George Randolph Pearkes

George Randolph Pearkes, soldier, politician (b at Watford, Eng 26 Feb 1888; d at Victoria 30 May 1984). He immigrated to Canada in 1906, homesteaded in Alberta, and then joined the RN WMP. He enlisted in the 2nd Canadian Mounted

Pearkes, George
Pearkes was wounded five times in combat and was awarded the DSO, MC, and the Victoria Cross for bravery.

Pearkes, George Randolph

 George Randolph Pearkes, soldier, politician (b at Watford, Eng 26 Feb 1888; d at Victoria 30 May 1984). He immigrated to Canada in 1906, homesteaded in Alberta, and then joined the RN WMP. He enlisted in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles as a trooper in 1915 and by 1918 attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel and commanded the 116th Battalion, CEF. He was wounded in action 5 times and was one of the most decorated Canadian officers. He was awarded the DSO, MC, and the Victoria Cross for bravery at PASSCHENDAELE in 1918. He remained in the army, commanding the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in the UK (1940-42) until returning to Canada as general officer commanding, Pacific Command. He resigned after a disagreement with the government over CONSCRIPTION in 1945 and entered federal politics as a Conservative, representing Nanaimo 1945-53 and later Esquimalt-Saanich. He became minister of national defence (1957-60) during a critical period when production of the AVRO ARROW aircraft was halted, the BOMARC MISSILE introduced, and the use of atomic warheads by Canada's armed forces hotly debated. Appointed lieutenant-governor of BC in 1960, he retired in 1968.

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