Welcome to 'An Airmans Lost Letters' 1915-1917

These long forgotten letters penned by a young R.F.C. pilot, 2nd Lt. Oliver Charles Pearson to his Mother during the Great War, were discovered and liberated from a skip filled with the remnants of a roof clearance at a property in Southampton, UK during the mid 1990s. Within the past year they were rediscovered (again) having sat in a box in a loft for the last 10-15 years and were kindly passed to this sites authors, both of whom share an interest in social and military history from this period.

Any links the letters had with the Pearson family have been long forgotten. We, the creators of this website, believe these documents are important social records of great interest to many, truly deserving preservation and a wider audience.

When the letters came into our possession, via the nephew of the original finder, we deliberated over what we should do with them - perhaps donate them to a war museum? Oliver Pearsons old school? or return them to any living descendants, should we discover any. All of these options are still open but before a final decision is made we present them here for all to read.

All the letters have now been painstakingly hand typed and catalogued by Mike, during tea breaks and quiet evenings at home. This took several months, but once completed, we decided to begin this very blog you are reading now, and post each letter chronologically as a permanent online record for anyone interested in the history of the Great War.

We hope people more knowledgeable than us will add their input and assist in providing further details about this young mans life and the family history associated with it. All we have are these letters and some small details gleaned from them on-line, such as the whereabouts of his family home, his school and references to his disappearance in 1917 at the hands of a renowned German fighter pilot.

We plan to post one or two letters per week and intersperse them with further information and related history that we have discovered. The first letter will be posted on Nov 11th 2008. Bookmark us to keep up to date with new posts and please share this site with anyone you believe will be interested.

(Please note: all spelling and grammar is presented exactly as found in the letters.)

If you are a new visitor to this site we suggest that you scroll to the bottom of this page to read the letters sequentially. 

Thank you for reading.

Dan Little & Mike Johnson - Editors.


Alf said...


What a fantastic idea. I shall follow the 'blog' with great interest.

Well done to both of you.

Pip pip,


Dan said...

Thanks for your support and kind comments Alf.

Cheers, Dan

Mike Johnson said...

Cheers Alf! Hope the Cenotaph went well today BTW, looked good on the BBC coverage!
Catch up soon, Jack.

Anonymous said...

We discovered two photographs of Oliver and his RSC capbadge in the boxroom of our house when we moved in during 1984.
Olivers brother lived in our house for many years.
Every Remembrance Sunday we tuck a fresh poppy behind his photo frame.
Our son is also an Oliver. So he is not forgotten.
Many thanks
Steve Smith

Mike Johnson said...

Thank you so much for that Steve. It is incredible how many little bits of this jigsaw are out there, and that they have not been lost or forgotten over the years.
We would dearly love to see the photo you have, as we have still not been able to put a face to these letters. I would love to know what Oliver looked like. Drop me a line at work and hopefully we can sort something out.