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William Henry (W.H.) Ogilvie

1869 - 1963

Poet and writer. Born at Holefield House, between Kelso and Coldstream, Ogilvie was the son of a tenant farmer. His grandfather served as Chamberlain to the Duke of Buccleuch. Ogilvie was educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh, where he excelled in Latin verse and rugby. He spent eleven years on an Australian sheep station, which was owned by friends of his family, and began writing poetry. On his return to Scotland in 1901 he was able to get his work regularly published. Between 1905 and 1908 he went abroad once again, on this occasion to lecture in Agricultural Journalism at Iowa State College in the United States. Several of his poems were on the subject of fox-hunting, which was a passion. He published a number of collections of poetry between 1898 and 1952, as well as a collection of short stories, The Honour of the Station, in 1914. During the First World War, he worked in Wiltshire breaking horses for service in the British Army.

He died at his home in Ashkirk and his ashes were scattered nearby, with a memorial cairn erected to mark the spot in 1993. There are also memorials in Australia, where he is much lauded, and his portrait hangs in the National Library of Australia in Canberra.

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