Corporal 12129 William Pearson

Pearson William 12129 96 422x600

Died of Wounds on Sunday, 22nd October 1916, age unknown.
Buried in Grave V. C. 49. at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe, Somme, France.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed Balkans, 25th April 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, St. Matthew's, and St. John's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/272144/

Genealogical Data

Too many options exist for William Pearson on the 1911 Census, so cannot identify him without further detail.

On the 1911 Census there is a Private William Pearson age 19, born Tipton, in the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Shaft Barracks, Western Heights, Dover. There is no indication if this is him, but as this casualty entered France in September 1915 I doubt it is him.

Personal Data

The name W Pearson is commemorated on the Tipton Library, St. John's and St. Matthew's memorials, it is not possible to identify which one is which!

We do know that this man's outstanding army pay and allowances was paid to his father, John, in March 1917; this amounted to £16/8/9d (16 pounds, 8 shillings and 9 pence). His father also received William's War Gratuity of £13/10/0d (13 pounds, 10 shillings) in October 1919 - this amount shows that William had enlisted in the army in approximately August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

During September 1916, the Allies had gained the villages of Flers, Gueudecourt and Morval, for once giving the advantage of the high ground. The next objective was the low ridge between Gueudecourt and the village of Le Transloy - the Transloy Ridges. In early October the 4th Worcesters returned to the Somme from the Ypres sector ready for an attack on the 18th October. At 8pm on the 17th October in pouring rain, the 4th Worcesters moved to their start position on the north of Gueudecourt.

At 3.40am on the 18th, under an intense British bombardment, the Worcesters advanced northwards. As the barrage lifted, the Worcesters attacked, and made short work of the German defenders. A sunken road beyond the captured trench line was also taken and the dugouts bombed and destroyed. More than 200 German troops were taken prisoner.

The attack was really over before light, and for the rest of the day the Worcesters took whatever cover they could, under a heavy German bombardment. Twice German counter-attacks were seen to be forming up, but were stopped dead by rapid fire. The Worcesters held this position in driving rain, until late the next day when they were relieved.

It is likely that at some stage during this attack, William Pearson was wounded, and evacuated back through the Casualty Clearing system to Heilly where there were 3 Casualty Clearing Stations. He died from his wounds on the 22nd October, and is buried at Heilly Station Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Gazette 28th November 1916
Worcesters- Pearson, 12129, Cpl., W., (Tipton).