George James Ogden was born in Claypole in 1896. In 1901 his father William was a gypsum quarryman and he family was living on Town St, near the Five Bells Inn. By 1911 both William and George (now 15) were working on farms.
George joined the Sherwood Foresters on 18th Aug 1914, two weeks after war was declared. He was sent to France on 27th Dec 1914 and saw much fighting. He was wounded at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and after recovery he served for a time in Egypt. He then returned to France and was transferred to 2/6th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment (transfers between these 2 regiments were not uncommon).
George was captured on 21st March 1918. According to the Grantham Journal he was at Ypres, but it’s more likely that he was with his battalion in the front line between Arras and Bapaume, near the village of Ecoust-st-Main. On 21st March the Germans launched ‘Operation Michael’, the start of the German spring offensive. The 2/6th South Staffordshires reported heavy shelling of the rear areas from 2am, followed by a heavy bombardment of the front line and support trenches with high explosive and gas shells from 4 to 8am. At 9am the Germans attacked in mass formation, capturing the front line and getting around the flanks to attack the railway reserve and battalion HQ. By the end of the day the battalion was virtually wiped out with 23 officers and 600 men missing.
Whilst a prisoner of war, George Ogden died of ‘intestinal catarrh’ at Mons on 27th Sep 1918; probably at the War Hospital Training College. He was buried at Mons Communal Cemetery.