2nd Lieutenant James Calder

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant James Calder

James Calder was born on 8th June 1898 in Darvel, Ayrshire. His father, James Calder, who had a New Zealand background, was a shopkeeper and later a dairyman. James was seventeen when he began his studies at the University of Glasgow in 1915. He matriculated to study Mathematics, Chemistry and Natural Philosophy, all of which he passed. The following session, he seems to have decided against further study of science and enrolled for Ordinary French and English. Of age to sign up now, however, and with a war on, he did not complete his classes but instead joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and later the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, commissioned 2nd Lieutenant. He ended the war serving in the Durham Light Infantry (1918-1919).

After war service in Belgium, France and Germany, he returned to Glasgow to continue his studies. In 1921 he graduated and got married to a Belgian girl, Emma Elvira Jacqueline de Weerdt. He had finally resolved the dilemma of whether to study for an Arts or a Science degree. In 1920 he enrolled for Ordinary English and French, in which he took a first class certificate. The following year he took Higher French and was permitted to transfer to the Arts Faculty, and graduate MA, which he did on 21st April.

He joined the Malayan Civil Service as a cadet in 1921 and served in a number of posts, including that of magistrate, Seremban and Kuala Lumpur (1935-1936) and Legal Adviser in Trengganu,(1938-1939). He was evacuated to India and then Australia, where he was Deputy Malayan Agent. He served the Second World War as Colonel, British Military Administration. He administered the Government of North Borneo in 1945, was Acting Governor for periods between 1946 and 1948 and Chief Secretary from 1946 to 1953. In recognition of his services he was awarded the Companion of St. Michael and St. George in 1948. James Calder retired to New Zealand, where he died on 24th January 1968 in the town of Nelson after a life of service and two world wars.



2nd Lieutenant James Calder
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: Oxford And Bucks Light Infantry
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: N/A
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A


University of Glasgow Registry, Faculty and General Council Records

Who’s Who, 1958

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