Ogram, Joseph William (No. 1905427)

Ogram, Joseph William


No. 1905427, 585 Corps, Field Park Company, Royal Engineers

Died as the result of enemy action on Thursday 7 January 1943 (aged 24)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Brookwood Memorial, Surrey, England (Panel 6 Column 3)


Joseph William Ogram’s birth was registered in the second quarter of 1918 in York and he was a son of Alexander George and Emma Ogram (nee Clayton).  Alexander George Ogram worked as a groom and his marriage to Emma Clayton was registered in the third quarter of 1914 in York.  They had at least five children:

Lucy (born 1914)

Nancy (born 1916)

Joseph William (born 1918)

Frederick Michael (born 2 January 1920; died 1972)

Eileen P. (born 1930)

During the Second World War Joseph William Ogram served as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers.  In the first quarter of 1942 he and Amelia Agnes Moore, who was born 20 July 1902, were married in Donaghadee.  Amelia was a daughter of James Moore (a bricklayer) and Margaret Moore (nee McMahon) of 14 Bow Street, Donaghadee.  Less than a year after they were married Sapper Joseph William Ogram (No. 1905427) died at sea aboard the SS Benalbanach.

Built in 1940 by Charles Connell and Company Ltd., Scotstoun, Glasgow for use as a passenger/cargo ship, the SS Benalbanach was owned by Ben Line Steamers Ltd., (William Thomson and Company).  In 1941 she was taken over by the Royal Navy as an auxiliary transport ship and in November 1942 she took part in the landing at Oran in the North African campaign.  It was on her second trip to the Allied landing area that she sank.  The SS Benalbanach left the Clyde on 24 December 1942 bound for Bona in North Africa with more than 350 Motor Transport officers and men together with a cargo of tanks, motor vehicles, ammunition, petrol, and general military stores.  Shortly after 6.00 pm on 7 January 1943 the SS Benalbanach sank north-west of Algiers after being hit by two torpedoes fired from an enemy aircraft.  The water was very cold and Sapper Joseph William Ogram, along with Convoy Signalman Hugh Douglas Cole from Holywood, was among more than 400 men who died.

Sapper Joseph William Ogram (No. 1905427) was 24 when he died, and he is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial in Surrey.