Pete Bate, a member of the Veteran Buglers, and Colin Cranswick, Regimental Association Secretary, crossed the Pennines to Rochdale to give Ron Calvert, a former Sjt in 'A Company' 1KOYLI, a surprise for his 97th birthday which he celebrated on the 26th February.
Ron enlisted in August 1934 and demobbed in 1946. During his service he served in numerous locations including; Norway, India, Middle East, Sicily and Italy, a full list can be seen in the picture below. He was a member of 'A Company's' boxing squad and also the Battalion boxing squad.
Pete and Colin greeted Ron with a fanfare and the Regimental Association Standard as he entered the communal sitting room of the sheltered housing complex where he lives. Ron shared some of his stories and photographs from his time in the KOYLI. The first item Ron showed Pete and Colin was his KOYLI Association green membership booklet, with the words "Once a KOYLI always a KOYLI" inscribed on the front, which he still proudly carries. Pete and Colin are the first members of the Association he has seen in many years.
Colin presented Ron with a birthday card from the Regimental Association Chairman, the Trustees and members. Pete gave Ron some KOYLI greetings cards and other items including details of the KOYLI Memorial Appeal and the planned unveiling of a statue cast in bronze of a KOYLI soldier dressed in jungle fatigues to be located next to the Regimental Museum in Doncaster on 1st August 2018. This date is significant as it will mark the 50th Anniversary of the date The Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was removed from the Army's Order of Battle and became the 2nd Battalion of The Light Infantry which later became part of present day Rifles Battalions.
Our thanks to David Calvert, Ron's son, for contacting the Association to ask if there was anything the Association could do to help celebrate Ron's 97th Birthday. Pete and Colin said that it was an honour to meet and spend time chatting with Ron and to deliver birthday greetings from his Regimental Association.
If there are any members of the Association that remember Ron and would like to chat with him online his Facebook address is https://www.facebook.com/ron.calvert.963 .
Happy Birthday Ron - Cede Nullis