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.

Having driven the enemy from the west side of…

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