In Memory of Bill Hamilton

Memorial Service for Bill Hamilton

A non-religious Memorial Service was held for Bill in the Chapel of New College, Oxford, on Saturday July 1st, at 2:30 pm. Prof. Richard Dawkins organized the event and gave a Eulogy. Music was provided by the famous New College Choir, Director Edward Higginbottom.

Hamilton with Butterfly

In Memory of
William Donald Hamilton F.R.S.

Saturday, 1st July 2000
2:30 pm
in the Chapel of New College

Tea will be served afterwards, in the Founder's Library


R. Vaughan Williams : Dives and Lazarus

The Warden


Richard Dawkins


The Choir

Thomas Tomkins: 'When David heard that Absalom was slain'

Mary Bliss

Memoir of her brother's youth

Janet Hamilton

Reading from A.E.Housman's 'Last Poems'

Tell me not here, it needs not saying,
What tune the enchantress plays
In aftermaths of soft September
Or under blanching mays,
For she and I were long acquainted
And I knew all her ways.
On russet floors, by waters idle,
The pine lets fall its cone;
The cuckoo shouts all day at nothing
In leafy dells alone;
And traveller's joy beguiles in autumn
Hearts that have lost their own.
On acres of the seeded grasses
The changing burnish heaves;
Or marshalled under moons of harvest
Stand still all night the sheaves;
Or beeches strip in storms for winter
And stain the wind with leaves.

Possess, as I possessed a season,
The countries I resign,
Where over elmy plains the highway
Would mount the hills and shine,
And full of shade the pillared forest
Would murmur and be mine.
For nature, heartless, witless nature,
Will neither care nor know
What stranger's feet may find the meadow
And trespass there and go,
Nor ask amid the dews of morning
If they are mine or no.

Helen and Rowena Hamilton

Two readings from their father's article 'No Stone Unturned' (1992, Times Literary Supplement). An expanded version of which was published in Japan as 'My Intended Burial and Why'

The Choir

W.A.Mozart: Recordare (from the Requiem)

Ruth Hamilton

Readings from 'A Shropshire Lad' by A.E. Housman

From far, from eve and morning
And yon twelve-winded sky,
The stuff of life to knit me
Blew hither: here am I.
Now? for a breath I tarry
Nor yet disperse apart?
Take my hand quick and tell me,
What have you in your heart.
Speak now, and I will answer;
How shall I help you, say;
Ere to the wind's twelve quarters
I take my endless way.

If truth in hearts that perish
Could move the powers on high,
I think the love I bear you
Should make you not to die.
Sure, sure, if stedfast meaning,
If single thought could save,
The world might end tomorrow,
You should not see the grave.
This long and sure-set liking,
This boundless will to please,
Oh, you should live for ever
If there were help in these.
But now, since all is idle,
To this lost heart be kind,
Ere to a town you journey
Where friends are ill to find.

Naomi Pierce

Last Post
Letters from Bill, including one written just before he went to the Congo

Michael Worobey

Last Journey
Reminiscences by one of Bill's companions on his last expedition, to the Congo

Luisa Bozzi

Last Words

The Choir

G.F.Handel (arr. J.Goss): 'His body is buried in peace, but his name liveth evermore'
Frederick Bridge: 'Blessed is the man that findeth wisdom.'
These two anthems were chosen,
and the second one specially composed,
for the funeral in Westminster Abbey of Charles Darwin, 26th April 1882


J.S.Bach: Praeludium in E flat (BWV 522)