Will H Ogilvie Black and White Portrait
Will H Ogilvie

A brief History of The Will H Ogilvie Memorial Committee

James Jackson of Cumston, Corrie near Lockerbie and Ann Holt of Annan, both Dumfriesshire, formed a small committee of seven people in the Autumn of 1991 to raise funds to erect a memorial to the Borders Poet Will H. Ogilvie with the intentions of gaining him some recognition for the legacy he left in the form of his poems. It was also their intentions to reproduce his last book which was ‘Border Poems’.

The original committee members were:-

James Jackson
P Ann Holt
William Landles
Ian W Landles
Euphen F Alexander
J Graham B Murray
Billy S Young

A Victor Tokely joined the committee in March 1992.

The committee worked extremely hard and with the generosity of the general public eventually sufficient funds were raised to both reprint ‘Border Poems’ and pay for Bill Landles the Hawick sculptor to create a superb bronze book and face plate which were placed on a stone cairn built from reclaimed stone from the recently demolished Hawick Auction Mart and gifted by Andrew Hepburne-Scott of Harden. The builder of the Cairn was John Grant.

It was the committee’s intention to have a memorial cairn erected on the hill road to Roberton, as that was where the Poet’s ashes were scattered, in time to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of his death. However, as this was the 30th January they thought perhaps around the time of his birth that same year would be better. So on a beautiful Summers day, Saturday, 21st August, 1993, which of course was exactly 124 years since his birth, the Memorial Cairn to Will H. Ogilvie was unveiled by his son George before a substantial crowd of people from far and near. Afterwards all who wished were treated to a meal in the Foreman Hall, Roberton.

The efforts of these few people from the Scottish borders stirred up interest in the Poet in Australia and not to be outdone by us in Scotland the Australians commissioned Bill Landles to produce an exact copy of our Cairn for Bourke, N.S.W. There are also memorials to him at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Queensland and one at Maaoupe Station, Penola. And many, many of his poems have been reprinted and set to music since the committee got together in 1991. So I think their objectives have been realised and they have brought to the attention of a new and younger generation the delights of poetry.

Ann Holt June 2009
March 2014