Thomas was born in Bilston in 1885, the son of James and Elizabeth Pearson. In 1891 they were living at 11 High Street, Sedgley, together with Thomas’s brothers Frederick and William, and sisters Helen, Edith and Lillie. He attended the Higher Grade School in Wolverhampton. They were at 649 Parkfield Road, Sedgley by 1901, and Thomas had become a commercial clerk.
Thomas enlisted first in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (number 20121), and later became a Lance Sergeant in the 7th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (number 28678). He died in France on 27 April 1916, and the circumstances surrounding his death are given in the log book of the Higher Grade School on 18 May 1916, as follows:
Received an account of the heroic self sacrifice of Sergeant Thomas Pearson (Sedgley) of the Shropshire Light Infantry, an “Old Boy” who gave his helmet to a private who was buried in a dug-out (all but his head). Sergeant Pearson was overcome by the poison gas & taken to Hospital – where he died.
Wrote to the bereaved parents.