Pte
Thomas Harold Pearson

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1894
Place of birth:
Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia

General information

Profession:
Carpenter

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
5392
Enlistment date:
17/03/1916
Enlistment place:
Sydney Showground (Moore Park), New South Wales, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 17th Bn. (New South Wales)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
20/09/1917
Place of death:
South of Anzac House, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
23

Cemetery

Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XXX
Row: B
Grave: 15

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

Additional information

Private Thomas Harold Pearson served in the Australian Infantry 17th Battalion, part of the 5th Australian Brigade, of the 2nd Australian Division. The Division took part in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20-25 September), part of the Third Battle of Ypres. On the 20th September 1917 the Division attacked from Westhoek Ridge. The attack was carried by the 5th and 7th Australian Brigades and was aimed at the German line, which ran along a spur known as Anzac Ridge. The 5th Australian Brigade attacked with the 20th, 18th Battalions; the 17th Battalion was to be in support and had to capture the third and last objective. In the early hours of the 20th of September the 20th and 18th Battalions assembled at Westhoek Ridge, while the 17th assembled at Bellewaerde Ridge.
The attack began at 5.40 a.m. And the 20th Battalion went forward behind a creeping barrage. Half an hour later the Battalion captured the first objective, the Red Line. The 18th battalion moved through the 20th and captured the second objective, the Blue Line, by 07.40 a.m. Now the 17th started advancing. In the muddy and desolate valley of the Hanebeek stream, the Battalion was shelled by the German artillery. Notwithstanding the shelling the 17th suffered only slight casualties and moved through the line of the 20th Battalion, and later through the 18th Battalion. Under cover of a barrage the 17th Battalion advanced to the their objective, the Green Line, which was quickly occupied without opposition.
When the Germans had recovered from the initial blow, they started shelling the area of the 17th Battalion, while German airplanes machine-gunned the men. Battalion Headquarters were relocated to a captured German pill-box at Garter point, due to the heavy shelling. The German artillery kept shelling the 17th Battalion’s positions throughout the afternoon, causing very heavy casualties.
Private Thomas Harold Pearson was killed during the attack on Anzac Ridge. He was initially buried south of Anzac House. After the war his remains were exhumed and interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Files 2

Sources 8

"The Story of the Seventeenth Battalion A.I.F. in the Great War 1914-1918", Mackenzie K.W., Sydney, 1946, pg. 190-193.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 75.
Sources used
AIF-project
https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/search
Sources used
Australian War Memorial
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10258563
Sources used
CWGC
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/480401/PEARSON,%20T%20H
Sources used
National Archives of Australia
http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/
Sources used
War Diary A.I.F. 17th Bn.
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1338583
Sources used