Constable George Randolph Pearkes VC

Born in Watford, Hertfordshire 26th Feb 1888 and died in Victoria, British Columbia 30th May 1984. George Pearkes won his VC after leaving the RNWMP in 1914. He is seen here in 1913 in his Mountie uniform at Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. He is in scarlet serge and blue breeches but has dark blue stockings instead of the Strathcona boots. His brown fur cap has earflaps tied up.

He joined the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles as part of the Canadian Expeditioary Force. By 1917 he was an major. His citation reads: 'On 30/31 Oct 1917 near Passchendaele, Belgium, Major Pearkes, although wounded in the right thigh, continued to lead his men with the utmost gallantry, despite many obstacles. It was entirely due to his determination and fearless personality that he was able to maintain his objective with the small number of men at his command against repeated enemy counter attacks. His appreciation of the situation and the reports rendered by him were invaluable to his commanding officer. He showed throughout a supreme contempt of danger and wonderful powers of command and leadership.'

His later career included the following positions:
GOC 1st Canadian division 1940
GOC-in-C Pacific Command, Canada 1942-45
CC (Canada)
Legion of Merit (USA)
Minister of National Defence, Canadian Government 1957-60
Lieutenant-Governor British Columbia 1960-68
Overseas Vice-Chairman VC & GC Association 1956-68

Regimental details

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by Stephen Luscombe