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Name: PEARSON, John Malcolm 'Hoppy'

Nee: son of Thomas Crawford Pearson

Birth Date: 2 Sep 1929 Nakuru

Death Date: Feb 1954 on patrol on Mt. Kenya during Emergency, accidentally shot when on patrol on Mt Kenya

First Date: 1930

Area: Eldama Ravine

Book Reference: Red 31, Hut, KR, Barnes, Sundown

General Information:

At school with Bill Woodley - the son of a rather pukka commander in the Royal Navy - nevertheless a rough diamond, forever getting drunk, getting into fights and cutting up rough.
KR - John Malcolm Pearson, Kenya Regiment died Feb 1954 aged 25, born Sep 1929 - Nakuru North Cemetery
Barnes - Nakuru North Cemetery - in loving memory of our son John Malcolm Pearson, Sep 1929 - Feb 1954 - "greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends" - Kenya Regiment
Sundown - Once, in the early days in Fort Hall, he and another fellow named Taylor ['Pondoro' Taylor?] shot up the town just for the hell of it. That was a bit much even for Fort Hall, and Hoppy wound up at a court martial and a sentence of 6 months in the British Army Detention Barracks in Egypt. Shot on patrol, accidentally, on Mt. Kenya and died.
Kenya Regiment John Malcolm - KR 3886
Ian Parsons, The Last Colonial Regiment: Hoppy' Pearson was a truly wild man, given to tantrums and passion, but one of the Regiment's characters nonetheless. In September 1953 when based in Fort Hall, he and a comrade called Muller (not Harry 'Boet' Muller) got very drunk, went on a rampage randomly shooting up the DC's Land Rover and nearby Kikuyu homesteads, terrifying everyone, friends included. The Police were summoned and tried to arrest him. He opened fire all about them promising that if they came a step closer, he would kill them all. An already ugly scene turned uglier: it looked as though there would be a nasty incident. Guy Campbell was near enough to be called. Without batting an eye, he walked up to Hoppy and calmly asked him to hand over his weapon and give himself up - which Hoppy did. Guy told him that he had been a bloody fool and would now have to face a court martial. On the 17th September 1953 Hoppy was sentenced to six months in the very grim British military prison in the Canal Zone of Egypt. The incident displayed Guy Campbell's own innate bravery and humanity and the respect his men had for him. The sting in the tail of this tale is that shortly after returning from Egypt, Hoppy was on a patrol on Mount Kenya above Embu, and when it had a contact he had been accidentally shot by one of his TKRs. Hoppy died from his wounds, while the man who shot him committed suicide by literally drinking himself to death shortly afterwards.


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