Alfred William Ogg was born 29 March,1924 in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada, the son of Alfred William Ogg and Mary Margaret Ife. He had two sisters, Mary Margaret and Doris Louise and one brother, Percy Robert. His father worked as a car mechanic. The family attended the United Church.
When Alfred William was three years old, his sister Mary Margaret died of polio and then his father died when he was ten. The next year his mother remarried Jack Bradley on 2 July, 1935; Jack was an iron smelter.
Alfred William attended Rossland High School and reached grade X where his favourite subjects were physics and maths; he liked playing softball and hockey. He left school at 17 without a diploma.
In the two years between leaving school and joining the army he worked in the mines and as a carpenter 's assistant but mostly he was a milkman, bringing milk round to people's houses. He could drive a car and small pickup truck and he could carry out small repairs on them.
In his free time he liked to hunt and swim; he listened to music but did not care for dancing. He smoked but did not drink. Magazines about planes and cars interested him and he used to build model planes.
On 28 April, 1943 Alfred William Ogg joined the army in Vancouver, British Colombia. Until then he had been living with his mother as a single man. At his medical examination, he was found to be well developed, 1.78m tall, weighing 65 kilos, with brown eyes and hair; he had good eyesight and well-maintained teeth. He had never been seriously ill but the service doctor was concerned about his color blindness.
Alfred William spoke English and no other language. In his personal file he was described as mature for his age, quiet, stable and ambitious; he was cheerful and wanted to do his best in the army. A trustworthy, creative and dutiful young man. He stated that he would like to be trained as a mechanic and that after the war, he wanted to become an electrician.
After his enlistment, Alfred William remained in Vancouver for the preliminary three weeks training; then on 14 May his training continued in Wetaskiwin. On 10 July, he was once again transferred to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he followed a course to become a car mechanic. He received his diploma on 4 December, 1943 and was sent on leave to his home in Rossland where he spent the Christmas days.
After two more months in Halifax, he was stationed in Windsor, Petawawa, Ontario and Delbert, Nova Scotia. In 1944 he went on leave for some days in May and again in August.
On 14 October, 1944, Alfred William boarded the ship which would bring him to England and he landed there six days later. After two months, he was sent by ship to mainland Europe, arriving 30 December.