Robert Pearson GC (EM exchanger)

b. 04/07/1896 14 School Street, Cheadle, Cheshire. d. 17/03/1973 Stockport, Cheshire.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 11/07/1925 Stockport, Cheshire.

Robert (Bob) Pearson EM/GC was born in the town of Cheadle, Cheshire on 4th July 1896, the son of William Pearson and his wife Harriet (nee Whitehurst). Sadly, both of his parents died when he was a young boy, and he attended Hollywood Park School.

Robert Pearson GC

During the First World War, Pearson enlisted with the Army Medical Corps as No 112592 attaining the rank of Corporal and after being demobilised at the end of the conflict, he returned to his pre-war workplace of Henry Marshland Ltd in Stockport. He would work for the company for over 45 years until retirement in 1955. In his spare time, he served as a caretaker for the Central Hall, Lower Hillgate, Stockport and carried out voluntary work for local clubs for the elderly.

During his 20s Bob also played football for Park Mills FC and Newbridge Lane Conservative Club. He became a trainer with Brinksway Lads’ Club where he remained for 17 years while also coaching boxing at Disley Youth Club. He met his future wife, Margaret at Henry Marshland Ltd, and they married in 1920. They had a son, Robert.

On the 11th July, 1925, a week after Bob’s 29th birthday, he was at work when two boys, William Stothert and Arthur Bowden, were working in a vat. There was a sudden inrush of scalding liquid and steam owing to a mistake in opening the pipe of another vat. The screams of the boys attracted the attentionof other workers and attempts were made to get them out. Bowden was successfully drawn out but Stothert fell back in, owing to the burns on his hands. Pearson, a labourer, then came upon the scene. He saw the terribly scalded Bowden and, on hearing that Stothert was still in the vat, he at once jumped into it, and after groping about found the boy and hoisted him up to enable those outside to drag him clear. Pearson’s feet were severely scalded and he was almost unconscious on being dragged out. Both boys died of their injuries.

Pearson was awarded the Edward Medal (LG, 8th October 1925), and in 1971, he chose to exchange his medal. He donated his Edward Medal to the Vernon Park Museum. He received his George Cross by post in 1972. Sadly, Bob was not in good health at the time, and passed away on 17th March 1973. He was cremated at Stockport Crematorium. His GC is held privately having been sold at auction on 4th December 2002 for £5,500.