Stuart (Stewart) OGILVIE



Service Number: VX17601
Enlisted: 27 May 1940
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 2nd/12th Field Regiment
Born: Cowell, South Australia, Australia, 5 October 1914
Home Town: Mildura, Mildura Shire, Victoria
Schooling: Booborowie School, South Australia
Occupation: worked for Globe Timber Mills, then own business produce round
Died: Killed in Action, Egypt, 29 June 1941, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Tobruk War Cemetery, Tobruk
Plot 4 Row E Grave 12.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

27 May 1940: Enlisted Private, SN VX17601, Caulfield, Victoria
27 May 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN VX17601, 2nd/12th Field Regiment
27 May 1940: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN VX17601, 2nd/12th Field Regiment
29 Jun 1941: Involvement Gunner, SN VX17601, 2nd/12th Field Regiment, Siege of Tobruk
29 Jun 1941: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN VX17601, 2nd/12th Field Regiment

'At Rest'

Stewart (also at times written as Stuart) was the second of six sons of Walter Duncan and Olive Louise Chester Ogilvie. He was born in the coastal town of Cowell, South Australia on the 5th October 1914. His siblings included Jean, Phillip, Irvine, Bruce, Murray and Douglas. The family initially lived in Moe, in Victoria before moving to live at Cowell, then settling in Booberowie on a property called Caithness (in a nod to their Scottish heritage). This region in the mid-north of South Australia, is known for the quality of its sheep and farming with Walter specialising in quality lucerne crops. It was here that the children attended the local school.
15-year-old, Stuart, as a member of the Booberowie North Club, was involved in a school home project which gained high praise from the then Director of Education. Other students were involved in growing a home herb garden, lucern growing, and sheep rearing. Stuart’s project was a very innovative commercial idea of raising pigs. He explained in the Observer of January ’30 that "I bought one sow and five little pigs from my brother on October 23 for £6. I paid my father one shilling a week for three weeks' feed and sixpence a week for four week’s feed. During harvest I am looking after my father's pigs so I will not have to pay for food for my pigs. I get this food for my labour. After harvest I shall sell the five little pigs which will be ready then. I hope to get thirty shillings each for them and I shall still have the sow. My total expenses amount to £6/6/9 and I hope to show a fair profit."
Post school, Stewart worked on a Station and then moved to Broken Hill, initially working for Globe Timber Mills before setting up his own produce round, utilising the business skills he displayed with his pig breeding project. In this time Irvine and his wife Iris, had a young son, Garry.
With the outbreak of WWII, a very strong recruiting campaign was conducted for the A.I.F. with enlistment stations aimed at encouraging fit young country men to become part of the armed forces. 25-year-old Stewart was the first of the brothers to enlist on the 27th May ‘40, at Caulfield in Victoria, hence his number being VX17601. He was allocated to the 2/12th Battalion. Older brother Phillip (SX3992) followed, enlisting just days before his 27th birthday, on the 30th May ’40 and was allocated to the 2/27th battalion. (Their younger brother, Bruce later enlisted in March ’42 as a 20-year-old. He became SX17862.)
Early in 1941 all three brothers, despite being in different battalions, happened to catch up in Palestine. Phil wrote home with the news published in the Burra Record that ‘A rather interesting feature was the meeting of the various brothers on active service. Besides Pte. Phil Ogilvie his two brothers, Gnr. Stewart Ogilvie attached to the 2/12 Field Regt. 23 Battery, and Pte. Irvine Ogilvie 2/28 Battalion although attached to different sections were delighted to know that all were camped close together and a pleasant reunion resulted at Christmas.’
