1903-1914: Early Life in India


Frederick Ogden and Emily Daybell married in Bottesford Leicestershire on Wednesday 20th September 1899. 
  They left for India the next day on the SS Simla where Frederick was to join the 15th Hussars as an army schoolmaster.  this was his 2nd tour to India. He had been to the North West Frontier in 1897. ( See RAF 1922- 1934 for a funny story). On arrival at the frontier with the regiment he was attached to, Grandpa related that his tent was pitched on the edge of a ravine for security, but during the night there was a scuffling noise at the ravine end and it seemed that someone was attempting to enter the tent. Grandpa used his Webley 45 to open fire. Next morning. they checked to see if there was a body at the bottom of the ravine, but there was nothing but bloodstains. Grandpa was instructed to leave India immediately,

The three brothers, Walter, Fred and Cecil were born in India and in Micky's case, on 10th July 1903 at a hill station called  Kasauli.

His mother had such a difficult birth with Micky that it was decided that she should return to England with the 3 children in the latter part of 1903. Grandpa was given permission to accompany his family back to England together with an ayah to help with baby Micky.

On arrival in UK, having taken the family to Bottesford,   Grandpa reported to the India Office in London to be told "What the bloody hell are you doing here?" and to go back to India to complete his tour!
He took the first ship which was to the Cape which was going to pick up soldiers returning from the Boer War. He visited Capetown and Durban before the ship set sail for Bombay. Then the sailors on board the ship contacted a disease which required the ship to be quarantined and had to sail around for weeks in the Indian Ocean. He finally arrives back in India a few weeks before his tour finished.
His next assignment was to the School of Artillery at Woolwich where Micky's sister, Gwenda, was born in 1906.

In 1908, the family return to India to live in Kirkee, near Poona.

The children led an idyllic life there with a collection of pets which included a mongoose, a mynah bird and Togo the dog, who accompanied Micky and his two brothers on their many expeditions into the jungle around Kirkee. Their mother was horrified to see them return home on evening with a 18 foot Python over their shoulders!   Milk was delivered literally on the hoof with the Milk-Wallah milking the buffalo outside the house. One day, the buffalo chased Gwenda, their sister up a tree.  

One of their pastimes was to collect birds' eggs which nearly ended in disaster one one occasion when Walter the eldest narrowly escaped alligators when swimming across a lake to find birds' eggs.  Their main technique was for each of them to stand on the shoulders of the other and Micky being the smallest was always at the top and the one to put his hand into the nest. They never knew what they might find. Sometimes there was a snake....to the consternation of their mother.

Snakes were a fact of life in India and it was not uncommon to find a cobra in the bathroom!

Grandpa founded the Scout Troop in Kirkee and Micky became a member of it together with his two brothers.

Picasa Web Slideshow

Micky attended school at Bishops High School Poona 
Subpages (1): 1914: Return to England