honor role

Pearse, Arthur Gordon Simpson

** 1850 Bugler 16th Bn. and 12th Machine Gun Battery.

Born at Perth, WA Methodist.  His service file notes two enlistment dates; 2 December 1914 and 19 January 1915,  age 19, blacksmith stoker.  Nok his mother, Jessie Pearse of Brookman St, Perth and later at Congdon St, Cottesloe. Embarked at Fremantle 19 April 1915 per A8 Argyllshire. At Gallipoli he suffered a serious wound to the thigh  and repatriated to Australia per HS Kanowna. Embarked at Fremantle 7 April 1916 for Europe and assigned to the  12th Machine Battery. Severely wounded  during the Battle of Poziers 6 August 1916 and admitted to King George Hospital. Jessie was advised to address Arthur’s letters to ‘1850 Pearse, wounded, necip, care Stralia, London’ (‘necip’ being  the code for 12th Machine Gun Battery and ‘Stralia’ the AIF HQ in London). Arthur was  repatriated to Australia per A28 Miltiades and in October 1918  he died of injuries sustained in a railway accident. His extended family recall he was mentally disturbed when he came home and the ‘accident’ may have been suicide. Nevertheless, Arthur Pearse is listed on the Australian War Memorial Honour Roll of those killed in action or died of war related causes.  Service medals: 1914-1915 Star, BWM and VM. A letter on Arthur’s file, dated 9 October 1924, is from K.F. Dowling of Kent, addressed to The Officer Commanding No.5 Depot Blackboy Hill, seeking to contact Bugler G. Pearse who served at Gallipoli adding: ‘I have in my possession something that would be treasured by him or his people that I found on the [Dardanelles] Peninsular where I was with the Royal Engineers in the 28th Division.’ In a letter informing Dowling that the person sought may be 1850 Gordon Pearse, was Jessie Pearse’s address and the bugle came home to Australia. Arthur’s nephew, John Burridge,  continues the Pearse legacy by playing at Anzac Day services what may be the only authenticated Gallipoli bugle in existence.