Title: Victoria’s Cross – Anzac to Archangel. The Story of Sgt Sam Pearse V.C. M.M.

Author: Irwin, Mike

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 2003

ISBN: 1876709499

Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 144 pages

Comments: The story of Sergeant Samual Pearse VC, MM.

Samuel George Pearse VC, MM, (16 July 1897 – 29 August 1919) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

At the time of his enlistment in July 1915 just before he turned eighteen, Pearse’s occupation was as a rabbit-trapper. He sailed from Melbourne with the 9th Reinforcement for the 7th Battalion reaching Gallipoli shortly before the evacuation and spending two weeks in the line there.

 He subsequently saw action on the Western Front and in September 1917 was awarded the Military Medal for an action in single-handedly raiding a German machine gun-post in Belgium:

“Normally this man is a runner ….and throughout he showed an utter disregard of danger in carrying messages, guiding parties and in bringing in wounded men on every return run.”

Following the Armistice, Pearse was attracted by the prospect of a tour of duty with the North Russia Relief Force and like the other 150 Australian soldiers who volunteered, Pearse was discharged from the AIF and re-enlisted in the British army as a private soldier. Many of the volunteering Australians had come late to action in World War I but Pearse was a battle-hardened veteran [2] and was soon promoted to sergeant. He was a 22 year old sergeant in the 45th Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, British Army during the North Russia Campaign under the command of Lionel Sadleir-Jackson when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC:

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 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.”

Samuel Pearse was buried in Souset Cemetery, Archangel, North Russia. His Victoria Cross, Military Medal and service medals are privately held.