103 Archie Leslie Ogilvy
Archie Ogilvy was quite a character as his war record reveals…….. and in his civilian life he was an ambitious man, keen to follow in his fathers footsteps who was Mayor of Manly, sometimes reckless yet he showed bravery and commitment…… His full story will soon be published – meanwhile a snippet follows from Archies own words……
Archie proved he was quite the wordsmith with one of his letters published in the Sydney ‘ Referee’ in December 1915. The Referee was a newspaper which was …….. At the height of the conscription debate back in Australia.
Archie had quite a spirited and passionate view on vounteering as opposed to conscription . Eloquent but with a tinge of venom towards malingerers and cowards. He felt strongly that conscription would surely diminish the character and esteem of those volunteers and especially those who had made the unltimate sacrifice.
Published: Referee – Sydney, NSW Wednesday 22 December 1915.
INSPIRATION FROM TRENCHES IN GALLIPOLI
“Be Typical of Our Grand Country; Be Free Voluntary Men”
By “THE CYNIC.”
Sapper Archie L. Ogilvy, the Manly footballer, writes from Gallipoli (18/10/15) :
“Herewith I append for your perusal a few lines on some of the views expressed in the ‘Sunday Times’ interviews on conscription, viewed from our standpoint on Gallipoli, written at the request of a number of Australians here on service as amateurs.
“Ere this reaches you, perhaps, the ardent supporters of conscription will have carried their point, and we shall be honored in our midst with the splendid presence of some of those sportsmen who, we read, are advocates of this principle. Well, their views are not taken to heart by the general sporting public of New South Wales; at least, we here hope not.
“No, sir, the men who left Australia as volunteers would, I think, rather give their all than have to say that the honor of our land was so little that we had to conscript our manhood before the ultimate issue was reached. If the men who are left behind had ties of family, ties of business needs, then surely they can sink them for the ties of nation. All these ties will be broken, crushed by the oppression of German hate, if we go under. And surely the men of the type whom we learned to honor and respect are not going to advocate and look for compulsion. What grand men the voluntary army has put forth ! And what nobler example could be needed to spur on laggards than the gallant — nay, heroic— deaths of some of these Spartan volunteers ? Twenty-seven Rugby Internationalists from Great Britain alone ! And added to these, those great names of amateur sport (using the word amateur as defining voluntary sport), Swanncll, McManamey, George, Rosenthal, and numerous others mentioned in your columns from time to time, have writ their names large on the scroll of heroism.
“All the magnificent glory which the Australians and New Zealanders covered themselves with was acquired by volunteers, and we ask you not to let it be tarnished by our own men folk. It will be a grand heritage for Australians in future to hold, and a grand page in history to look back on and to say : “Here our own blood was given by the volunteers from Australasia, and the iron despotism of the Conscript Lord smashed by our armies in which our free men played their part.”
“There are the men in Australia who won’t come. Well, do not send them to help us here. The men who have not their souls in this bitter struggle are a menace to the whole souled lads here. We have had many malin gerers who, when asked to do their share, failed utterly; and it is useless to saddle us with more. Do you personally think that a man who is forced to do his bit will do it with a whole-souled thoroughness and ardor, or will he shirk the hard and do the easy ? I ask you this because of your knowledge of Australian manhood. If they are forced to come here, where the roar of guns strike them, will their courage be any greater than it was when they refused to come ?
“Many men of old age and family responsibilities cannot come. We don’t ask them to. But we appeal to all the young men of Australia to shoulder the gun and try in some way to carry on to an end the worthy efforts of their volunteer brothers already accomplished, rather than have those who have already died be as a silent mockery of their want of man hood. Be typical of our grand country; be free voluntary men, and let not the arm of conscription sweep across our country and pluck the unwilling, the cowards, for forced service when the volunteers have died like the heroes on Gallipoli.”