The O'Leary Collection—Medals of The Royal Canadian Regiment

4824 / 15130 Sgt Alfred Charles Pearce

R.M.L.I. – B.S.A.P. – Durban L.I.
The Royal Canadian Regiment
C.M.: 66th Regt., P.L.F. – 14th Regt., P.W.O.R. – 18th F.A.
C.E.F.: 67th Bn – 196th Bn – C.A.M.C. Depot No. XI

By: Capt (ret'd) Michael M. O'Leary, CD, The RCR

Alfred Charles Pearce was born in Plymouth, Devonshire, England, on 30 Dec 1872 (some sources state 1869).

On 5 Aug 1887, at the age of 14 years 7 months, Alfred Pearce enlisted as a Bugler in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (R.M.L.I.). Taken on strength at Plymouth (Register No. 3928), he was assigned to "D" Company, Plymouth Division. On enlistment, Pearce was 4 feet 10 1/2 inches in height, with a fresh complexion, brown hair, and brown eyes. Seven months later, when he transferred to duty "at sea," Pearce's character and ability were rated "V.G."

Pearce embarked on H.M.S. Curacoa as a Bugler on 28 Mar 1888. H.M.S. Curacoa was a Royal Navy Comus-class steam corvette, launched in 1880 and which would serve until 1904. Pearce joined the Curacoa two weeks after it was recommissioned at Devonport after an armaments refit making her main armaments at this stage of her service 12 64-pound rifled muzzle loading guns. H.M.S. Curacoa sailed from Britain to serve on the Cape of Good Hope and West Africa Station and the Australia Station.

Remaining with the Curacoa until 7 Dec 1890, Pearce was transferred to H.M.S. Orlando, an Orlando-class cruiser assigned to the China Station. His tour of duty with the Orlando would last only two weeks. On 23 Dec 1890, Pearce was invalided at Sydney, Australia, with "S.C. fever, Morbis Cordis" [i.e., simple continued fever, and heart disease].

When he turned 18 years of age on 29 Dec 1890, Pearce was eligible to be transferred into the ranks of the R.M.L.I. as a Private (R.M. Register No. 7743). He had 3 years 147 days service as an underage Bugler which did not count towards his next re-engagement. His time served, however, did count towards the earning of Good Conduct Badges. Also recorded in his service records for the R.M.L.I. is Pearce's height at age 18, which was 5 feet 5 1/2 inches.

Two days after his 18th birthday, Pearce changed ship again. On 1 Jan 1891, he embarked on H.M.S. Rapid, a Satellite-class composite screw sloop. Seven weeks later, on 20 Feb 1891, he was transferred back to Plymouth Division, R.M.L.I.

On 3 Jul 1891, Pearce's change of status as a result of his age caught up to him. No longer an "underage" Bugler, he was transferred to the ranks of the R.M.L.I. at Plymouth Division, and sent to the E.L. Deal Depot. Serving at the Depot at first on attachment, Pearce was formally transferred to the Depot Establishment as a Musician on 7 Aug 1891. He remained at the Depot until 1 Sep 1896 when he returned to Plymouth Division. Nine days later, on 10 Sep 1896, he was invalided to the Royal Marine Hospital. His records suggest that he was also discharged from the R.M.L.I. at this time. The records note his height on discharge. At 5 feet 7 inches tall, Pearce had grown 8 1/2 inches during his service in the Royal Marines.

After being invalided out of the R.M.L.I., Pearce returned to military service within a few years. It is possible his familiarity with South Africa from his service on the Cape of Good Hope and West Africa Station influenced his choice to serve in that part of the world. Through available online sources and his claims of prior service in later records, it appears he went to southern Africa twice.

On the website AngloBoerWar.com, in the medals rolls for the Queen's and King's South Africa Medals, can be found the name "A.C. Pearce." Although we do not know the exact dates of his service, the unit he was serving in during the South African War (1899-1902) was the British South Africa Police (B.S.A.P.).

