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Calvert, Cecilius Frederick Holcombe

A NOBLE LIFE AND HEROIC DEATH. (Reprinted from “ The Mining World,” Sept. 25th, 1915.)

The sincere sympathy of his many friends in mining and literary circles will be extended to Mr. Albert F. Calvert upon the death of his eldest son, Second Lieutenant Cecil Frederick Holcombe Calvert, of the Royal Engineers, who was killed in action in France on September 14th. According to accounts received in letters from his brother officers, Mr. Calvert met his death in a most gallant attempt to rescue a man who had been overcome by gas in a mining gallery in which the Germans had exploded a mine. Although he was brought out of the shaft and treated at once by the Medical Officer on the spot, he was already too far gone from the effects of the gas to make recovery possible. He died without pain and without regaining consciousness, and was buried in the new cemetery at Albert Somme, where his grave is being tended with reverent care. “ I am sure it will be a comfort to you to know,” his Colonel wrote, “ that he died as he had lived, a victim to his high-souled sense of duty.”

The Colonel commanding the Division, in a letter to Mr. Calvert, makes a special reference to his son's “ most gallant work” in the rescue of his men, and adds: “ I had already taken action as regards recommending him for the award of the D.S.O. in connection with his services on this occasion, and I deeply deplore the fact that he has not survived to receive it, if my recommendation had been accepted, as I feel sure it would have been.”

Mr. Calvert, who was 20 years of age, was educated at Elstree and Harrow, and later studied mining engineering at King's College, London. He then passed through the schools of Mines in London and Cambourne, gaining in the latter his First Class Diploma. He was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Batt. of the South Staffordshire Regiment on November 14th, 1914. On May 16th, 1915, he left for France, where he was attached to the 2nd Batt. Of the East Lancashire's, and remained with that regiment until August 12th, when he was transferred to the Royal Engineers. “ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” (St. John xv.13). King's College Review, Dec. 1915


First name(s)Cecilius Frederick Holcombe
Date of birth1894
Place of birthRichmond Registration District
Family detailsSon of Albert Frederick and Florence Calvert, of 56, Eton Avenue, London
Previous educationElstree and Harrow
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dept / courseFaculty of Engineering
Military unitSouth Staffordshire Regiment, 3rd Bn.; Royal Engineers attd. 179th Coy.
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Date of death14 September 1915
Age at death21
Rank at deathSecond Lieutenant
Cause of deathKilled in action
Burial placeAlbert Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France
Commemoration(s)King's College Chapel
SourcesKing's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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