Epic Ogilvie poem republished

The new publication will be an exact replica of the original.
The new publication will be an exact replica of the original.

Following on from last week’s feature on the lost poems of Will H. Ogilvie, moves are afoot to publish a reproduction of one of his remarkable works.

Next year marks 150 years since the poet’s birth in Kelso, and the Will H. Ogilvie Memorial Trust is planning a series of events to mark the milestone.

It is hoped to replace the bronze book of the Road to Roberton which was stolen from a memorial cairn on that road last year.

Trust secretary Ann Holt said: “The trust is intending to reproduce his epic reiving ballad ‘Whaup o‘ the Rede’.

“First printed in 1909, with seven black-and-white illustrations by the celebrated Royal Scottish Academician Tom Scott, 500 original copies of the book were published by Thomas Fraser of Dalbeattie and sold for 10/6.

“Today they are quite rare.”

It’s intended that the book is republished on a subscription basis, and it’s hoped that it will introduce a new generation to this wonderful epic ballad set in the Borderland.

Ann said: “At a price of £25, it will be an exact replica of the original.”

Ogilvie was born in Kelso on August 21, 1869, He attended Kelso High School, but emigrated to Australia when he was 20.

There, he worked on sheep stations in New South Wales and was said to be a proficient horseman, while still being massively prolific with his pen, gaining the reputation of being one of Australia’s top Bush poets.

He came back to his homeland in February 1901 and became a freelance journalist. He worked for three years in the US as professor of agricultural journalism at the Iowa State College between 1905 and 1908, after which he moved back to Scotland, where he married Katherine Anderson.

During the First World War, he was in charge of, and prepared, Canadian horses for military service at the Army Remounts Branch in Wiltshire.

In 1918, he leased, then bought the church manse Kirklea in Ashkirk, where he lived until his death in 1963, aged 93. His ashes were scattered on the hill road to Roberton.

If you are interested in obtaining a copyof the republished poem, and having your name on the list of subscribers, please contact either Ann on holt625@btinternet.com or Ian Landles (chairman of the trust) on imlandles.ohawick@btinternet.com

Memorial seat dedicated to poet Will Ogilvie.

Memorial seat dedicated to poet Will Ogilvie.

Memorial dedicated to poet Will Ogilvie.

Memorial dedicated to poet Will Ogilvie.

Unvieling of Will Ogilvie memorial. 22nd Aug 1993

Unvieling of Will Ogilvie memorial. 22nd Aug 1993