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01 May 2010

Trooper Oswald Vincent Pearson of Blackwood

Oswald Pearson was the only son of George and Marion Ann Pearson (nee Gravestock) and was born in Riverton in 1892. After attending school at Rose Park, he joined the firm of Elder, Smith and Co. working for four years at the Adelaide head office in Currie Street before moving to the country. He trained as a wool-classer at the School of Mines and Industries whilst working at head office. He worked in various locations, including Broken Hill, before taking over the management of the Snowtown office in 1914. In that same year, his mother re-married, his father having died some years before. His mother and two sisters lived in Blackwood with Oswald's step-father, James Dawson McLean. After war was declared, Oswald was very active in raising patriotic funds to support the war effort, auctioning goods donated for that purpose on Australia Day 1915.

Oswald had tried to enlist in Broken Hill in 1914, but after moving to Snowtown he successfully passed the medical examination in October 1915 and was allocated to the 14th reinforcements to the 3rd Light Horse Regiment. he embarked at Adelaide on 10 February 1916 on the 'Warilda', but on the voyage from Adelaide to Fremantle he contracted meningitis. He disembarked at Fremantle on 15 February 1916, and was admitted to No.8 Base Hospital at Fremantle, but died four days later.

He was buried in Fremantle cemetery, and his name is inscribed on the Blackwood Memorial, the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial and the Elder Smith honour board at their head office in Currie Street, Adelaide. His name is also inscribed on a plaque in the South Australian Garden of Remembrance, Centennial Park.

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