansea Town for the 1912-13 season.
Hamilton played in Swansea’s first official match on 7th September 1912 against local rivals Cardiff City at the Vetch Field. After a 24 League game season the club finished third, narrowly missing out on promotion, with Hamilton scoring once in 19 League games. The goal came on 21st March 1913 in a home game against Croydon Common, getting Swansea full points with the only goal of the game in front of a 10,000 crowd. The club also entered the Welsh Cup and won it at the first attempt, beating Pontypridd 1-0 in a re-played final, as Hamilton played seven games in their triumph. He finished his football career with Barry Town, joining them in 1914, before the First World War forced his retirement.
Like many footballers, and other fit young men of the time, he joined the Army and saw service in France during the First World War. There are many Hamiltons from Scotland with similar christian names and dates of birth, but he was noted as being Jock Hamilton Swansea Town Captain. He joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and was later in the Machine Gun Corps. He was awarded a Military Medal on 2nd November 1917.
He was stationed at Edinburgh Castle in September 1915. In the Edinburgh Evening News, 16th September 1915: “For their match in the Penman Cup tie at Armadale on Saturday, Leith will turn out an old Logie Green favourite in “Jock” Hamilton. Hamilton is at present in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stationed in the Castle, and will play for the Leith team during his stay there. The only residents of the castle were the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 3rd or 4th Reserves. The 249th Machine Gun Corp is thought to have been attached to the 18th Indian Division. The 249th Machine Gun Company left Grantham on 16th July, 1917, disembarked at Le Havre on 17th July 1917. It joined the 14th (Light) Division at Westoutre on 21st July 1917. As part of the 14th (Light) Division, it may have seen service in the following battles and engagements: 1917 Battles Of Ypres, 18th August 1917, Battle of Langemarck [II Corps, Fifth Army]. 22nd to 26th August 1917 Fighting on the Marne [II Corps, Fifth Army]. The Company left the 14th (Light) Division on 4th October 1917 (it was replaced by 224th MG Company). It reached Marseille on 15th October 1917.
It arrived in Mesopotamia on 13th November 1917 and joined18th (Indian) Division on 5th February 1918. “Swansea sportsmen will be delighted to hear that Jock Hamilton, the popular ex-captain of the Swansea Town Club, has been awarded the Military Medal. Since joining a Scottish regiment, in which, he has been at the front for over twelve months, Jock has been once wounded and once I buried in a trench. The news of his distinction is conveyed in a letter to a friend at his home address. Sgt. Hamilton says” I have Good news to tell you. I have won the Military Medal. I may tell you we are having it pretty hot. Of course, the Germans are having it a bit warmer.” It will be recalled that Sgt. Hamilton was the first captain the Swansea Town Association Club ever had. He played consistently and well. but in the season before tho war he went down to Llannelly, where he installed himself a great favourite. Prior to joining up Jock was engaged at the Swansea I I Docks. It seems that during the War years he played several games for nearby towns, where he may have been stationed.