By 29 Jul 1903, Alfred Pearce was back in England. On this date he married 19-year-old spinster Bertha Barrett at Plymouth, Eng.

Soon after, the Pearces were back in South Africa. On 28 Apr 1905, they had a son, Alfred George Leonard Pearce, born in Durban, S.A. The following year, on 1 Jun 1906, Pearce was serving with the Durban Light Infantry, with which unit he is named on the medal roll shared at AngloBoerWar.com for the Natal Medal 1906 (with no clasps). Curiously, in none of the later surviving military paperwork for Pearce is there mention of medals or medal entitlements for service before the First World War.

The Pearces were not long for Africa after the Natal campaign. By September, 1907, they were back in England once again, and prepared to emigrate to Canada. At 7.35 a.m. on 28 Sep 1907, the S.S. Kensington, sailing for the Dominion Line from Liverpool, Eng., docked at the port city of Quebec. That day, 279 2nd Cabin and 474 Steerage passengers disembarked. The remainder of the 1101 passengers aboard would carry on to Montreal. Among the Steerage passengers who left the ship at Quebec was the small family of Alfred Pearce. Pearce (age 34) was accompanied by Bertha (32) and one child, "A.G.L." (2). Alfred's occupation recorded on the passenger list was "Wagon captain" and their destination was St. Thomas, Ont.

Six weeks after arriving in Canada, on 9 Nov 1907, Alfred Pearce enlisted in the Canadian Permanent Force with The Royal Canadian Regiment at Stanley Barracks, Toronto, Ont. At the age of 34, and neither having family or prior service recorded in the regimental enrolment ledgers, Pearce was taken on strength and assigned the regimental number 4824.

Within three weeks of enlisting, Pearce was transferred to Regimental Headquarters at Halifax, N.S., on 28 Nov 1907. He was posted as a Bandsman to "F" Company to join the regimental band. Pearce did not serve a full year with The RCR. On 7 Sep 1908, he was discharged as medically unfit at Halifax, N.S. Released at the rank of private, his character and conduct while with the Regiment were noted as "Good."

Remaining in Halifax, Pearce is shown on the paylist of the Band of the 66th Regiment, Princess Louise Fusiliers, for parading during the year from 1 Jul 1908 to 30 Jun 1909. For his service in this Militia regiment, he received &dol;6.00 pay (50 cents per diem at the rank of Private) plus &dol;6.00 Efficiency Pay.

From Halifax, the Pearces began travelling westward in stages. For the summer of 1909, Pearce appears on the paylist of the Regimental Band of the 14th Regiment, The Princess of Wales' Own Rifles, at Kingston, Ont., for parading at local headquarters between 1 April and 1 Aug 1909. He is shown to have been paid for 12 days drill in that period, receiving &dol;6.00 pay (50 cents per diem at the rank of Private) plus &dol;4.80 Efficiency Pay.

Continuing westward, there is evidence that Pearce found employment as a bandmaster in Winnipeg. On 6 Feb 1910, The Victoria Colonist in British Columbia published the following brief item: "A.C. Pearce, late of the Walker Theatre orchestra of Winnipeg is the new Summerland bandmaster."

Summerland is a town on the west side of Okanagan Lake in the B.C. interior. The local paper, The Summerland Review, reported regularly on the activities of the Summerland Citizens' Band:

On 8 Oct 1910, The Summerland Review described the state of the band:

"Successful Concert
"The Band Hold a Benefit Concert Previous to Their Departure for the Coast.

"On Monday last, the Summerland Citizen's Band were the promoters and chief artistes at the first concert of the season.

"At 8.15, prompt, the advertised time, the chairman, Mr. J.C. Robson, opened the evening's program with a few remarks in which he made mention of the great asset to Summerland the band is and how little some of our townspeople realized this. The boys had worked very hard at practices, and all that was coming to them in the ways of bouquets or compliments they had truly earned.

