In the 1901 census Herbert was a 13 year-old worsted spinner living with his grandfather John Ogden at 42 Brickyard, Idle. It is not clear who his parents were.Ten years later, he is working as a driver and living as a lodger at 9 Railway Place, Idle with Benjamin Berry’s family.By the outbreak of war he has moved in with his sister Mrs Frank Bedford at 3 Garth Fold, High Street, Idle.It is there they receive the news published in the Shipley Times &
Express on 4 June 1915.Pte Herbert Alec Ogden of Idle and of 3rd West Riding Regt, has died from gas poisoningHe was 27 years of age and had previously served for several years as a TerritorialPhysically unfitWhen war broke out he was anxious to do his bit for King and Country but on presenting himself at a recruiting station he was rejected as physically unfit.He was not to be said nay, however, and later succeeded in getting
through at another recruiting centre.It was only about seven weeks ago he went to the Continent.The deceased resided with his sister, Mrs Bedford, of 5 Garth Fold, High Street, Idle, whose husband is serving in the 2nd West Yorkshires.Previous to joining the forces, Pte Ogden was employed at the Esholt Sewage Works.”Six weeks later, however, the newspaper announces: Pte Alec Ogden of 5 Garth Fold, High Street, Idle had been announced as killed in action but now sent a letter to his sister to say that it was an Alec Ogden of
Keighley who had been killed.The Idle soldier had been out of action for four days but then returned to the trenches. He said, “We had a very rough time of it in the operation in the vicinity of Hill 60 but after much perseverance we reached our objective.”MemorialDespite this let-off, he appears on the Idle War Memorial and there is a L Cpl W H Ogden from West Yorkshire Regiment who was killed on 12 October 1916 and buried in the Guards’ Cemetery, Lesboeufs, but strangely no mention in the local paper.