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Edgar Calvert

Date of birth: 1888
Date of death: 3.5.1917
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: King’s Own Scottish Borderers
Family information: Son of Charles and Martha Jane Calvert of Jerry Clay Lane, Wrenthorpe
Rank: Private
Service number: 40653

War Service

Edgar joined the King’s Own Scottish Borderers 6th Battalion as Private 40653. In 1917 as part of the Arras offensive, his battalion fought in the First and Second Battles of Scarpe (9-14th April and 23/24th April respectively). Information on the Forces War Records states that Edgar was part of the British Expeditionary Force Lewis Gun Section. On 1st May the 6th Battalion were in the captured German trench called Obermayer resting until 3rd May when they took part in an attack. Sadly this attack was unsuccessful due to the battalions to their left and right being unable to progress leaving the 6th Battalion “in the air”. The war diary states that subsequently “the men found it very difficult to return to their original line, as the intervening ground was swept by machine gun fire”. The diary goes on to say casualties were heavy – 15 officers and over 400 other ranks.
Edgar was reported missing on 3rd May (the day of the third Battle of Scarpe) and after a lengthy delay was reported to have died aged 29. It was not until the March 9th 1918 edition of the Wakefield Express that his death was published stating that “Private Edgar Calvert K O S B Calvert’s Buildings, Jerry Clay Lane, Wrenthorpe who was reported missing on May 3rd 1917, has now been officially notified killed about that date”. In the Register of Soldiers Effects, it records his “death presumed” and his mother Martha is sole legatee.
He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial as well as both Kirkhamgate and St Anne’s War Memorials.
Exactly a year later, on 3rd May 1918, Edgar’s brother Thomas died in Clayton Hospital and was buried in Alverthorpe Churchyard on 7th May.
For some reason in 1930 Harry Calvert, Edgar’s brother was granted probate for his mother, brother Thomas and Edgar. Martha Jane, his mother, had died on 2nd July 1923 and probate was granted on 29th October 1930 with effects of £42 10s. On the same day Harry was granted probate for Thomas with effects of £72 10s. The following month – perhaps due to the complications of him dying abroad – on 8th November 1930 Harry was granted probate for Edgar with effects of £42 10s.

Family Life

Edgar was the son of Charles and Martha Jane Calvert of Calvert’s Buildings, Jerry Clay Lane, Wrenthorpe. He was baptised on 23rd January 1888 at St Anne’s, Wrenthorpe. The family continued to live in Calvert’s buildings, with father Charles a rope maker until his death on 28th August 1907. In 1901 there were eight children living at home (Edgar’s eldest brother Herbert (b1875) had died the previous year) – Mary Ann the eldest (b1877), Harry (b1879) who was a rope maker like his father, Louisa (b1884) who worked in the worsted mill, Thomas (b1884) who was a foundry apprentice, Albert (b1886) who was also a rope maker, Edgar (b1888) , Rachel Ann (b1890) and Jane Eleanor (b1894).
In 1911 widow Martha recorded that she had given birth to 10 children in total, of which two had died – Herbert and Florence who had been born in 1892 but had died in October 1893 aged 16 months. Edgar and his brother Albert were rope makers while Thomas was a colliery mechanic. Louisa worked in the mill and Rachel was a dressmaker. Jane who was 16 was not employed. Mary Ann had married in 1910, however she was to die later in 1911.

Photo of Arras Memorial. Rows of headstones with a central grass path in front of a stone building with 2 archways and columns. Arras Memorial

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