"The bandsmen, about twenty four in number, looking extra smart in their now completed uniforms, went through a lengthy, and very varied program in a style, which gave assurance of a hearty reception at New Westminster. Their able leader, Mr. Pearce, has given them plenty to do, and drilled them to that pitch, whereby they will not fail him. Every selection was well rendered and thoroughly, enjoyed. The songs by Miss Bartholomew and violin solos by Mr. Dewar were brights spots in the evening's programme which was as follows:

"Mr. Powell Jones officiated as accompanist."

Fifteen years later, in replying to a letter to the editor proposing the creation of a new band in Summerland, The Summerland Review dug into its files and brought forward some comments published after the Summerland Citizens' Band's trip to New Westminster in 1910:

"The files of The Review for October, 1910, give an indication of the merits of the Summerland Citizens' Band at that time. The band played at the New Westminster exhibition and the following laudatory comments were made:

"The Summerland Band, one of the leading musical aggregations of the province, played in Queen's Park yesterday afternoon, and gave a concert in the exhibition building in the evening. Mr. A.B. Pearce (initials sic), the able leader, has had an extensive experience, and the Summerland band shows the results of his careful training. The only other band in the Okanagan district which can compare with them is the one at Vernon, but the latter is more of the American style, while the Summerland Band is of the old English military style.—The British Columbian.

"In Wagner's Band of Seattle, and the Summerland Band, the society has secured organizations that would be hard to beat. anywhere. The Summerland Band is recognized as the best of its kind in any town of its size in the west." —New Westminster Daily News."

In the 1911 Canadian census, the Pearce family was still living in the Okanagan region of B.C. Listed as a bandmaster in the census data, Pearce (38) is shown with Bertha (35) and son Leonard (6). The census record confirms South Africa as Leonard's birthplace.

By 1912, the Pearces had moved to Vancouver, B.C. Here they would welcome the arrival of two more children. On 24 Feb 1912, daughter Winnifred May Pearce was born and on 3 Sep 1913 son Stanley Owen Pearce joined the family.

Pearce appears in the Henderson's Greater Vancouver City Directory in 1914. He is identified as a musician working at the Rex Theatre. The family is living at 304 Robson St.

With the outbreak of the First World War, Pearce probably considered his opportunities to return to military service and military bands. It was more than a year after the war started that he gave in to that urge. Pearce attested for service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) with the 67th Overseas Battalion (Western Scots) at Victoria, B.C., on 12 Oct 1915. A 42-year-old musician, Pearce was described on his attestation paper as 5 feet 7 3/4-inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with moderate physical development, a 34-inch chest, a tanned complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. On his attestation form, Pearce claimed prior service with the 88th Regiment Victoria Fusiliers, the Royal Marines (12 years), the B.S.A. Police (2 yrs), and the Durham L.I. (sic). His religious denomination was Church of England. Pearce identified his wife, Bertha Pearce, 1926 Cedar St., Vancouver, B.C., as his next of kin and noted that he had three children. On attesting with the 67th Battalion, Pearce was given the regimental number 103137.

The 67th Battalion (Western Scots), C.E.F., was authorized on 20 Aug 1915. The unit recruited and mobilized at Victoria, B.C., and embarked for Britain on 1 Apr 1916. In the month after reaching England, the battalion was converted to pioneers and redesignated the 67th Canadian (Pioneer) Battalion.

When the 67th Battalion sailed from Halifax, Pearce was not with them. After attesting for service with the unit and receiving his initial uniform issue, he was reported absent the following day, 13 Oct 1915. A Court of Inquiry was held on 6 Nov 1915 at Willows Camp, Victoria, to determine the cause of his absence and to identify any deficiencies of kit. The Inquiry determined that Pearce had deserted and his attestation form was marked as such. The listed kit deficiencies which disappeared with Pearce included: tunic, trousers, a pair of puttees, service shirt, flannel shirt, winter shirt, pair of boots, fork, spoon, holdall, blanket, glengarry, badge, drawers, hair brush, and shaving brush. A form in Pearce's service record shows a value for everything on the list except the glengarry and badge, the total for the other items was &dol;23.35, which was over three weeks pay for a Private. Pearce was duly discharged as a deserter from the 67th Battalion on 11 Nov 1915.

