Friday, November 01, 2013

Trevor Pearce and David Pearce - the RAF in Canada

I am leaving this post in place as a matter of record. Happily, Mr Pearce did get in touch and has been extremely helpful. A later posting will record some of the insights from his very kind assistance. 

My 2006 posting about Dad's wartime experiences attracted a comment - the only useful one so far. This was from Trevor Pearce, as follows:

"I have been doing some research about my father David Pearce and his time in the RAF during WW2. it appears that our fathers did their multi-engine flying course together in Canada in 1942. I have more information if you would like it


I would be very very grateful if anyone knows Trevor and can contact him, as I know every little about Dad's time in Canada.

One thing that I have discovered is the context for the training in Canada. This began after the fall of France in 1940, when it was deemed too dangerous to train aircrew in Britain, and so the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan began. The scheme was enlarged after May and June 1942, but it began to be run down after November 1943. Presumably Dad would be back in England by then, flying reconnaissance.

Trevor Pearce's information has been invaluable, because it puts a date on Dad's involvement. Mr Pearce, do contact me - I would be so grateful! 

Graham Stark RIP 1922-1913

Sadly, Graham Stark passed away in London on 29th October. Here is a link to the Guardian obituary:

Graham Stark is perhaps best-known for his roles as the comic stooge, notably alongside his friend Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau in the early Pink Panther films from 1964.

There are connections with Dad - he too was born in Wallasey, went to Wallasey Grammar School and served in the RAF. I have wondered if Dad knew him at school - they went there at the same time, but Graham was born on 20th January and Dad on 23rd July, so maybe they were - just - in different school years. If my memories of school are typical, you would not know someone in a different year, although sometimes you might be aware of an older boy. Anyway, despite Graham Stark's appearing in various TV and cinema comedies beyond Clouseau, there are no memories of Dad pointing to him on the screen and stating "I knew him". Mum, who did know Graham socially, and who was saddened when I told her tonight about his death, said that Dad never suggested that he had known him.

Oddly, I came across a member of the Stark family - his elder brother, I think - in the 1980s. An irate man who lived in Wellington Road in New Brighton, although, frankly, the matters about which he contacted me would have annoyed me too.

It's odd to think that any of Dad's contemporaries were still alive until recently, and shows how long ago he left us.