Remembering Maurice & Elizabeth Pearce

Obituaries from Orwell Bulletins

Photo:Maurice and Betty outside their Lordship home

Maurice and Betty outside their Lordship home

 

From the Orwell Bulletin of December 2010

By Susan Knebel

Photo:Maurice in Home Guard uniform WW2

Maurice in Home Guard uniform WW2

When someone like Maurice Pearce dies, it is hard for me to be so far away from my Orwell home.

Maurice was such a lively and sociable person, with a ready wit and a fund of memories and stories to tell. He was an entertainer, who kept all around him amused, and so will be missed by all of us who knew him. I prefer to think of Maurice as having been “harvested”, as all his working life was spent farming.

He was a member of the group of the working men that I can remember at Manor Farm when I was growing up there in the 1950s. Farming was the most important and valued occupation in the village then. He was the last one to leave the group that included Arthur Howlett, Kurt Kruger, Albert Larkin, Alan Miller, Bert Pearce, Will Pearce, Joe Prime, Perce Robinson and David Stephenson. He was the last of his family, together with his father Bert and his uncle Will, who were each employed at Manor Farm for fifty years. They were all presented with ‘long service’ medals by Royalty at the Royal Agricultural Show (which no longer exists). These occasions were marked by excursions (led by the gaffer, my granddad), to the Show to watch with pride as they received their medals.

Hard life, started too early and went on for too long

It was hard life, which started too early and went on for too long and left a legacy of arthritic pain. Nevertheless, those people who worked the land so closely and for so long, had valuable knowledge about precise local soil conditions and expertise on the way to manage them. Maurice was even called out of retirement to help plant blackcurrant bushes at Maypole Farm on top of Orwell hill on a cold wet day. There are many such days to be endured in the course of an outdoor life and it takes both humour and stamina to cope with them. Maurice had plenty of both of these qualities. When the grain store was built in the mid-fifties it became his special responsibility to keep it running, a task which he undertook very seriously.

a kind man, who hated unfairness

It is impossible not to smile when remembering a conversation with Maurice. He was a kind man, who hated unfairness and whose eyes twinkled mischievously. I am proud to have known Maurice in particular and others like him, true countrymen, who were so proud of our village life.

Elizabeth (Betty) Pearce.

A memoriam taken from the Orwell Bulletin edition of June 2011

By Sue Miller

nice friendly woman who would help anyone

Cancer has also taken Betty from us. She came from Barrington to live in Fisher's Lane when she married Maurice Pearce, a Manor Farm worker, in 1948. They brought up two daughters here and like many Orwell ladies, Betty did seasonal work, fruit picking in the local orchards. Her neighbours remember her as a “nice friendly woman who would help anyone”, and who bore her long illness stoically. She is also remembered as a the winner of the Glamorous Granny competition during Orwell’s celebration of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Betty and Maurice, who predeceased her, were members of Orwell Friendship Club, and became the first residents of Lordship close, when they moved there in 1986 from Fisher's Lane. Betty will be much missed and we sympathise with her family in their loss.

 

     

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