Calvert, Hans (No. D/JX 229549)

Calvert, Hans

Signalman

D/JX 229549, HMS Tamar, Royal Navy

Killed on board the SS Lisbon Maru on Friday 2 October 1942 (aged 26)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon (Panel 67 Column 3)

Comber and District War Memorial

Second Comber Presbyterian Church

BIOGRAPHY

Hans Calvert was born on 22 February 1916 at 42 Fortwilliam Parade, Belfast and he was a son of Thomas Matthews Calvert and Sarah Jane Calvert (nee Lappin).  Thomas Matthews Calvert was born on 30 December 1890 and baptised in Raffrey Presbyterian Church.  The Calvert family lived in the townland of Tullyveery, Killyleagh and Thomas worked as a grocery assistant before he moved to 44 Glencollyer Street in Belfast to work as a bread server.  Sarah Jane Lappin lived at 267 Skegoniell Avenue, Belfast and she and Thomas Calvert were married on 3 December 1913 in Jennymount Methodist Church, Belfast.  Later Thomas and Sarah Calvert lived in Killinchy Street, Comber and they had at least four children:

Grace (born 1 October 1914 at 18 Mileriver Street, Belfast)

Hans (born 22 February 1916 at 42 Fortwilliam Parade, Belfast)

Thomas (born)

Alex (born)

Hans Calvert joined the Royal Navy in 1940 and it was reported in the press that he had been home on leave in April/May 1941.  At that time his brother Alex was serving with the RAF in India.  Signalman Hans Calvert (No. D/JX 229549) was stationed for a time at HMS Tamar which was the Royal Navy’s shore base in Hong Kong from 1897 until 1997.

The Lisbon Maru was a Japanese freighter used by Japanese Forces as a troopship and prisoner-of-war transport ship between China and Japan.  When she was sunk in the China Sea by USS Grouper on 1 October 1942 the Lisbon Maru was carrying Japanese Army personnel and around 1,800 British prisoners-of-war from Hong Kong – including Signalman Hans Calvert.  The Lisbon Maru was not displaying appropriate markings to indicate that she was carrying prisoners-of-war and more than 800 of those on board perished.  USS Grouper was an American submarine built in Connecticut, commissioned in February 1942 and sold for scrap in 1970.

Signalman Hans Calvert (No. D/JX 229549) was 26 when he died, and he is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial; on Comber and District War Memorial and in Second Comber Presbyterian Church.

A reunion of Lisbon Maru survivors was held on 2 October 2007 aboard HMS Belfast, a museum ship moored on the River Thames in London and operated by the Imperial War Museum.