Conisboro’ V.C. Homecoming – 2. The Illuminated Address

April 1919

Mexborough and Swinton Times April 12, 1919

Conisboro’ V.C. Homecoming –  The Illuminated Address

The illuminated address had been engraved by Mr Ralph Catterall, chief draughtsman at the Denaby and Cadeby collieries, who has prepared (without charge) all the addresses which, during the war, have been presented to the Denaby and Cadeby heroes. It was in the following terms:

To Sgt Lawrence Calvert, V.C., fifth Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire light infantry.

On behalf of the subscribers, the chief of whom are your fellow workmates of the Denaby and Cadeby collieries, and the directors of the collieries, we beg of you to accept National War Bonds for the sum of £500, a gold watch, and this illuminated address, as a small token of our appreciation of the services you have given to your King and country for four and a half years in the Great War. You responded nobly to the call of arms when the K.O.Y.L.I. territorials, of which you were a member, were mobilised in August 1914, and you were on active service until after the glorious victory.

On September 12, 1918, you gained the highest and greatest honour that man can have- the Victoria Cross, for your extraordinary, brave, superb, and gallant conduct at Havrincourt. The record of the deed is set out in a special order, a framed copy of which we give you.

On September 27, 1918, you gained the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery at Vraucourt.

On December 12, 1918, you had the honour restored upon you of being commissioned to fetch your regiments colours from Doncaster to your regimental headquarters on the battlefield of victory.

In the name of the subscribers and the inhabitants of Conisborough and Denaby, and in the name of humanity, we offer you are hearty congratulations, and the deep sincere homage of a grateful people. We cannot find wordswhich wefeel would express to you our worship for your valour, neither can we realise the momentous worth of your immortal deeds.

We are very proud of you, very proud to welcome you back amongst us, and very thankful that your life and limbs, which you have so nobly offered for us, have been spared. We hope you will long live in health and strength to enjoy the fruits you so richly deserve of the victory over a barbarous foe

May we always remember what we owe to heroes like you, and to all others were fought for this; all those who have suffered for it was; all those who have made the supreme sacrifice for us; and may we all try to be worthy of those sacrifices so nobly and generously given in the cause of righteousness.

This address is signed, on behalf of the subscribers,by Major M.E.W. Pope, chairman of the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Ltd; Mr W.A.Chambers, Managing Director; Mr H.C.Harrison, agent; Mr H.Hulley, Manager of the Cadeby mine; Mr T. Gregory, secretary of the Cadeby branch of the Yorkshire Miners Association; the reverent W.A.Strawbridge, vicar of Conisborough; Mr S.C.Urch, chairman of the Conisborough parish Council; and Mr W.L.Worsley, one of the secretaries of the Calvert testimonial fund .

The chairman said he hoped Sgt Calvert would live long and that nothing but prosperity and happiness would come his way. He was a credit to the British army. (Applause.) Many other awards of VC’s have been posthumous, but they were pleased beyond words that Sgt Calvert was there in person to receive the welcome and presentation.

The chairman, in calling upon Captain Harrison to make the presentation, said the gifts were valuable, but compared with the honours that had been awarded Sgt Calvert and the services he had rendered, they were a trifle. There had been such a great number of gallant fellowswho hadlaid down their lives in order that this England of ours might be a better place in the future than it had been in the past; though in the past ithad always been the dearest place on earth. (Applause.)

There had never been another place like England, and there was no place like England today. (Applause.)