A Frank Pearson Remembrance
MK comment (25 Sep 2004): This remembrance of Frank is best presented by emails traded recently traded between him, me, bunker buddy Owen Reginald ("Reg") Kitchener (#41) and a dear friend of Frank and the IBB, Tom ("Jonesy") Jones.
But first, here are two photos found by Reg. He told me that it is Frank in the photo to your left and and in the middle of the photo to your right. He also told me that all three men are KOSB veterans and are wearing KOSB caps with Regimental cap badges. Merv.
Reg to Merv and others (20 Sep 2004):
Folks, just had a landline message (phone call) from Frank's Grand Daughter to say that Frank has been taken into the hospital and would I inform Veterans, hope I have got them all, she will keep me informed of progress. Reg.
Reg to Merv and others (21 Sep 2004):
"Laddies, it is a very sad day. Our old comrade Frank has passed away. Tom Jones, a close friend of his, has just telephoned me to report that Frank died in the hospital today. At the moment, I am a bit choked up.
"Frank was due to visit me in the coming weeks. Chaps, Frank would not want us to be mournful. He would want us to fill up our glasses and bid him farewell while playing the bagpipe tune Black Bear, the tune customarily played as our troops march to or from their barracks.
"So, lads, raise your glass to an old soldier who has gone to where we will all surely meet one day. I, for one, will miss his banter over the Web.
"Goodbye, Frank. You will be missed but not forgotten.
Merv to Reg and Jonesy (21 Sep 2004):
"It is a very sad day indeed and I want to make a page in the IBB to honor him.
"Frank and I traded emails frequently. I particularly remember him wanting us to drink a "dram" from the bottle of cognac which belongs to the IBB Last Man Club while we overlooked his favorite loch and listened to a piper playing an appropriate tune.
"We traded war stories (mostly re Hill 317) and reports on each other's health
problems. Recently, he told me that he was going to the hospital
and that, afterwards, he hoped to visit some of his longtime and newer friends
who lived our side of the Atlantic Ocean.
"I want to thank Jonesy for prodding me to put Frank in our bunker and, especially, for allowing me to have the pleasure of becoming Frank's friend. I hope that Jonesy will write a few (or more) words to put on the new page to honor Frank.
Jonesy to Merv at Merv's request (24 Sep
"I first met Frank in the early 1970s, shortly after his eldest daughter took my brother ‘til death do them part. I was on leave and was introduced to Frank in the lounge of ‘The Golden Ball’, a public house which at that time was owned by one of Frank’s sisters. It was a Saturday afternoon and we drank together – a lot as I recall…….
"From that day on we were friends. Indeed, everyone who was fortunate enough to know Frank was ‘a friend’; he was that kind of man. He was then an engineer in Vickers Armstrong and I knew little of his military service as he never really bothered to mention it.
"People say many things following the death of a friend, some of it downright dishonest; but, when speaking of Frank Pearson, I can truthfully say that I cannot recall ever meeting such a decent, hard working man. He is the father of three fine children. He was, in all respects, a gentleman, a man of great integrity and of honesty, and a wonderful raconteur - and, he was a comedian to boot. It always was a joy to be in his company.
"As far as his service life was concerned, I knew only what he relayed to me prior to his joining up with the IBB, a website he first saw when visiting me in Plymouth one day. He was enthralled. Knowing nothing at all about computers, he returned home to Dalton after visiting with a relative in Cornwall for a week and bought one. No half measures with Frank - he bought everything about which he was clueless and discovered its inner workings. His ‘pooter’ became his contact with everything he held dear.
"Paradoxically, although I knew him for over thirty years on a personal level I feel that you, those ex-soldiers of the IBB who never actually met him face to face, probably know him better than I ever did. Though I well understand the soldier’s mindset, you know better than I about his Korean experience and of its effect on a soldier.
"A Lancastrian born and bred, he served in a Scottish Regiment which you all know to be The King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Up to the day he passed away, he was immensely proud of his regiment and of the men he served with in Korea.
‘Once a Borderer always a Borderer’
bless you, Frank – we’ll miss you. Jonesy."
MK comment (26 Sep 2004):
It seems to me that two emails to me, in each of which
Frank paid his respects to a buddy who had left our bunker, express very well
part of what goes through my mind as I think about the loss of Frank.
Frank to Merv re
Lendon P. Pearson (01 May 2003):
"Merv, this is to thank you for passing on the sad tidings of yet another Bunker Buddy who, without seeking it, finally achieved the 'high ground'.
"It would appear that what Mr. Chinaman and friends could not achieve way back in those grim days of 50, 51,and 52, old Father Time, in the guise of the Grim Reaper, is. Once we were youthful beings sad and bewildered. Now, in the twilight of our years, we receive constant reminders with the passing of our friends that it is growing late for we that are left.
"Lendon I did not know, I never had the privilege to meet him; but, not only did I share a place in the Bunker with him, I also shared the family name of ''Pearson'', and that to me is something. Some will say of this, ''they were not related'' - true, but were we not Brothers in Arms ??
"I think that leaves me now second in the pecking order of the IBB Last Man Club - what an hell of an honour.
thank you Merv for the information. Frank"
Frank to Merv re
Stewart J. Sutherland (09 June 2003):
"Thanks Merv for allocating a place in the Bunker for a KOSB comrade, who paid the ultimate price on 317. I never met him, but shortly after we had been relieved by one of your Regimental combat teams and had gone into a reserve position, several of us, the lucky ones, were chatting over a beer and his name was mentioned along with the others who had paid the ultimate price on the night of 4/5 Nov 1951. How did we remember this particular chap? Well, he joined us in the KOSB from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and his name was Sutherland, a coincidence maybe, but a good prompt.
"I would have loved to have written that I knew him well, but this was not the case for, as you know, we were reinforced from time to time. The replacements arrived and they then disappeared to their own allocated piece of Korean real estate, which was, perhaps, only up to the next hill. If destiny had not ruled, then their identity would have remained forever obscure.
" 'Tis probably enough to say he lived and died with his friends.'
Map and Photo Index
IBB Page Five
"Can Do" Photo Index