Nine days after he signed the C.E.F. attestation form for the 67th Battalion, on 21 Oct 1915, Pearce was in front of another recruiter. He attested for a three-year engagement in the Canadian Permanent Force with The Royal Canadian Regiment at Esquimalt, B.C. The RCR had garrisoned company stations in central and eastern Canada since the Regiment was formed in 1883. In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, Captain Edward Seely-Smith was in British Columbia en route to an exchange posting in Australia. The declaration of war resulted in Seely-Smith being ordered to remain in Canada, and to establish a new company garrison at Esquimalt. This new location, the Regiment's No. 6 Station and the home of "L" Company, performed garrison duties and recruited regimental soldiers throughout the First World War.

On enlisting with The RCR, Pearce identified his wife as next of kin. He claimed no prior military service although it was noted later on his attestation document that he had served "2 summers with 45th Infantry, Victoria County, Ontario" (this claim is unconfirmed). Pearce's marriage to Bertha Barrett (Spinster) at Plymouth, Eng., on 29 Jul 1903 was noted and they were placed on the Regiment's married establishment from 21 Oct 1915. The couple's three children were also identified on Pearce's Permanent Force enrolment papers.

Pearce was given the Permanent Force regimental number 15130. His documents note his enlistment with The RCR on 21 Oct 1915 and a transfer to a supernumerary position with the 196th Overseas Battalion, C.E.F., on 6 Jul 1916.

As a Permanent Force soldier serving on attachment to a newly formed overseas battalion of the C.E.F., Pearce took the opportunity to transfer into the unit in order to go overseas. Pearce attested for service in the C.E.F. with the 196th Overseas Battalion (Western Universities) at Esquimalt, B.C. His new C.E.F. attestation was back-dated to his date of enrolment in the Permanent Force, 21 Oct 1915, suggesting that he may have been attached to the unit since his enrolment in The RCR. A 42-year-old musician, Pearce was described on his attestation paper as 5 feet 7 3/4-inches tall, weighing 140 pounds, with a 36-inch chest, a dark complexion, brown eyes, and brown/bald hair. Pearce identified his wife as his next of kin and his attestation paper noted no prior service. On attesting with the 196th Battalion, Pearce was given the C.E.F. service number 915130. A file card in his service record notes his rank with the unit as Sergeant Drummer.

The 196th Overseas Battalion (Western Universities), C.E.F., was recruited during the winter of 1915/16 in universities throughout western Canada. For it's training in Canada, the unit was based at Winnipeg, Man. Sailing for England in November 1916, the battalion was absorbed into the 19th Reserve Battalion at the end of that year.

On 6 Jul 1916, Pearce was appointed Acting Sergeant Drummer for the 196th Overseas Battalion, C.E.F. The record of service sheet with this event noted also notes Pearce's qualification as "Bugle Instructor."

Pearce is shown on the C.E.F. Sailing List for the 196th Overseas Battalion which crossed the Atlantic on the S.S. Southland. The battalion sailed from Halifax, N.S., on 1 Nov 1916 and disembarked troops at Liverpool, Eng., on 11 Nov 1916. Curiously, in the sailing list, Pearce's entry does not include his prior corps, next of kin, or any of the other information that constituted the usual entries for each man on the sailing lists.

Commencing November, 1916, Pearce established a monthly Pay Assignment of &dol;20 to be sent to his wife. As a Sergeant in the C.E.F., Pearce was paid &dol;1.35 per day plus an additional fifteen cents daily field allowance. His pay assignment represented under half of his monthly pay. Bertha Pearce also received &dol;25 monthly Separation Allowance, which began in September, 1916.

