Military Medal: Private S G Pearse, 2 Machine Gun Company, AIF

Place Europe: Belgium, Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Ypres, Menin Road, Glencorse Wood
Accession Number AWM2017.382.1.2
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Silver
Location Main Bld: Hall of Valour: Main Hall: East Africa, Palestine & North Russia
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Military Medal (Geo V). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

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History / Summary

Samuel George Pearse was born in Penarth, Glamorganshire, Wales on 16 July 1897. He noted his occupation as trapper when he enlisted in the AIF on 5 July 1915 as private 2870 and was posted to 7 Battalion. He served briefly on Gallipoli leading up to the evacuation before moving to the Western Front where he transferred to the 2nd Machine Gun Company. Near Ypres in September 1917, he observed movement in an enemy post and crept forward alone and attacked the post, causing the enemy to retire. For this action, among others, he was awarded the Military Medal. The recommendation for the award reads:

‘On the night of 18th September, 1917, this man, while on outpost duty in a post on the western edge of GLENCOURSE WOOD East of YPRES, saw a light shine momentarily in a German post some distance in front and, after warning his comrades, crept forward alone and dropped bombs into thre position causing casualties to the enemy who evacuated the post.

Normally this man is a runner, he was in the trenches from 16th to 22nd September taking part in the advance and throughout showed an utter disregard of danger in carrying messages, guiding parties and in bringing in wounded men, on every return run. From forward positions he helped to bring back wounded and undoubtedly saved many lives.’

Following the Armistice, Pearse joined the North Russia Relief Force. Near Emsta, North Russia, in August 1919 Pearse, unassisted, silenced a heavily defended enemy blockhouse but was killed soon afterwards. For his actions he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Pearse’s Military Medal is preceded by the Victoria Cross and is accompanied by the 1914-15 Star. His remaining service medals for the First World War are not held by the Memorial.