|Date of Birth||July 26, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Massey Station, District of Algoma, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Russell Albert Teasdale (father), Massey, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Law student|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Battalion||No. 65 Squadron|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Toronto, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Toronto, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||October 1, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 1, 1924|
|Age at Death||26|
Second Lieutenant Pearson Liddle Teasdale was a law student in Toronto when he enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in October 1917. He served overseas with the Royal Air Force for a year and returned to Canada in April 1919.
Pearson was born on 26 July 1897 in Massey Station, District of Algoma, Ontario. His parents were Russell Albert Teasdale and Margaret Pearson. Russell, a merchant tailor, was born in Egremont, Grey County, Ontario and Margaret in Nottawasaga Township, Simcoe County. They were married in 1896 in Stayner, Simcoe County. By the time Pearson was born they had moved to Massey Station, later just called Massey. Four more sons followed after Pearson, all born in Massey: Harrison Russell, John Austin, Kenneth Scott and Thomas Joseph McGregor.
Pearson was attending Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto when the war started. He enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto on 1 October 1917. He was 20 years old, a student and next of kin was his father Russell Teasdale in Massey. Pearson was a cadet with the rank of Air Mechanic 3rd Class. On 23 February 1918 he was discharged in order to get a commission and by early April he was in England. The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service had been amalgamated on 1 April to form the Royal Air Force and Pearson was assigned to No. 37 Wing with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He was transferred to No. 96 Squadron on 21 May and to No. 95 Squadron on 30 June. Both squadrons were based in England. In July he attended No. 3 Fighting School in Bircham Newton, Norfolk, where he trained as a Camel Pilot.
In mid-August Pearson spent a few days at Queen Alexandra’s Hospital in Dunkirk, on the coast of France. The small hospital did not take in wounded but treated accident cases and patients who were ill. Pearson was discharged to rejoin his squadron on 19 August. In early November, a week before the Armistice, he was transferred to No. 65 Squadron. His unit covered the Allied advance into Belgium and returned to the UK in February 1919. Pearson embarked for Canada on 1 April on the SS Megantic, sailing from Liverpool and arriving in Halifax about a week later. He was transferred to the Unemployed List (discharged from service) on 13 April.
Pearson returned to Osgoode Hall Law School and graduated in the class of 1920. Afterwards he moved to the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. He worked with James Arthur Kinney at first then set up a practice, Machin and Teasdale, with Harold Arthur Clement Machin. Like Pearson, James and Harold were war veterans and they had both studied law at Osgoode Hall. Pearson became a member of St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral in Kenora, getting confirmed there on Palm Sunday in 1922. He also served as secretary for the Kenora and Keewatin Boy Scouts Association and he was senior warden of the Lake of the Woods Masonic Lodge.
In March 1924 Pearson went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to have an operation. Sadly, he did not recover from the surgery and he passed away there on 1 April 1924, at age 26. He was survived by his parents and four brothers and his funeral was held in Massey. On 13 April, Palm Sunday, a memorial service was held for Pearson at St. Alban’s in Kenora and attended by members of the two local lodges.
Pearson’s youngest brother Thomas also studied law at Osgoode Hall, graduating in the class of 1937. Harrison and John Austin both attended the University of Toronto. Harrison became a physician and John studied forestry, later moving to Quebec where he died in 1989. He is interred in St. Anne’s Cemetery in Rapides-des-Joachims. Their father, Russell, had passed away in 1931 and he’s buried in a cemetery in Massey.
By Becky Johnson
Photo is from the Archives of the Law Society of Ontario (Osgoode Hall Law School class of 1920). Accessed online at flickr.com.