Aged 26, Stewart was killed in action in Egypt on the 29th June 1941. The Barrier Daily Truth reported that ‘Gunner Stuart Ogilvie (26), has been killed In action. This Information has been received by his widow at 553 Beryl Street. Deceased leaves one child. He was killed In action In Libya in June 30 last. Gunner Ogilvie at the time of enlisting in July, 1940, had a produce round in Broken Hill. Prior to that he had worked at the Globe Timber Mills, and also at Kars Station. Gunner Ogilvie’s mother has received a letter of condolence from Lieut. Pitt whom deceased has served as batman.’
More distressing news was received the following month that Phillip had been wounded in action.
In a display of compassion and family tie, an unnamed soldier reported in the August ‘42 Advertiser that ‘ I have just seen a picture of the grave of Gunner Stewart Ogilvie, who was killed in action at Tobruk on June 29, 1941. His brother, Irvine, tiled and cemented the grave. He was wounded at Tobruk in May, 1941, and again last month in Egypt Pte. Phillip Ogilvie, eldest brother, was seriously wounded in the Syrian campaign, and gained the Military Medal Younger brother Bruce (20) is at his battle station somewhere in Australia. They are sons of Mrs. W. D. Ogilvie. of Caithness. Booborowie.’
For Walter and Olive more distressing news was to be received when Irvine was killed in New Guinea on November 17th 1943. Phillip was awarded a Military Medal and the Advertiser summarised his incredible courage until he received a gunshot wound to his head. ‘The initiative and gallantly of Private Ogilvie undoubtedly saved the platoon many casualties during the operations. He continued to show the same courage until he was eventually seriously in wounded in the head Private Ogilvie, who is 28. is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs. W. D Ogilvie. oi Booborowie. and is one of three brothers who have enlisted Gunner Stewart Ogilvie was killed at Tobruk and Private Irvine Ogilvie is now with his unit after having been wounded at Tobruk. The family went to Booborowie 15 years ago from Moe, Victoria.’
Stewart was finally buried in the Tobruk War Cemetery Plot 4 Row E Grave 12. His family chose the inscription ‘At Rest’ for his headstone. He now lies with other soldiers from the 2/1st, 2/4th, 2/13th, 2/15th, 2/24th and 2/48th Battalions. On Remembrance Day in 1944, many people in Broken Hill paid tribute to those killed in either WWI or WWII by laying wreaths on the Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial. One was laid in Stewart’s memory by his loved ones.
Family, friends and fellow soldiers continued to remember Stewart in the ensuing years.
Advertiser Thursday 21 August 1941, OGILVIE. —Killed in action on the 29th of June, Gunner Stewart Ogilvie, second loved son of W. D. and O. L. C. Ogilvie. of Caithness," Booborowie, aged 26 years and 9 months.
Barrier Miner Tuesday 29 June 1943, OGILVIE. —In fond memory of Stewart, who was killed in action at Tobruk on June 29, 1941. Sadly missed. Inserted by Ivan and Elsie Mc Donald. OGILVIE. —In fond memory of Stewart, who was killed in action at Tobruk on June 29, 1941. A grand pal sincerely missed. Inserted by Harry and Renee Berriman.
Barrier Miner Thursday 29 June 1944, OGILVIE. -In fond memory of Stuart Ogilvie, killed in action at Tobruk on June 29, 1941. Inserted by his two pals (Renee and Harry Berriman).
Argus Friday 29 June 1945, OGILVIE. -In proud memory of VX17601, Gunner S. Ogilvie, who was killed in action at Tobruk. June 29. 1941. (Inserted by all ranks. 3/13 Australian Field Regiment.)
Burra Record Tuesday 3 July 1945, OGILVIE — In loving memory of our two Sons. Stewart 2/12 Field Artillery, killed in action at Tobruk June 29, 1941. Irvine. 2/48 Btn. wounded at Tobruk, May, 1941. wounded at El Alamein July 1942. Gave his life to save a wounded comrade. Nov. 17, 1943. Satelberg. New Guinea. Forever in our thoughts. — Their own folk. "Caithness" Booborowie.
Barrier Miner Monday 30 June 1947, OGILVIE-In memory of Gunner Stewart Ogilvie, killed in action, Libya, June 29, 1941. Sadly missed by his pals (Harry, Renee, Elsie, and Ivan).
Barrier Miner Wednesday 30 June 1948, OGILVIE. -In fond memory of Stewart, who was killed in action at Tobruk on June 29, 1941. Sadly missed. Inserted by Ivan and Elsie McDonald. OGILVIE. -In fond memory of Stewart, who was killed in action at Tobruk on June 29, 1941. A grand pal sadly missed. Inserted by his pal Harry Berriman.

Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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