General Sir Thomas Pearson, rifleman and parachute commander who served in Africa and the Mediterranean and won two DSOs – obituary

General Sir Thomas Pearson, who has died aged 105, was a rifleman and a parachute brigade commander who was awarded two DSOs in the course of an outstanding military career.

In January 1940 Pearson, a platoon commander serving with the 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade (2RB), accompanied the battalion to Egypt and the Western Desert; he was Mentioned in Despatches.

In February the following year he was in Libya, in command of the Advance Guard Company, a motorised rifle unit and a section of anti-tank guns. The 10th Italian Army was withdrawing south down the coast road from Benghazi to Agedabia and he was ordered to prevent any further withdrawal.

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Having driven the enemy from the west side of…

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