Walter Ogden, the son of JR Ogden, our original founder, fought at the battle of Cambrai in November 1917 and this weekend we will travel to the French battlefield where he was fatally wounded 100 years ago.
Walter, as a nineteen-year-old, was a tank commander, in the Battle of Cambrai, which marked the first large-scale use of tanks by the British Expeditionary Force in World War 1. In a break with the tradition of naming tanks after people, he was allowed by his captain to christen his tank ‘Harrogate’ after his beloved home town.
Robert and Ben Ogden, discovered the moving story of their great, great uncle, known as ‘Wallie’ to his parents, when they uncovered correspondence that had lain unopened for a century during renovations of our James Street premises in Harrogate. They have been invited, along with Ben’s 15-year-old son James, as special guests to the Cambrai commemoration weekend which is a special gathering for the families of the tank pioneers.
Robert and Ben are both very proud of their great, great uncle who, like so many men of his generation, showed great bravery at a young age in the service of his country.
They will be taking their archive of 37 documents which includes letters sent to the Front from the premises that Ogden of Harrogate still occupies today, the last letter written by Walter to his parents and his final order for battle to share with others at the commemorations.