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Second Lieutenant Walter Frederick Ogden


Claro Times – 20th March 1915

Pannal Golf Club – Annual Meeting

……………the report and balance sheet were adopted, and it was decided to keep a permanent record on the minutes of all members who had joined the Forces, and that letters of sympathy be sent to the relatives of Lieutenants Schunck and Yates.

The hon. Secretary, Mr J C Walsham, reported that the full list of members who were serving were as follows : 

H E Appleyard, S Barber, P Barker, H Brown, L S Chappell, H Denton, H Graham Dickens, G Dobson, H F Downes, J G Greenwood, S H Holmes, R B Hudson, H Hansen, B Holroyd, H L Johnson, H Lingard, T C Moxon, A Mann, W Ogden, R J Ogden, J J Powell, A B Phillips, W Porter, E W K Pfeiffer, J Robinson, H Rowles, H F Snowden, A L Tetlow, R McLeod Veitch, B S Worth, E Walker, A H Wilde, P G Williamson.

The following members of the staff are also serving : 

E H Cassidy (professional), Sergeant Major D Johnstone (clerk), Sergeant Major Hope (caddy master), C Pearson, H Clapham, W Cartwright (who has been killed in action), F Harrison, and S Burnley. Caddies – T Atha, C Carter, H Durham, T Halliday, W Hume, C Hutchinson, J Rochford, F Sibson, and R Whorley.


Harrogate Herald - 5th December 1917

W H Breare letter

Second Lieutenant G V Dalby is the son of Company Sergeant Major Dalby, of the West Yorks, who was 11 years sergeant-instructor of the old Volunteers and Territorials at Harrogate, now seen 30 years' service. The son was district scoutmaster and went to Canada with General Baden-Powell in 1910. joined the Lovat Scouts Yeomanry, and was promoted Trumpet-Major the day after he joined. In January last was commissioned to the Tanks, and was in the great tank advance near Cambrai. Now home on 14 days' leave. Second Lieutenant Walter Ogden, son of Mr J R Ogden, is also in the same Corps, and commanded the Tank named "Harrogate". You boys will be proud to know that one of these monsters is names after our town. The first action in which Dalby took part his crew NCO was Sergeant Atkinson, DCM, of Swan Road. On one occasion Dalby walked into a strange Officers' Mess and on the table saw the "Harrogate Herald". The man to whom it was addressed was Private Newton, Granville Terrace, father of one of Dalby's old boy scouts. I may tell you chaps that the tank "Harrogate" came safely out of that great action. Dalby saw it on its return. By the way, the tank was so named at the request of the Colonel because Ogden came from Harrogate. On returning a few days after the action Dalby saw German guns which had been captured by 6 Platoon, B Company, 1st West Yorks.

Since writing of Lieutenant Walter Ogden I have just heard, with deep distress, that his father has had news of his death in a clearing hospital. No other tidings have come.


Harrogate Herald - 5th December 1917

Roll of Honour

News has been received of the death at a casualty clearing station of Second Lieutenant Walter F Ogden, youngest son of Mr & Mrs J R Ogden, The Bungalow, Harrogate.


Harrogate Herald - 12th December 1917

Second Lieutenant Walter Ogden's Last Letter

Commander of HMS Landship "Harrogate"

France, 27th November 1917

My Dearest Parents,

We have just got back to a little village (about ten miles behind the lines), after a very hard week's fighting.

The village we are in was blown up by a mine, so there is nothing left of it, but we are all jolly glad to get back, and it has all seemed like a dream.

I cannot tell you all the details, but I will try and give you a rough outline.

We left No 1 on the night of the 19th, and proceeded to a position in the rear of our front line, arriving there about midnight. Here we oiled up and waited for the attack to commence. At 6.10 the artillery opened with a terrific barrage on the Hindenburg line; at the same time we crossed our front line, and picked our way over No Man's Land, and made for the Bosch Lines.

When the Germans saw us crawling across with the infantry behind us they offered very little resistance, and came over in hundreds and surrendered.

As we got nearer the Germans, the artillery barrage lifted, and we entered their wide belt of barbed wire, which were twenty feet wide and eight feet high. This wire we cut with our tanks, leaving large gaps, through which our infantry came through. After we had taken the German trenches, we made for the village of No 2, which held until we got close enough to use our guns, but our "buses" (that's what we call our Tanks) got into the village, then they all came out, and the village was captured by our infantry. We pushed on further for two and a half miles to No 3 wood, which was our objective, and which I reached with my Tank at 4.30. I stayed there for half an hour, and returned to a fixed rally point. We did well, and got all our objectives.

Here wee stayed to get our "Busses" ready for the next stunt.

We moved up next morning to take the village of No 4, which had been lost the night before. We left at 10 in the morning to take this village and No 5 wood.

It was here that the Tanks had to fight for their lives, as the Bosch were either drunk or drugged - of that I am sure - as they swarmed round the tanks in hundreds, and we mowed them down like rabbits, but still they came on, and that village was taken four times that day by us.

I am sure there must have been an underground tunnel, as we cleared the trenches in front of the village every time, but when we had passed on into the village a fresh lot of Bosch were there holding up our infantry.

Well, at nightfall, His Majesty's Landship "Harrogate" and crew returned to a wood about a mile and a half behind the village, and stayed in reserve for two days, then we all moved back, and eventually arrived here late last night, after taking part in the greatest battle in history.

I lost two of my crew the first day, but the rest of us came through without a scratch.

Well, I must close now, but will write again soon.

All love, ever your loving son, Walter


Harrogate Herald - 12th December 1917

Roll of Honour

We regret to record the death of Second Lieutenant Walter F Ogden, youngest son of Mr & Mrs J R Ogden, The Bungalow, Harrogate, at a casualty clearing station in France. He was in command of a tank which took part in the great advance near Cambrai. His tank came safely out of the action. Second Lieutenant Ogden, however, received abdominal wounds, from which he succumbed. At the commencement of war he was at The Leys School, Cambridge, and offered as despatch rider at 16 years of age. He then joined as a private in the RAMC, and went out to France, where he served for fifteen months, afterwards returning to England to take his commission in the Tanks. He went out again to France, and was wounded on December 1st and died the following day. He was one of four brothers all serving in His Majesty's Forces, and was well-known in Harrogate.

W H Breare letter

Mr and Mrs J R Ogden have received the most spontaneous expressions of sympathy upon the death of their beloved son Lieutenant Walter Ogden, who commanded one of the tanks in that memorable battle in which they figured so conspicuously. Mr Ogden has been one of our most active, resourceful and helpful friends of soldiers and, indeed, every other good cause. He is one of those men likely to be stimulated further to good works by the irreparable loss he has sustained. If there is any comfort in sympathy, he and his wife and family have it in unstinted measure.


Harrogate Herald - 2nd January 1918


Gunner Herbert Simpson writes : 

Was sorry to see so many of the Harrogate boys have been wounded and given their lives to the cause. It was a great shock to me to hear of Mr Walter Ogden's death. I used to be stationed hear him for some considerable time, and we used to often meet and talk of the good old times we used to have at Harrogate, and hoped that the war would soon be over so that we could get back home again. The last time I saw him he said they were just pulling out to go south on rest for the winter, so you may guess what a shock it was when I saw his photo and report of his death in the paper. I have not seen many Harrogate men since I came out, but there is one ion the same battery as myself, and the same name too.



Tank Corps

11th battalion

2Lt Walter Frederick Ogden

Died of Wounds - 2nd December 1917



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