A MILITARY historian is searching for the family of a sergeant from Penarth who was killed during the First World War.

Dr Jonathan Hicks, of Penarth, has been researching the lives of men and women from the Vale of Glamorgan who served in the First and Second World Wars.

Dr Hicks, who is also the head teacher of St Cyres School, has written many historical books including The Welsh at Passchendaele 1917 and his latest release Wales and the First Air War 1914-1918.

The head teacher has been working with the Department for Communities in London, which is providing local communities with memorial paving stones to their Victoria Cross recipients free of charge.

There are two of these stones for Penarth men Captain Richard Wain and Sergeant Samuel Pearse - who were awarded the crosses posthumously.

Cpt Wain was killed at the age of 20 during the Battle on Cambrai on November 20, 1917 while leading a section of tanks in action, while Sgt Samuel Pearse was 22 when he was killed on August 29, 1919 while taking over an enemy blockhouse in Northern Russia.

As the graves of the two men have been lost the memorial stones will be unveiled at a ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance in Penarth on November 9.

Dr Hicks has been looking for the family of Sgt Pearce so they can attend the ceremony - however, he says he has been struggling to find anyone, and is reaching out to the public to help him.

Dr Hicks said: “I became aware the memorial stones had not been claimed so I contacted the department as it is only right and proper that these two stones have a place of honour in Penarth. It is also Penarth’s opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all the local men and women who served during the Great War as we move towards the centenary of the Armistice.

“ I have been unable to locate any local descendants of Sgt Pearse, who was born in Arcot Street in Penarth. I am in contact with his Australian relatives, but not with anyone who still lives in the UK.

“If any reader is able to put me in touch with Samuel Pearse’s relatives so I can invite them to the event, I should be very grateful. I wouldn’t want any of them to miss out on this memorable occasion.”

The two memorial stones will be unveiled in the Garden of Remembrance on November 9 at 11am.

The ceremony is open to all to attend and will take place in the presence of representatives of the two regiments, relatives, dignitaries and the public.

Anyone who can help is asked to call 07708 255295 or email ninian27@btinternet.com