On 31 Dec 1916, Pearce was struck off the strength of the 196th Bn. as the soldiers of the unit were transferred to the 19th Reserve Battalion. Soon after joining the 19th Res. Bn., Pearce appeared before Medical Board at Seaford on 10 Jan 1917. His disability was noted as "alcoholism." The Board recorded his present condition as:

"This man apparently is not satisfied with his position and wants to get to France. Appears before medical board with quite strong odor of alcohol and is making himself useless in camp. No disability except rapid heart from alcohol."

The Board recommended a medical category of Bii which was used for "men who were fit for base units of the medical service, garrison, or regimental outdoor duty."

Pearce was struck off the strength of the 19th Res. Bn. on 16 Jan 1917 and transferred to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre (C.C.A.C.). This centre assessed wounded or sick personnel for further treatment or return to duty. Despite this change of unit Pearce remained with the 19th Res. Bn., on attachment for "B.D.P.R.D.&Q." (Base Duty, Pay, Rations, Discipline, and Quarters).

On 5 Feb 1917, Pearce was admitted to the Ravenscroft Hospital, Seaford, one of the satellite facilities of the Canadian Military Hospital, Eastbourne. He was diagnosed with myocarditis and "alcoholic."

Pearce's parent unit changed again on 10 Mar 1917. While still in hospital and still attached to the 19th Res. Bn., he was posted from the C.C.A.C. and taken on the strength of the Saskatchewan Regimental Depot (S.R.D.). The S.R.D. was part of a new regionally based reinforcement system, with named Depots taking in troops from battalions raised in those areas in Canada and providing reinforcement drafts to similarly designated fighting units. These Depots also became the parent unit for any soldiers returned to England from their affiliated battalions in France and Flanders.

On 24 Mar 1917, Pearce was transferred to the Canadian Military Hospital, Eastbourne. Four days later, on 28 Mar 1917, he was examined and his disability was recorded as myocarditis with a date of origin of 28 Nov 1916, a Medical Report on an Invalid form noted the essential facts of his case as:

"Patient states about 2 years ago, while playing cornet, fell down, and was sick for 4 months, and has not been completely well since, but in Nov 1916 after a Route March, heart began to beat vigorously and pain over Cardiac region—a good deal of nervous tremor on least excitement."

The exact cause of Pearce's condition was unknown but the report shows that it was "aggravated by excessive drill in route marches." His present condition was described as:

"Patient looks well nourished, but is very nervous and easily excited. Heart running quite rapid on exertion or excitement. Has attacks of pain in Cardiac region. Digestion very good. Lungs normal. Heart enlarged—Apex beat 3 1/2-in below nipple, and at lower end of sternum, with a distinct murmur with first sound. A good deal of nervous tremors. Skin over apex beat hypersensitive."

Pearce was recommended for discharge as permanently unfit. This recommendation was upheld by the Medical Board which reviewed his case on 3 Apr 1917 and he was discharged from hospital on 13 Apr 1917.

Ten days after leaving the hospital, on 23 Apr 1917, Pearce ceased to be attached to the 19th Res. Bn. and, at least on paper, returned to the S.R.D. He then proceeded on command, i.e., a temporary duty assignment without changing parent unit, to the Canadian Discharge Depot (C.D.D.) at Buxton for his return to Canada.

On sailing from England on 4 May 1917, Pearce ceased to be on command to C.D.D. Buxton and was struck off the strength of the S.R.D. on discharge to Canada. Taken on the strength of District Depot No. 11 at Victoria, B.C., for his eventual discharge, Pearce was transferred to a Convalescent Home effective 14 May 1917. This move, however, would have to wait until he completed the trip to Canada's west coast.

Shortly after his arrival in Canada, Pearce was examined by a Medical Board at Quebec on 17 May 1917. The Board determined his disabilities to be (1) D.A.H. [Disordered Activity of the Heart] and (2) Overage, 47 1/2. Restating much of the detail of his earlier examinations, this Board assessed Pearce's disability at "75% — 1/2 of this is due to aggravation by service conditions." The report also added the following in reference to Pearce's earlier periods of military service: "Patient had Malarial fever in South Africa (1899)."

