Arthur Walter 'Jack' Pearce

Arthur Pearce and his wife Lillian next to Pearces collection of trophies

Arthur Walter 'Jack' Pearce

Entering his first ploughing match in 1906, Pearce would go onto win 270 first place awards and competing into his late 70s. Through his history file, Edward Roberts’ Tapes: A. W. Pearce 1971, and collaboration with his family, we have an insight into the life of a Winchester man who became a renowned champion ploughman. 


Born in Martyr Worthy, Pearce started his career caring for and feeding the horses, earning four shillings a week and working 10-hour days, 6 days a week. Pearce won his first cup in 1909, aged 17, and started a highly successive 64-year career. In 1911, Pearce married his wife, Lillian May Fisher (1893-1987). Together, they lived in a very old cottage which was ‘comfortable enough’ and a perk of the job along with a ‘few extra potatoes’.  

Pearce and Lillian Wedding day
Arthur Walter Jack Pearce with his wife Lillian May Fisher on their wedding day (16 April 1911) 


Speaking about his success, Pearce’s highlights the difficulty of Winchester’s soil in developing his knowledge, experience, and skill in ploughing. Yet, it was Pearce’s calm, steady, and thorough passionate approach that distinguished him as a champion stating that he took great care of his ploughs ‘as though they were alive’. Moreover, Pearce was a family man, having six sons and two daughters, who always used his winnings for the benefit and support of his family above himself.  


Pearce’s passion for ploughing continued into his final years as he continued to show his ability by winning the Chertsey Agricultural Association Champion horse ploughman shield in 1973, aged 79. Undoubtedly, Pearce was one of the finest ploughmen in the country whose awards play a significant part in our collections and understanding of Hampshire folklife and agriculture. 



Pearce competeting in a horse ploughing competition

See a selection of this trophy collection on our online collections page.

Researched with the support of the NLHF funded Data Hunters & Story Gatherers Project.