Lieutenant Pearson

Lieutenant Jack Hesketh Pearson was originally a civil engineer.

The brother of the then celebrated actor Edward Hesketh Pearson, he was Fred Roberts’ second in command when they found the printing press in the ruins of Ypres in 1916. On the publication of the trench newspaper, he became its sub-editor.

With Roberts he fought in both battles of the Somme, and was decorated with the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and the MC (Military Cross).

Late in the war, Pearson (now a Captain) set up The Foresters’ Arms – a makeshift pub behind the front line which provided (often free) refreshment to wounded soldiers waiting for ambulances. While his superiors objected, the pub stayed open thanks to a petition organised by Divisional Chaplains.

After the war, Pearson travelled to Argentina to work as an engineer on the railways, later becoming a hotel keeper. He died in 1966.