Major A.G. Pearson
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
After practically all the garrison at the front trenches had been killed or wounded by enemy shell fire, L/Cpl Pearson with a few men still held on and fortunately although wounded himself managed to bring out the survivors in safety after a new position had been taken up.
(Pearson, DCM citation, 14 Jan 1916)
Born in Endon, Staffordshire, England on 16 August 1880, Alfred Glynn Pearson was shipping agent who enlisted as a private in Winnipeg in December 1914. He was one of the few non-commissioned volunteers to rise through the ranks and command a battle by the end of the war. While serving as a corporal with the PPCLI, he received the Distinguished Conduct Medal and a promotion to lieutenant. After recovering from shrapnel wounds, Pearson rejoined the PPCLI in spring 1916.
He soon rose through the commissioned ranks in part through gallantry and in part through happenstance. After the dismissal of Captain C.R. Banning for drunkenness in January 1917, Pearson assumed his position in the regiment. A few months later he became acting major while Major Charlie Stewart recovered from wounds.
At Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917, Pearson was wounded again by a gunshot to the chest that punctured his lung. After a lengthy recovery and posting to a reserve battalion in England, he returned to France in April 1918. After serving as adjutant for 3rd Divisional Wing, Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp, he took command of the PPCLI on 16 October following Stewart’s death in battle.
Pearson held the post after the armistice when he relinquished command to Hamilton Gault so that the founder of the regiment could lead the PPCLI home. Pearson participated in the CBC oral history series “In Flanders Fields” in the 1960s and died in London, England on 21 December 1967.