Can you imagine being a mother and waving your son off to war?
Having just one leave must have been heart-breaking enough, but imagine having ten sons who were all sent to the frontline...
Mrs Calpin must have been beside herself because that’s exactly what happened to her family. The ten brothers aged between 18 and 37 fought in the First World War and are believed to be the biggest band of brothers to ever go to war.
A century on and the full extent of their selfless patriotism is starting to re-emerge as the nation gets ready to honour all those who served in the First World War.
Apparently, two of the brothers were already in military service for British Empire forces abroad. None of them hesitated — answering the call of duty and were willing to put their lives on the line for Britain’s freedom.
Amazingly, all ten brothers appear to have come home alive, reported the Daily Mail and their unique example earned a public thanks. At the time the Calpin boys were praised by King George V and the Prime Minister and the Lord Mayor of their home city of York. Their names were trumpeted in a recruiting drive at the time and even broadcast in local cinemas.
Last night Guinness World Records was examining the information with a view to including the band of brothers in a new listing.
The Imperial War Museum said it could find no record of the ten – but described the story as ‘hugely interesting’. It plans to contact relatives to consider including the brothers in forthcoming exhibitions.
The family have recently spoken about the brothers’ legacy and of ‘deep admiration’ for the way they responded to the ‘Your King and Country need you’ call.
However, none of the family knew the Calpin boys had been praised by the King until this week when they were told by the Daily Mail.
The Buckingham Palace letter apparently spoke to the brothers’ parents Sarah and Patrick Calpin telling them that His Majesty had heard the news ‘with the deepest gratification’. He offered the new recruits ‘best wishes for success, health and happiness in their noble career’.
Michael Calpin, a grandson of Able Seaman Ernest Calpin, who served on HMS Dreadnought, told the Mail: “My father was always a little bit disappointed that they didn’t seem to get the recognition they deserved. It’s an astonishing thing for ten brothers all to go to war and it’s highly unlikely it will ever happen again. I’m really pleased to think that what they did is being recognised.”
Source: Daily Mail