Arthur Lindsay PEARCE

PEARCE , Arthur Lindsay

Service Number: TX2548
Enlisted: 17 June 1940
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 2nd/8th Field Regiment
Born: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 21 January 1918
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Clemes College, Tasmania
Occupation: Solicitor
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World War 2 Service

17 Jun 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Gunner
17 Dec 1945: Discharged 2nd AIF WW 2, Sergeant, SN TX2548 , 2nd/8th Field Regiment

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney


Arthur Lindsay Pearce (known as Lindsay) was born at New Town, Tasmania, in 1918 and attended Clemes College where school reports show he was an exceptional student.  He played cricket as a wicketkeeper with New Town and also joined the First Derwent Sea Scouts. From 1935 he studied Law at the University of Tasmania and during this time enjoyed cycling around Tasmania, and walking expeditions to wilderness areas.  He was a member of the inter-varsity debating team, Students Representative Council, annual university revues etc.  Lindsay was articled to Walter Frederick Hinman at Simmons Wolfhagen, Simmons & Walch in Lincoln Chambers, Hobart, and was exposed to all sorts of clients and situations. Lindsay was admitted to the Bar in uniform in 1940.


On 26 Jan 1945 at Innisfail, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland. Lindsay married Jean Rannard, a nurse who had served on the hospital ship ‘Oranje’ and whom he had met on the Atherton Tablelands.  After the War they made their home in Tasmania, firstly at New Town and then from 1951 at ‘Salamis’ Lindisfarne.  They had 4 children.


In 1947 Lindsay became a partner at Simmons Wolfhagen Simmons & Walch. He was invited to join the Hobart Legacy Club soon after WWII and for the rest of his life devoted a great deal of time to this and his ‘Legacy widows’  He also joined the Athenaeum Club, Rotary Club, the RSL and Tasmania Club. He was instrumental in changing the Clarence Council into a Commission in 1957 to improve the service.  Lindsay served on the board of the Queen Victoria Home as honorary legal advisor for many years, reorganized the constitution of the Queen Victoria Convalescent Home and arranged the incorporation of the Queen Victoria Home for the Aged when the present Home was built.  He served on the Law Council of Tasmania, was a Director of Tas. Finance & Agency Co, Granton Brick Co., Charles Davis Group (Fitzgeralds, Harris Scarfe, Co-op Motors) and was instrumental in setting up Savage River Mines.  Lindsay retired from Simmons Wolfhagen in Aug 1992 after a couple of strokes and died in Nov 1993.


War Service

Lindsay enlisted on 17 June 1940 at Brighton Camp and was posted as a gunner in the 2/8th Army Field Regt. He spent nearly 6 months training at Brighton, Tasmania, and Puckapunyal Camp Seymour, Victoria, before his unit the 16th Battery departed Australia for Palestine on the ex P & O liner H.M.T.Strathmore in the submarine flats of F Deck.  Their convoy travelled via Colombo to El Kantara in the Suez Canal and the troops entrained at Gaza to cope with more training, acclimatization and new diet.


In May 1941 Lindsay was promoted to Bombardier and the regiment moved to Mersa Matruh an Egyptian railhead and port on the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria.  This previously fashionable seaside resort had very few buildings standing after continual Axis bombing but needed to be kept open as a supply port for Tobruk.  The regiment patrolled from Mersa Matruh through Sidi Barrani to the Libyan border near Halfaya Pass in uncomfortable conditions.  Mid January 1942 the 2/8th moved from Palestine to Jdaidet Ghazir in the foothills of Syria near the Lebanese border where the regiment trained, patrolled and built a fortress with gun pits on a cliff face.  Their camp was surrounded by olive groves and small villages inhabited by friendly hospitable people.


After the fall of Tobruk, the 2/8th in a slow, congested convoy left Jdaidet to travel to Amiriya near Alexandria where they upgraded equipment and made final preparations to support the infantry.  The regiment played an intense role in the Battle of El Alamein using 163,321 25 pounder shells: their biggest daily total in the 1st battle was 11,973 high explosive and 555 smoke on 22 July 1942 and in the 2nd battle the highest daily total was 15,260 high explosive and 580 smoke on 30/31 October.  Lindsay was very proud of his regiment’s contribution at El Alamein.  Some highlights of his tour in the Middle East were enjoyable leaves at Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem etc.  Whilst in Palestine Lindsay met up with his brothers John and Hugh (see photograph).

On 31 Jan 1943 Lindsay embarked with the 2/8th aboard the Dutch/American liner ‘Nieu Amsterdam’ which carried 6000 troops back to Australia.  After 3 weeks leave the regiment reassembled on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, for a long and monotonous period of training maneuvers and bush route marches. 


On 9 Aug 1944 Lindsay was promoted to Sergeant. Whilst a Bombardier Lindsay had produced a 3 page Quick Barrages Procedure intended to supersede the Training Memo (War) No 4 and as a Sergeant, Lindsay following a requirement after the Battle of El Alamein to report all technical methods involving time saving, documented the Procedure for using the Meteor disc first compiled in Mar 1941 in Palestine:  the wind correction section was invented jointly by Lieut. W.E.Kallend and Lindsay.  This disc has remained in general use for all batteries since 1941.  On 26 Feb 1945 Lindsay also documented another Procedure – the Use of Paralleloscope for Testing and Adjusting Dial Sights Open Sights and Telescopes.


On 6 May 1945 the regiment disembarked from Townsville on board ‘David C Shanks’ an American liberty ship.  They landed at Moratai Island in the Moluccas and then on to Brunei Bay, Borneo:  the 2/8th Regt assisted the infantry before being sent to Kuching where the prisoners of war were released from the Japanese. The conditions in Borneo were most unpleasant with troops wet the whole time with rain or sweat, possibility of malaria and plentiful crocodiles.  On 22 Oct 1945 Lindsay left Morotai on the ‘Kanimbla”, disembarking at Brisbane 8 days later.  - Courtesy of daughter Annette Macquarie