John Ellis PEARCE

Badge Number: 2978

PEARCE, John Ellis

Service Number: 231
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Senior Master
Last Unit: HMAS Cerberus (Shore)
Born: Riverton, South Australia, 27 October 1890
Home Town: Paracombe, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Goodwood
Occupation: School Teacher
Died: Acute post-op renal failure, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia, 2 September 1945, aged 54 years
Cemetery: HMAS Cerberus Cemetery
Grave Ref: 1.C.8.
Memorials: Adelaide High School Honour Board, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Brighton Arch of Remembrance, Brighton WW1 Roll of Honour, Glenelg Moseley Street Uniting Church "Heroes of Two World Wars", Goodwood Public School WW1 Roll of Honor, South Australian Education Department Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 231, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 231, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Ascanius embarkation_ship_number: A11 public_note: ''

20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, 231, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 231, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
7 Feb 1917: Discharged AIF WW1, Sergeant, 231, 10th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

2 Sep 1945: Involvement Royal Australian Navy, Senior Master, HMAS Cerberus (Shore)

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John Ellis Pearce was born on the 27th October 1890 in Riverton, South Australia to parents John and Louisa (nee Ellis) Pearce. John's father was a minister in the Methodist Church, the family lived in several country towns in South Australia before finally moving to Adelaide. John has two sisters, Gertrude and Olive and one brother, George Mayo Pearce, who also served in the AIF enlisting in January 1916 with the 11th Field Ambulance. John completed his schooling at Goodwood and then commenced Pupil Teacher training in 1906. When he enlisted at Morphettville on the 22nd August 1914 at the age of 23 he was employed as a teacher and had previously served as a Cadet. He was described as being 5'7" tall, fresh complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. The family were living at Jetty Road Brighton at the time.

He joined the 10th Battalion E Coy and on the 31st August he was promoted to the rank of Corporal, the following day he was again promoted to the rank of Sergeant. The unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on the 20th October 1914. 

John sustained a gun shot wound to his left foot while fighting in the Dardanelles campaign on the 25th April 1915. He was evacuated to Lunar Park, Heliopolis where he had surgery to remove the bullet and on the 30th April was admitted to No. 1 General Hospital in Cairo. He was then transferred to the Convalescent Camp at Helouan on the 15th June. John had developed a sinus on the sole of the foot which exuded pus and prevented him from placing his foot flat, walking with the foot inverted, limping and unable to run. He was transferred to the Grand Hotel in Cairo on the 16th July and returned to Australia, embarking on board HS Horarata via Suez on the 29th July. He disembarked in Melbourne, Australia, on the 25th August and returned to Adelaide on leave. While in Adelaide, on the 25th September, he married (Mary Ethel Florence) Olivette Mansfield at the Methodist Church, Brighton. He was assessed by the Medical Board on the 29th September and recommended that he be discharged as permanently unfit for military service - unfit for marching. On the 30th November, while based at the 4th Military District Adelaide, he was discharged but on the 7th December, at Keswick, he enlisted for Home Service with the Mitcham Pay Corps and at his own request was then discharged on the 28th February 1916.

On the 4th March 1916 he was confirmed as being fit for service and on the 23 October he enlisted as a Private with the 2nd Depot Battalion D Coy Service No. S8588. On the 16th December he returned to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to A Coy but again was declared medically unfit and was discharged on the 7th February 1917.

After discharge from the AIF John returned to teaching and he and his wife were living in Unley, where on the 5th May 1917 he nominated for the state by-election in the National Party. They welcomed their first child, Olivette in May 1918 followed by George, Desmond and Daisy. 

By 1921 John had enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy in Victoria and was appointed as Schoolmaster P.N.F. He and his family remained in Victoria, John was based on numerous Ships or Establishments including Cerberus, Melbourne, Platypus, Penguin, Albatross and Australia. While based at Cerberus on the 10th November 1936 he was issued a Commission and in December 1938 he was promoted to Senior Master P.N.F.

John was admitted to the 115th A.G.H. at Heidelberg on the 8th August 1945 and as a result of acute post operative renal failure he died in the 2nd September 1945.

Medals awarded 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal