American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton, 1910 - 1964

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965


1910 - 1964

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton, OBE, DFC, elected to the American Alpine Club in 1954 was killed at the age of 54 in an airplane crash in the Cameroons in July, 1964, while ferrying it to the Sabena services, the catastrophe having been apparently caused by a heretofore uncharted magnetic anomaly.

Coming from an ancient Highland family in Scotland, Lord Malcolm had been elected to Parliament in England in 1950. He was a member of the Alpine Club (1938), the R.A.F. throughout the war, and many British Aero organizations, in which he had long been very active.

His climbing experience was of world-wide spread — from New Zealand to Skye, with a very great many peaks in the Alps.

Coming to the United States in 1954, he was elected to the American Alpine Club that same year, and had here twin interests — introducing Boy Scouts to mountain climbing, and founding the American Scottish Foundation for the development and rehabilitation of the Highlands, having earlier founded its progenitor, the Highland Fund of Edinburgh.

On climbs, his friends will always remember him, in times of stress, for his friendly and helpful assistance; for his judgment, most of all on snow — and his never-failing cheerfulness in time of discouragements. He was a unique transfer over into American climbing circles, of the best of British tradition, and his untimely death has been a cause of deep grief to all who knew him.

Lord Malcolm is survived by his American-born widow, the former Natalie Wales Paine, his son Niall having been lost with him.

Joel E. Fisher

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