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Alan Pearman: Sunday 29th September 1918

Alan enlisted into the 41st Battalion Australian Infantry as Private (5091) on the 5 June 1916, at the age of 16, claiming to be 18 and a farm-hand from Spring Hill, Queensland. He was killed in action with 41st Battalion, AIF, on the 29 September 1918, ages 18 years old. He has no known grave. His mother and father were William Arthur and Elizabeth Sarah Pearman of 46 St. James’ Rd., Wandsworth Common. He is commemorated on Villers-Bretonneux Memorial and Emmanuel School‘s War Memorial.

Alan Pearman was born on 14 September 1900 in Epsom. He had 3 brothers and 1 sister and his father was an Accountant. He attended Emmanuel School. On 31 October 1916, aged just 16, he set sail from London on the SS Tainui, bound for Hobart, Tasmania. The ship’s ledger stated he was a “Dreadnought Lad“. The scheme provided for 3 month’s training, with no guarantee of employment.

On 14 June 1917, still only 16 having enlisted in Australia, Alan set sail from Sydney on HMAT Hororatan. The AIF had been involved in heavy fighting at the Battle of Messines through the Spring and Summer offensive of 1917, and it is possible that this had caught his imagination. Alan survived the Passchendael offensive and was involved in the Spring and Summer offensives of 1918, including the first American involvement of the war at the Battle of Hamel and the Australian-US Battle of St Quentin Canal which was the Regiment’s final involvement in the war, and where tragically Alan was killed on the first day of the offensive.