US Bronze Star
Cyril was born in a small rural village near Boston, Lincolnshire on the 13th February 1914. His father was a carpenter and undertaker. From an early age Cyril enjoyed working with farm animals, including shire horses and poultry. In 1938 he married Marjorie Johnson and they lived at Homers Lane in Boston. He worked as a timber porter at the docks.
During the Second World War he served as an officer in the reformed 1st battalion of the Manchester Regiment. He had the service number of 311252. He was a Lieutenant in command of number 7 Medium Machine Gun platoon of 1 Company. This meant he would have been in charge of the Vickers machine guns of the company. He was involved in Operation Veritable, an Allied pincer movement in Reichswald Forest during the latter stages of the war. He served alongside US troops and was awarded a US Bronze star for his gallantry in saving the lives of a patrol in February 1945. He was mentioned in dispatches and commended for his bravery on the 29th June 1945:
On 17 February Lt Pears was commanding 7 (MMG) P1 ‘E’ Company 1 Manchester.The platoon was in action in the SE corner of the Reichswald Forest. At about 13.30 an off patrol from 4RWF went out to some farm buildings outside the edge of the forest. The patrol quickly got into difficulties and suffered casualties from enemy machine gun fire. Lt Pears immediately fired on the enemy positions, which brought heavy enemy artillery fire down on his position. Finding he was unable to fire on some of the machine guns from his dug in position, Lt Pears moved two guns out into the open. Personally firing one gun himself and in spite of heavy artillery fire which scored direct hits on two of his gun pits he succeeded in silencing two of the enemy machine guns thus enabling the remainder of the patrol to withdraw.
After the war he returned to Lincolnshire where he and Marjorie raised a daughter. Like so many he spoke very little of his time in the Army. Towards the end of his life Cyril developed dementia and it was not until after his death the reason for his Bronze Star was discovered. He died in 2003 aged 89.
His medal was donated to the collections in 2018.