B/66122 Rifleman William Cuthbertson Calbert was born in Toronto on 21 August 1921, son of William Cuthbertson Calbert and Annie Rosina Cruttenden. He had six younger brothers and one sister. One of his brothers, Rifleman Herbert Cuthbertson Calbert also served with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and was killed in action in Holland on 26 February 1945.
He left school at the age of 15.
He enlisted on 17 January 1941 with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, having served since September 1940 with the Queen’s York Rangers (Reserve). He landed with the Regiment in Scotland on 29 July 1941.
In February 1942 Calbert qualified and was employed as a driver/mechanic. He was “convicted” of a number of offences which was not unusual for his age and the endless training with no end in sight:
- Conduct to the prejudice of good order in that he did mark his name in an improper place, i.e. namely on the in gate of the camp (5 days confined to barracks, 5 days of pay withheld);
- Conduct to the prejudice of good order in that he did leave his rifle in the guard room while on guard duty (7 days confined to barracks);
- Absent without leave…for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes (7 days confined to barracks)
Calbert was given permission to marry on 19 January 1944, and he married English girl Mary Alice Little on 29 Jan 1944, at St. Pauls Roman Catholic Church, Haywards Heath, Sussex, England. He assigned her $25 per month from his pay. (Mary remained in England and remarried in 1951.)
Calbert landed with B Company on Juno Beach on D-Day in the first wave and was killed in action on 6 June 1944. He is buried in Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, grave reference I. B. 11.
Chosen by his family and inscribed on his grave marker is:
In my heart he is living yet
I loved him so dearly to ever forget