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War Memorials



In Memory of
JOHN CALVERT
Private 23321
7th Battalion, The Prince of Wales‘s (North Staffordshire Regiment)
Who died on Thursday, 25th January 1917
Aged 28

Buried Plot XVII. Row C. Grave 18
Amara War Cemetery, Mesopotamia (Iraq)

Commemorated in Perpetuity
by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
&
Remembered with Honour
Iraq Memorial

Iraq Roll of Honour in the CWGC Head Office1

John Calvert was born in Beeston in 1889, the son of John and Elizabeth Calvert (née Harper). He was one of eight children who lived at 71 Roberts Yard, High Road, Beeston2 and, as a boy, attended Church Street School in Beeston. By the time of the census in April 1911, the four eldest had married and their father had died. John had also married - to Ena Toner3 in January of that year - but the couple were living in the Calvert household and John was working as a turner's labourer.4.

After leaving school he was employed as an Apprentice Fitter for a Nottingham firm. He was later married and lived with his wife Eva Calvert, and their two young children and was living before the War at 17 Commercial Street, Old Lenton, Notts. It was from this residence when he volunteered for the army, joining the 7th “Service” Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment which was part of the 39th Brigade, 13th “Western” Division. It was only a matter of weeks before Private Calvert was aboard ship, when he sailed with his battalion from Avonmouth in June 1915 for the Dardenelles. The 7th Battalion North Staffs arrived at its first port of call in Egypt on 26th January 1915, the battalion finally landing at Cape Helles, Gallipoli on the 11th July after a week spent in Mudros.

The battalion arrived in the front line trenches relieving the 9th Royal Warwick’s and took part in its first attack on 19th July which resulted in 61 casualties of which there were 19 men killed.

The battalion with the strength of 25 Officers and 750 other ranks left the Helles area and landed at Anzac on 3rd August, and after action during the 5th-11th August, the casualties amounted to over 300 killed wounded or missing. September and October the battalion spent long periods in the trenches under extreme heat, sand and flies, which accounted for as many lives as did the bullets and shells of the enemy.

Having survived the great storm and blizzards in late November, resulting in the deaths of many of men the battalion finally departed the island, evacuation beginning on the night of 7th the last pary leaving for Mudros on the 9th January 1916. The battalion then set sail for Mesopotamia where it landed on 26th February.

After serving just under another year Private John Calvert died in Mesopotamia on 25th January 1917 and is buried there in the Amara War Cemetery. Sadly, his older brother Thomas was also killed, on 19th April 1918.

Amara War Cemetery - Amara is a town on the left bank of the River Tigris. The War Cemetery is a little east of the town between the left bank of the river and the Chahalia Canal.

Amara was occupied by the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force on 3rd June 1915, and it became at once a hospital centre. Accommodation on both banks of the river, were greatly increased during 1916, and in April 1917, seven British and Indian General Hospitals, as well as other medical units were stationed in Amara.

The accommodation for medical units on both banks of the Tigris was greatly increased during 1916 and in April 1917, seven general hospitals and some smaller units were stationed there. Amara War Cemetery contains 4,621 burials of the First World War, more than 3,000 of which were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice. 925 of the graves are unidentified. In 1933, all of the headstones were removed from this cemetery when it was discovered that salts in the soil were causing them to deteriorate. Instead a screen wall was erected with the names of those buried in the cemetery engraved upon it. Plot XXV is a Collective Grave, the individual burial places within this are not known. There are also seven non-war graves in the cemetery


Footnotes
1The photograph of Iraq Roll of Honour is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org). As the current climate of political instability persists in Iraq, it is not possible for the Commission to manage or maintain its cemeteries and memorials located within that country. The Roll of Honour has been provided at the Commission's Head Office as an alternative arrangement for commemoration of those buried and commemorated in Iraq.
2Beeston, 1901 Census, Piece 3153 Folio 39 - lists all eight children and their ages : Fanny (26), Robert (23), Arthur (20), Betsy (18), Thomas (17), Sophia (14), John (12) and Sarah A (10).
3Ena, sometimes known as Eva, was born in about 1887, in "Antrim Kalrer" (1911 Census).
41911 Census of Beeston, Notts - Piece 20426 RD429 SD3 ED1 Schedule 66 - 71 Roberts Yard, Beeston.
5The desciption of the Amara Cemetery is based on that on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. (http://www.cwgc.org)

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