Pending his discharge from the C.E.F., Pearce was medically examined at Work Point Barracks in Esquimalt on 27 Jun 1917. His conduct, habits, and temperance were all noted as "Good." Notes from the description of his present condition included:

"Patient is a well-nourished man who looks well. He gets dyspnoea on slight exertion and is liable to sudden attacks of prae-cordial pain. The eyelids get swollen every morning and occasionally there is oedema of the feet and legs towards evening. The apex beat is in the normal position, heart is rapid, 120 regular, no murmur, but marked epigastric pulsation. Lungs and abdomen normal. Patient occasionally has scalding with micturation and sometimes difficulty. … Patient has never felt in robust health since serving in the Zulu Rebellion of 1906. he gives a history of Enteric, Dysentery, Blackwater, and Malarial Fevers."

The report noted a variety of conditions as a result of service and/or climate and that Pearce was unfit for military service. Identified conditions included arterio-schlerotic, prostatic enlargement, aggravation of heart and arteries, and the permanent and progressive nature of his symptoms. Pearce was recommended for Class "E" for discharge and it was noted that "further treatment will not benefit this man." The medical category "E" was assigned to men who were "unfit for A, B or C, and not likely to become fit within six months."

Identified for discharge from the C.E.F., Pearce was still subject to the terms of service of his three-year Permanent Force engagement with The RCR. Neither surviving regimental records nor his C.E.F. service record confirm his status at this time, but Pearce was not yet done with military service.

A pay record sheet in Pearce's service records notes a date of attestation with the 18th Field Ambulance of the Canadian Militia on 7 Oct 1917. The form shows a service number of 2638902, but this was subsequently struck out and replaced with his regimental number 15130. Pearce's transfer to the Canadian Army Medical Corps (C.A.M.C.) Depot on 31 Jan 1919 is also recorded.

On 1 Feb 1919, Pearce attested once again for service with the C.E.F. with the C.A.M.C. Enlisting at the C.A.M.C. Depot No. XI, at Vancouver, B.C., he gave a birthdate of 30 Dec 1869.

A 49-year-old musician, Pearce was described on this attestation paper as 5 feet 8 1/2-inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, with a 39-inch chest, a dark complexion, brown eyes, and black hair. His stated prior service was "12 years Royal Marines, British S.A. Police, 196th Battalion, C.E.F." Another file card in his records adds "18th F.A. Unit." Pearce noted that he had been previously discharged from military service due to endocarditis. he identified his wife, Bertha Pearce, 1800 Alberni St., Vancouver, B.C., as his next of kin. On attesting with the C.A.M.C., Pearce retained his regimental number, 15130.

Four months after his latest enlistment for the C.E.F., on 20 May 1919, a Medical History of an Invalid Form was completed on Pearce. In addition to recapping his previously described medical conditions, the History form notes included:

The following day, on 21 May 1919, Alfred Pearce was discharged from the C.E.F., at Victoria, B.C., medically unfit.

On discharge, Pearce was eligible to receive a War Service Gratuity of &dol;420. Bertha Pearce also received a spousal amount of &dol;180. Cheques were issued to both of them in instalments between May and August, 1919.

For his service in England with the C.E.F., Pearce was entitled to receive the British War Medal. This medal was despatched to him at Alberni St., Vancouver, B.C., on 24 Mar 1925.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Pearce is recorded in Vancouver city directories as having worked as a carpenter in the Red Cross workshops and also as a furniture repairer for the Hotel Vancouver. During this period, he returned to the role of bandmaster with the Terminal City Boys' Band which, contrary to its name, also included girls.

On 6 Jul 1935, The Vancouver Sun published the following note:

"The Terminal City Band, under the baton of Mr. A.C. Pearce, were featured entertainers at a concert and dance at the National Institute for the Blind, recently. Alderman Halford Wilson acted as chairman and the band was assisted by John Hall, tenor; the Apollo Quartette, Bob Roots' banjo band; Hedley Tuff, baritone; Robert and Adolf Bergklint, violin and accordion numbers."

