Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: George Randolph Pearkes (1888-1984)

Military officer, politician.

Born at Watford, Hertfordshire, England on 26 February 1888, he was educated at Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire, England. He came to Canada in 1907 and settled in Alberta, joining the Royal North West Mounted Police, and serving in “N” and “B”Divisions. On the outbreak of Word War One he joined the 2nd Canadian Military Reserves in Victoria, BC. He went overseas with that unit in the spring of 1915 as Lance Corporal, proceeded to France in August 1916 and received a commission in the 2nd C.M.R.’s spring of 1916. He was transferred to 5th C.M.R.’s during that summer as company commander. He was awarded the Military Cross at the battle of the Somme and the Victoria Cross at Passchendaele. He transferred to command of 116th Battalion in the winter of 1917, and obtained the D.S.O. and Croix de Guerre in August 1918. He was wounded in September 1918 during the battle of Arras. He attended the Staff College at Camberley in 1919 and received appointment of General Staff Officer, Military District No. 13, in 1920. He transferred to headquarters, Military District No. 10, 1923. In August 1925, he married Blythe Copeman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. U. Copeman of Esquimalt, BC. They had two children. He served in the House of Commons, representing BC constituencies from 1945 to 1960, serving during that period as Minister of National Defence. He then served as Lieutenant-Governor of BC until 1968. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1967. He died on 30 May 1984.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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