Calvert – Sergeant Laurence

16 February 1892 – 6 July 1964:-

Laurence was born in Leeds. His father, a tinsmith, died when he was three years old. On leaving school he worked as a van driver, but this did not suit him, and he ran away from home to work in Cadeby Main Colliery before moving to Maltby Colliery near Rotherham. He did not settle there and returned to Cadeby where he worked as a haulage hand.

Before war broke out, he had joined the Denaby Company of the Doncaster Territorials, the gallant 1st/5th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and it was with this regiment that he was mobilised to France. He was awarded the Military Medal in 1916 for holding a machine gun post single-handedly.

On 12th September 1918 in Havrincourt, France, alone and single-handed, Sgt Calvert, rushing forward against the machine gun team, bayoneted three and shot four. His valour and determination in capturing single-handed two machine guns and killing the crews thereof, enabled the ultimate objective to be won. His personal gallantry inspired all ranks.

He was also awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and £500 worth of war bonds, in addition to a sum of £35 raised by a village collection at a special ceremony. 

After the war he moved to Dagenham, Essex and worked as a commissionaire at a bank. He joined the Home Guard during the Second World War.

His medals are held in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum London.

Filed under: WW1