The next year, on 26 Sep 1936, Pearce was again mentioned in The Vancouver Sun which noted the band's level of accomplishment and awards it had received:

"Terminal City Band Activities

"The annual meeting of the Terminal City Band was held recently at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Perrett. A full report of the years work was given by the officers and executive, Ernest Swan, the president gave a complete review of the activities of the past twelve months. It was felt by all the members that exceptional musical progress has been made. That the band reached a high standard was borne out by the fact that it won first place in the competition for sight reading at the Canadian Pacific Exhibition this year. This accomplishment is considered by critics to be the outstanding test of efficiency. Bandsmaster A.C. Pearce was presented with the Vancouver Musicians' Union trophy and also the fine trophy won for test playing. The following officers were elected: President, Ernest Swan, who will also manage the band; secretary, Mr. Welwood; treasurer, John Sultan; trustee (one retiring) Roy Perrett; directors, Geo. Townley, J. Henderson, Mr. McKenzie and G. Tuson; social conveners, Mrs. J. Henderson and Mrs. Geo. Townley. Comprehensive plans were made for the coming season and a fine spirit of enthusiasm prevailed when the meeting adjourned."

A photo of the Terminal City Band was published in The Daily Colonist of Victoria, B.C., on 22 Jul 1937. The band, consisting of thirty boys and eight girls were visiting the city from Vancouver, both to play concerts and to sight-see. Standing with the band is their conductor, A.C. Pearce.

Alfred Pearce died on 26 Dec 1947. He was four days short of his 75th birthday. A veteran's death card on file in the Library and Archives Canada notes the cause of his death as "myocardial failure, etc." and it was considered to be due to his service. Bertha Pearce was recorded as his surviving next of kin and Alfred was buried in Ocean View Burial Park, New Westminster, B.C.

The Vancouver Sun ran an obituary notice on 27 Dec 1947:

"Pearce—Passed peacefully away on December 26, 1947, at his home, 840 Bidwell St., Alfred Charles Pearce, beloved husband of Bertha Pearce. Survived also by his 2 sons, Leonard and Stanley, at home; 1 daughter, Mrs. Winnifred Muir, and 3 grandsons, Kenneth, Arnold and Gary of Burnaby, B.C.; 1 brother, George of Plymouth, England. Funeral service will be held in the George Chapel of Center & Hanna Ltd., 1049 W. Georgia St., on Monday, Dec. 29, at 10:30 a.m., with the Very Rev. Dean Cecil Swanson, DD, officiating. Interment Ocean View Burial Park."

The Vancouver Province, on 27 Dec 1947, also noted Pearce's death:

"City Pioneer, A.C. Pearce, Succumbs

"Veteran of three wars and resident of Vancouver for 40 years, Alfred Charles Pearce, 78, died Friday at his home, 840 Bidwell.

"Mr. Pearce was well known as a musician here and had been bandmaster of Sons of England band and Terminal City Boys' Band.

"He served in the British forces in the Boer War as a member of the Royal Marines band (sic) and in the Zulu Rebellion. He enlisted with the Canadians in World War I.

"He leaves his wife Bertha; two sons Leonard and Stanley and a daughter, Mrs. Winnifred Muir of Vancouver; three grandsons, Kenneth, Arnold and Garry of Burnaby and a brother George in Plymouth England.

"Funeral will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Center and Hanna's chapel. Burial will be in Ocean View Park. Very Rev. Cecil Swanson, D.D., will officiate."

With the cause of Pearce's death attributable to his wartime service, Bertha Pearce was entitled to receive a silver Memorial Cross. This cross was sent to her at 840 Bidwell St., Vancouver, B.C., on 30 Jun 1948. No Cross was issued for Pearce's mother because she had predeceased him.

Bertha Pearce survived her husband by another ten years. She died on 12 Jul 1957 at the age of 83. She is also buried at Ocean View Burial Park, New Westminster, B.C.

Pro Patria


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