Samuel George PEARSE VC, MM


PEARSE, Samuel George

Service Numbers: 2870, 133002
Enlisted: 5 July 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 45th Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Born: Penarth, Glamorganshire, Wales, 16 July 1897
Home Town: Koorlong, Mildura Shire, Victoria
Schooling: Penarth Grammar School
Occupation: Trapper
Died: Killed In Action, Yemtsa, Russia, 29 August 1919, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Archangel Allied Cemetery
Sp Mem B107
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, Mildura Samuel George Pearse VC MM Memorial, North Bondi War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

5 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2870, Melbourne, Victoria
10 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2870, 7th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
10 Sep 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2870, 7th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of Victoria, Melbourne
21 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private
21 Nov 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal
10 Apr 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal
19 May 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal
5 Jun 1919: Involvement Sergeant, SN 133002, 45th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, North Russia 1918-19
18 Jul 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Corporal
18 Jul 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, SN 133002, 45th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, North Russia 1918-19

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Pearse, Samuel George (1897–1919)
by Peter Burness

Samuel George Pearse, labourer and soldier, was born on 16 July 1897 at Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales, son of George Stapleton Pearse, labourer, and his wife Sarah Ann, née Sellick, and was educated at Penarth Boarding School. The family migrated to Australia with Sam accompanying his father and a brother about 1911 while the rest of the family followed after George Pearse had obtained a property at Koorlong, Victoria. Sam took work fruit-picking, labouring, trapping, and as a deck-hand on the paddle-steamer Viola.

A few days before his eighteenth birthday he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and on 10 September 1915 sailed from Melbourne with the 9th Reinforcements for the 7th Battalion. He served briefly on Gallipoli in December before returning to Egypt and then going on to France next March. He was transferred to the 2nd Machine-Gun Company in August and remained with it when it became part of the 1st Machine-Gun Battalion.

Private Pearse was wounded in action on 24 August 1916 and again on 19 May 1918. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery between 18-22 September 1917 when he attacked an enemy post, and for valuable services as a runner during the fighting around Ypres, Belgium. He was promoted lance corporal in November 1917 and corporal next April. After his second wound he was invalided to England and did not rejoin his unit in France until after the war had ended.

In England Pearse had met Catherine Knox, a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. They married on 1 June 1919 at Durham, but when she became pregnant they decided to delay their voyage to Australia. On 18 July Sam was discharged from the A.I.F. to join a company of the 45th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, being raised in London, largely from Australian volunteers, for service with the North Russia Relief Force. He was sent to Archangel and from there to Emptsa where an attack was planned to allow the White forces to consolidate their positions before the final British withdrawal.

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