- Maurice Kalikoff was a son of Philip and Dora
Kalikoff, of Islington, London. He was born in Kiev, Ukraine and was
Jewish. As a child, in the 1920's, he fled the Ukraine with his parents
and sister and came to Britain.
- Kalikoff enlisted into The Sussex Regiment. He
volunteered for the Parachute Regiment at the formation of 1st Parachute
Brigade in late 1941. He was later posted to the 2nd Parachute
Battalion, where he served with the Mortar
Platoon, Support Company. He served with the Battalion in North
Africa, Sicily, Italy and Arnhem.
- On 20 september 1944 Kalikoff was commanding
the mortars at the 'Island' at the bridge area. When they ran out of
ammunition Kalikoff and two of his men ran for the safety of a house,
but Kalikoff was hit and wounded. He was taken prisoner.
- James William Sims,
who also served with the Mortar Platoon and who wrote a book about his
experiences in Arnhem and as a prisoner, wrote about Kalikoff, who was
his section commander, on page 22: "Our section commander,
Maurice Kalikoff, was an exacting instructor whose aim was speed and
accuracy, and we practised over and over again until he was reasonably
satisfied with our performance. Maurice was a Russian Jew. He had been
born in Kiev and his family had fled from Russia during a pogrom. He
still retained the Slav's sad, almost fatalistic, outlook on life and
was quietly spoken - for a sergeant. He was a first-class soldier and
one of the finest human beings I have ever met."
- On page 36 Sims wrote about meeting Kalikoff
at the Landingzone near Wolfheze on 17 september 1944: "Looking
like a Christmas tree, I set off in search of the 2nd Battalion. I met
Sergeant Kalikoff, who appeared upset over something. When I asked what
the trouble was he replied that he had lost his kitbag. At the thought
of all those tedious and sweaty afternoons I burst out laughing. Maurice
couldn't see the joke and told me to get moving."
- On page 49: "There was an island of
grass with shrubs and trees in the centre of the road west of the
bridge. Lieutenant Woods selected this for our mortar position. He
ordered us to dig two pits for the mortars and to surround these with
slit-trenches. Sergeant Kalikoff was left to organise this while the
lieutenant went off to inspect the houe which was to be held by the rest
of the platoon."
- On 19 september Kalikoff was one of the last
defenders of the house held by the Mortar Platoon. Sims wrote about this
on page 75: "The remainder of the Mortar Platoon was clustered
at the bottom of the stairs. From above Sergeants Jackman and Kalikoff
serveyed what was left of the original 'shower'. Sergeant Jackman was
now in command of the platoon, Lieutenant Woods being presumed killed in
the White House.
- Having inspected us Sergeant Jackman said,
'I want six volunteers to stay here with Maurice and defend this house
to the last.' We all shuffled forward. "OK, Maurice, take your
pick.' Sergeant Kalikoff looked us over in his sad way and selected six
of the toughest veterans in the room. Waving his hand in the direction
of the garden Sergeant Jackman shouted, 'Right, the rest outside and dig
- According to the Roll of Honour published by
the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (Jan Hey 2011) Kalikoff
died of wounds and was first buried in the New Cemetery at Lingen/Ems,
Germany. He was later reburied in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.