Samuel Pearse


Samuel-PearseVCSergeant Samuel George Pearse VC MM was born at Penarth, Glamorganshire and was educated at Penarth Grammar School. In 1911 his family moved to Mildura, Australia where he joined the local Legion of Frontiersmen's Unit.

Pearse served at Gallipoli and then in France. Following his discharge in July 1919 he joined the North Russia Relief Force with the 45th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. He was involved in fighting along the railway south of Archangel and was killed in action during the final assault on 29 August Emtsa.

His citation from The London Gazette (issue 31613 of 21 October 1919) reads:

"For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and self-sacrifice during the operation against the enemy battery position north of Emtsa (North Russia) on the 29th August, 1919. Sergeant Pearse cut his way through enemy barbed wire under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and cleared a way for the troops to enter an enemy battery position. Seeing that a blockhouse was harassing our advance and causing us casualties, he charged the blockhouse single-handed, killing the occupants with bombs. This gallant non-commissioned officer met with his death a minute later, and it was due to him that the position was carried with so few casualties. His magnificent bravery and utter disregard for personal danger won for him the admiration of all troops."

Sergeant Pearse was buried in the Archangel Allied Cemetery in North Russia. He is also commemorated on the Brookwood (Russia) Memorial, panel 3, column 2.

His Victoria Cross, Military Medal and service medals are privately held.

More information can be found at the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for Samuel George Pearse

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:
National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website