Major, Lincolnshire Regiment, attached Royal Air Force
Born: December 6th 1890
Died: December 6th 1918
Age at Death: 28
Died of pneumonia, December 7th 1918
Son of E.J. Pearce of Leicester, brother to Herbert K. Pearce (BC reg. 3281).
A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by the Mermagen Family.
Major Sidney Martin Pearce (School House 1906–1907)
Sidney Martin Pearce was born in Leicester on 6 December 1890. He was the younger son of Edwin Pearce, a builders’ supplier who went bankrupt in 1911, and his wife Laura (née Payne). The family lived in Leicester. It is not clear why Pearce and his brother were educated at the College and there are few records of their time there. After Pearce left the College he joined his father’s business. However, after his father encountered financial difficulties and moved to Lancashire in 1911 Pearce entered the RMC Sandhurst and later received a commission in the Leicestershire Regiment.
Shortly after the outbreak of war he was promoted to Captain and received a transfer to the newly formed 13th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, which formed part of the 72nd (Home Service) Division. He served as adjutant with the unit for two years from June 1915 to July 1917, including a period seconded to the staff of 215th Infantry Brigade. In that capacity his ‘name was brought to the attention of the Secretary of State for valuable services.’ In autumn 1917 he transferred to the RFC and was given command of a Cadet Wing which trained pilots before they were sent on active service. Shortly after the armistice in November 1918 he became ill during the infamous ‘Spanish Flu’ epidemic. His illness rapidly developed into pneumonia and he died on his 28th birthday, 6 December 1918. It is unclear why Pearce was never attached to a combat unit abroad, which would seem likely given his age and experience but it may be that he was afflicted by ill health throughout his military career.
Pearce’s grave is in the Winchelsea Churchyard, Kent, England.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15