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Alan Frank Pearson

Local History

Page updated - 17 March 2009

Roll of Honour - Gt. Cornard

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Private Alan Frank Pearson

 Menin Gate

532224  1st/15th Battalion London Regiment (Prince of Wales’ Own Civil Service Rifles)

 

Alan Pearson was born in Upper Norwood, Surrey around 1898.  He was the son of Harry and Elizabeth Pearson.  His father was born in Great Waldingfield, Suffolk but had moved to Penge in Surrey by 1881 where he was described as a ‘Clothier and Outfitter’.  His mother was born in Assington.  Alan had three half brothers Harry, Frederick and William and a half sister Florence from his father’s first marriage.  The family lived in Upper Norwood before returning to Suffolk to live at ‘Woodruff’, Vicarage Road in Great Cornard.

 

Alan enlisted at Somerset House in the Strand, London formerly as 4926 London Regiment.  The London Regiment was considered at the time to be ‘an elite Territorial Regiment’.  In August 1914 the 1st/15th Battalion was part of the 4th London Brigade, 2nd London Division.  The battalion landed in France between 9th and 22nd March 1915 and by May had become part of 140th (4th London) Brigade, the 47th (2nd London) Division. 

 

The Division saw action during the Battle of Aubers Ridge (9th May 1915) and the Battle of Festubert (15th – 25th May 1915).  Later that year it took part in the Battle of Loos (25th September – 19th October).

 

The summer of 1916 saw the First Battle of the Somme, a series of 12 battles over 141 days from 1st July 1916 to 18th November 1916.  The Division saw action during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15th – 22nd September) and the Battle of Le Transloy (1st – 18th October) where it captured Eaucourt l’abbe and took part in attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt.   By December the battalion had moved north to Belgium

 

Alan was killed in action 22nd December 1916.  There is no known grave and he is remembered on the Menin Gate, Yprés, Belgium.  His father had lost two sons in less than six months.  Six months later he would lose a third.

 

The Menin Gate Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in the Yprés Salient and bears the names of 54,322 British and Commonwealth casualties who have no known grave and who died between October 1914 and 16th August 1917.

 

A Memorial Service was held in St. Andrew’s Church in January 1917, a report of the service that appeared in the Suffolk and Essex Free Press mentioned that ‘he had failed to return after a successful bomb attack on a German trench’.  Alan was described as ‘a lad of domestic habits, fond of his home, the only son of his mother.  He had a half brother killed at the western front last July ( William) and has another near Yprés (Frederick) – where he himself gave his life for King and Country – and another half brother at Salonika.(Harry).  Of a quiet and retiring disposition, he possessed intelligence and ability and had passed in college the first examination for a degree of Bachelor of Science.  He attended Bury Grammar School and was held in high esteem prior to going to college.’

 

Alan was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

 

A Cross of Remembrance laid at the Menin Gate Memorial on 15th April 2006.

 

Photo - Shirley Smith

©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008