The Soldier's Details

First Name:
John Eyres
Nick Name:
Platoon Sergeant
Regimental #:
‘B’ Company, 7 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Father's Name:
John David Pearson
Mothers's Name:
Mary Isabella Pearson (nee Eyres)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 10, Row B, Grave 15, Age 43.
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Sime Road Camp, Selarang Barracks Changi.
'D' Force Thailand, S Battalion
4/4555 & 8720
Cause of Death:
Beri-Beri and Enteritis
Place of Death:
Grave No. 1195, Chungkai

General Description

Ian Pearson enlisted from Swanbourne 16 August 1940 and joined 2/4th’s ‘B’ Coy becoming Platoon Sergeant of No. 7 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt Penrod Dean.      (Don enlisted June 1941 and also joined ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon )
(His brother Don was selected with ‘H’ Force and was fortunate to survive to return home to WA.)
This NCO was highly respected and held the temporary rank of Lieutenant as a Prisoner of War. He had acted as the Commanding Officer of No. 7 Platoon when Lieutenant P. V. Dean was evacuated to hospital.
He had held the rank of Lieutenant in the militia in which he served from 1924-1929.


Photograph taken January 2018 by C. Mellor

Pearson John Eyres
Pearson John Eyres


John and Donald Pearson were a former Scotch College students.

John known as Ian was born 1900 at Kalgoorlie he was the eldest child of Mary Isabella Eyres and John David Pearson who married Claremont 1899.
He was selected from Selarang Barracks Singapore with ‘D’ Force S Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway.  ‘D’ Force departed Singapore by train in March 1943 headed for Hellfire Pass area.  He became ill with beri-beri and enteritis and died at Chungkai Hospital Camp on 13/2/1944 – was probably one of a large group of sick evacuated from Konyu II or a Hintok and sent to Chungkai.
His younger brother Donald David Pearson WX13816 enlisted 3 June 1941 joining the 2/4th ‘B’ Coy – same company as John.  Don Pearson was sent to Burma-Thai Railway with ‘H’ Force Group No. 3, working at Kanu II, Malayan Hamlet and Kanchanaburi Camps.  Don was fortunate, he survived to return to his wife and family.

Please read about the men of ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon









Above:  Ian’s younger sister Nancy Pearson attended Girls High School Claremont, photograph below.





In 1928 John Pearson died aged 61 years and buried at Karrakatta.  His sons Ian and Don would have been 27 years 23 years old.
Mary (known as Mollie) Pearson died 13 Sep 1979 at West Perth aged 81 years.  She was cremated at Karrakatta Cemetery.
Below:  Ian Pearson was residing in Geraldton at least from 1930 working as an Agent. In 1933 Ian was declared bankrupt.


In the Electoral Rolls for 1936 and 1937, Ian Pearson was recorded living at Lennonville, working as a miner.  Lennonville today is a townsite with little evidence of the forming mining town 6 km north of  Mount Magnet, established in 1898.   Gold was discovered in the area November 1894, and the town’s heyday was between 1897 to 1906.
‘Lennonville was gazetted in 1896, after gold having been found two years earlier at the location by prospectors Lennon and Palmer.
At the peak of its existence, at the turn of the 20th century, the town had a population of 3,000 and five hotels, outperforming nearby Mount Magnet and Boogardie. By 1909, however, the town was already in decline and, after a huge fire swept through the main street of the town, a general exodus begun. Today, the most predominant reminder of the towns former glory is the railway platform.’
There are numerous open-cut mines to be found around Lennonville.  The town no longer exists, but there was plenty of mining activity especially during the 1930s.


Ian married Julie May of Maning 1940, she was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles May.    Julie had previously resided Geraldton with her parents and siblings for some years before moving to Manning in 1939.  Her father was appointed district engineer to Geraldton in 1924, having earlier been in Kalgoorlie.   It would seem Ian and Julie met in Geraldton.





Above:  Julie’s mother died in 1950 – Julie was one of 9 children.

According to Julie’s relatives, after the death of Ian, she went to live with her parents and never remarried.  Julie was very quiet and shy and worked as a dental nurse.  It is said Ian was very much the joker and played tricks on the kids from Julie’s large family.


Camp Locations:

  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sime Road Camp - Singapore