Historic Hamilton By Garry L McCallum
Historic HamiltonBy Garry L McCallum 

Robert  Ginger Stewart (Boxer) 

GINGER STEWART 1920 - 1990.

Hamilton has produced some great fighters over the years and one of our best was a lad called Robert Ginger Stewart who was a professional boxer and he was active between 1936 and 1950

He boxed at featherweight; lightweight; welterweight; middleweight and took part in 83 professional contests. Carrying the nickname of a 19th-century boxer, Ginger Stewart fought professionally from 1939 to 1950 and he was the Scottish Area Welterweight Champion from 1939 to 1946.

Robert fought seldom in the wartime years and he had to reclaim his title each time after his absence from the sport, this was probably due to his military service. His career record was 61-13-3, with 26 knockouts delivered and he only received six knock-outs.

Robert was born on the 14th of June 1920 and he was the son of John & Margaret Poulson; his father John was a foundry employee. Robert in his day was a celebrity in Hamilton and he was never out of the newspapers, he loved his boxing, but also loved his time in the army.

He joined the army at the age of 15 and he served his time in the army and made it to the rank of Bombardier and in 1949 he was drafted to Malaya. When he was in Malaya, Robert was in the wrong place at the wrong time! At this moment I do not have the full details of what exactly happened, but he was accused of killing a native of the country.

The incident happened in either at the end of 1950 or the beginning of 1951 where he was accused of shooting a local Malayan girl. The newspaper accounts from 1951 which I have so far come across only seem to cover the story of his mother Margaret, who had to make the long 8,000-mile plane journey to see her son.

Robert’s parents first heard the news of the impending trial when a letter came to their house written by the Rev W. J. Campling who was based at the Roman Catholic Parade in South Malaya.

John and Margaret Stewart were astounded to hear of this terrible news, as Robert had never in his life been in any sort of trouble. The trial was set for the 6th of February 1951 and John’s mother Margaret flew over to be with him.

I have to assume here that Robert was not found guilty of the Murder charge, as he was back home in 1952 where he continued his career as a Boxer. Perhaps someone in Malaya was trying to make him a scapegoat.

At this time I don’t have much more on what became of Robert ‘Ginger’ Stewart after his boxing career ended. I did find some reference that he moved down to Blackpool and became a fruit merchant, but I can’t be certain of this.

I do know that Robert Died 20th October 1990, and I would like to tell the story of this Hamilton fighter whose memory should not be lost in the mist of time. If or when I do find a relative who can tell me more, I will update this story of him.

Do you know what became of Ginger Stewart? If you do, then please let us know and we will share with everyone on Historic Hamilton.

Garry McCallum
Historic Hamilton.

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