COLONEL ROBERT OGILBY DSO,DL
Colonel Robert James Leslie Ogilby was born on 27 November 1880, last of a line of distinguished Ulster landowners, with estates in Londonderry – which stemmed from a gift by Charles II to his forbears for services rendered to the Crown during the Civil War – and property and interests in the centre of Woolwich.
He was commissioned, when still a boy at Eton, into the 4th Battalion The Suffolk Regiment (Militia) on 26 February 1898. Two years later he joined the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards as a subaltern at Rawalpindi in India and, after transfer to the 2nd Life Guards in 1903, he resigned in 1905.
Recalled in 1914 he served with the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards in France until 1926 when he was appointed by Sir Douglas Haig to command the 2nd Battalion of the London Scottish Regiment. Awarded the DSO in 1917 (and a bar in 1918) and the Croix de Guerre (Belgium), he remained in command until his retirement in 1919.
On retirement he acquired a country property at Moreton Hall, Moreton Morrell in Warwickshire which became famous under his benevolent patronage and hospitality as a centre for polo and real tennis. In 1936 he married Isobel, widow of the Reverend Charles Brocklebank. She died in 1940, in which year he joined the Army as a staff officer in XII Corps during the Dunkirk evacuation.
In 1941 he was appointed Honorary Colonel of The London Scottish Regiment, an appointment which he held until 1955 jointly with the Queen, later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. In addition to establishing the Army Museums Ogilby Trust and the Robert Ogilby Trust he was a driving force, and a generous contributor, to the establishment in 1960 of the National Army Museum, of whose Council he was a member.
Colonel Ogilby died in 1964 at the age of 83. His life-long friend and brother officer Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart described him in his book “Happy Odyssey” as someone “who wastes no sympathy on you when you have no need of it, but stands like the Rock of Gibraltar when you do.”