Tributes to Royal Marine who fought during D-Day landings

Yorkshire People - Bernard Calvert
Yorkshire People - Bernard Calvert

A patriotic Second World War veteran who organised annual city centre commemorations for service men and women has died.

Bernard Calvert was only 18 when he served as a Royal Marine during the D-Day landings and protected merchant ships from constant German attacks until the war ended.

ARCTIC CONVOY: Bernard Calvert aboard the battleship HMS Rodney in 1943 when it travelled to Russia to deliver food and armes during the Second World War.

ARCTIC CONVOY: Bernard Calvert aboard the battleship HMS Rodney in 1943 when it travelled to Russia to deliver food and armes during the Second World War.

He later founded the Wakefield branch of the Royal Society of St George and organised annual services at the cenotaph, on Rishworth Street.

Mr Calvert, of Eastmoor , died last Wednesday aged 87.

And a special funeral service will be held at Wakefield Cathedral.

Friend and fellow Royal Society of St George member Norman Hazel said: “Bernard was a very determined and strong man.

“He was a very interesting man and always shared a good story.

“He was a good, hardworking man who was proud to found the Royal Society of St George and loved his community.”

Mr Calvert was born in Wakefield in 1925 and attended St Andrew’s Junior and Ings Road Secondary schools.

He volunteered for the Royal Marines at the age of 16 and was posted to the Plymouth Division. In 1944 he took part in the D-Day landings in Normandy and defended the Russian Arctic Convoys - ships which took supplies and ammunition from the UK to North Russian ports.

More than 3,000 young men died as the ships were attacked by German U-boats and aircraft.

He remained in the Royal Marines until 1955 and was awarded seven campaign medals. He was also due to receive the new Arctic Convoy medal later this year.

The father-of three lived in Plymouth and campaigned to restore The Palace Theatre, meeting Sir John Betjeman.

He worked in film, theatre and radio and returned to live in Eastmoor when his wife Doreen died.

He founded the Royal Society of St George, which held events on St George’s Day.

A piper and Royal Marines are due to lead his union-flag- draped coffin into Wakefield Cathedral ahead of a service at 11am on Monday, April 15.