“DR HAMMY” - THE EPITOME OF A COUNTRY DOCTOR The life of Tony Hamerton, known to all as ‘Hammy’, was remembered this week by a large congregation of family, villagers, patients, colleagues and sporting friends in a happy memorial service at New Buckenham.  Born in 1917 the son of an archdeacon in India, he was educated at St Edward’s School in Oxford where he distinguished himself at rowing.  After qualifying as a doctor in Edinburgh during the war he was called for military service.  Asthma prevented active service so he was posted as medical officer to the old fever hospital in Norwich.  After the war he joined Dr Bruce as a GP in Attleborough and retired in 1984.  In the early days rural transport was non-existent, so he travelled around the local villages and farms to see his patients in a variety of vehicles, including a pony and trap, a Sunbeam motorcycle, a grand Daimler and a humble Morris Minor.  Illnesses were diagnosed and prescribed for in the farmyard or field.  All his car boots were full of pills and potions, accompanied by his essential shotgun, cartridges and fishing tackle just in case there was a spare moment for some sport. Hammy regularly followed the hunt when younger, was a keen shot most of his life and showed his clumber spaniels at Crufts.  The map of the British Isles in his consulting room was smothered with pins showing where he had fished for trout and salmon.  As New Buckenham’s Lord of the Manor, he tore up fences to prevent the enclosure of New Buckenham Common in the 1950s and levelled and grassed the market place in the 1960s, personally mowing it for years.  As High Bailiff he restored the ancient market cross, planted trees along the Norwich Road and, later, the Queen Mother’s copse to commemorate her 80th birthday.  He subsequently sold the Common to the then Norfolk Naturalists’ Trust for £5 in 1985. He worked tirelessly for many charities, running the Wayland Hospital’s amputee service appeal and was made a Knight of the Order of St John in recognition for many years service for St John’s.  As a devoted Christian he did much to bring the village’s church and chapel together in prayer for ecumenical reasons, but always saying it was “to save heating costs”.  He served for many years on the Norwich Diocesan Board, expressing himself in a compassionate but earthy manner, and he was president of the local branch of the Royal British Legion. Hammy’s friends and patients will never forget his appearance of a bearded country gentleman of an earlier time, usually with a rose in his buttonhole.  In the winter he wore a Norfolk jacket and plus twos because they were convenient for shooting.  In the summer shorts were worn with proper long socks unless he was in Scotland in which case he wore a kilt.  His love of talking and drinking late into the night was legendary, and he always had time for everyone. He was widowed in 1974 when Joan died, later marrying Ruth.  He also leaves a son and a daughter. Thanks to the contributors who helped with this obituary January 2003
Dr  R. A. M Hamerton
New Buckenham Archive
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