Service Number 386403
Regiment Labour Corps
Wilfred Ogilvie was born on the 15th December 1879 in North Shields, Northumberland, the son of Joseph Ogilvie and his wife, Mary.
By 1881, Wilfred is living with his parents and four other siblings in North Shields, but we believe that both his parents died in the next few years, before the 1891 census. At that time Wilfred was at the Agricultural School at Great Ayton. The North of England Agricultural School was founded by The Society of Friends in 1841. Ten years later, on census day 1901, Wilfred is living at Rosella House in North Shields with his grandparents and is working as a bank clerk.
In 1909, on the 27th January, Wilfred married Edith Ann Shillito in Leeds. We think that he may, by this time, have emigrated to Canada and have come home for the wedding. Wilfred and Edith went on to have a daughter, Doreen Shillito Ogilvie, born on the 31st Sept 1910 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Indeed on the census night in 1911, we find Wilfred, Edith and Doreen, on board the SS Laurentic at West Canada Dock, Liverpool waiting to sail to Canada.
The family must have returned at some point and a second daughter, Jean Mary Ogilvie was born on the 6th June 1914 at 48 Reginald Mount, Leeds. We do not know why the family had returned to the UK, but at the start of the war, Wilfred and his family were in the UK, and on the 17th July 1916, Wilfred, then aged 37 enlisted in Harrogate, giving his address as 1 South View, Collingham.
On enlistment on the 15th July 1916, Wilfred joined the Army Cyclist Corps, but on the 11th December of that year, he was transferred to the 18th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. This battalion, formed in October 1914 in Newcastle, had become a pioneer battalion in February 1915 and had first gone overseas to Le Havre in January 1916. Wilfred joined them in France, and on the 23rd December 1916 he was at Etaples base camp.
Later in the war, on the 14th September 1917, Wilfred was transferred to the Labour Corps and was posted to 164 Labour Company and was employed at Etaples, base camp. On the 4th April 1918, Wilfred was appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal to fill a vacancy, but reverted to the rank of private later on the 8th July 1918. In september that year, on the 12th, Wilfred was attached to 52 Labour Company (the writing is hard to decipher on his service record and this could be 58 Labour Company) for three days before rejoining his unit.
Another transfer followed, on the 20th September 1918, Wilfred was appointed as a Lance Corporal in No. 286 Prisoner of War Company.
After the war's end, Wilfred was retained for some time, until on the 1st September he was transferred to Class Z and left the army. He had already negotiated a repatriation to Canada and on the 7th October 1919, Wilfred was on board the SS Cedric in Liverpool sailing to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Two years later, on the Canadian census day of 1921, Wilfred, Edith, Doreen and Jean Mary are all listed as naturalised Canadians at Lake Trail, Courtenay, Comox, British Columbia. Wilfred is listed as a Quaker and the rest as Anglicans.
However, Wilfred and Edith did not remain in Canada for the rest of their lives as in 1939 they appear to be living in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, aged 79 and 78, respectively, and we think that Wilfred died in the Hatfield district in 1945.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 22483
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
First World War British Army Service Records. The National Archives (WO363).
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