As a pacifist church at the outbreak of the First World War, the Primitive Methodist Church had no Army Chaplains, but it quickly realised there was a need for the growing number of its members that were enlisting. The Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Wesleyan Methodist churches already had their own recognised Chaplains, of whom there were 117.

After initial discussions with the Wesleyans about joint Chaplains, the Primitive Methodist Church joined with the Baptist, Congregational, and United Methodist Churches to form ‘The United Army Board’. United Board Chaplains served troops of all four churches. By July 1915, 72 United Board Chaplains had been appointed, of whom 13 were Primitive Methodists.  

By 1916 there were 20 recognised Primitive Methodist chaplains, and 120 ‘officiating ministers’.

The introduction of conscription in January 1916 led to a rapid expansion in the number of Army chaplains, rising to 3,416 by August 1918, of whom 248 were United Board chaplains. 43 were Primitive Methodists, although the total number would have been greater than this, as not all were still serving at the end of the war.

Page link: Ernest S Emmitt
Ernest S Emmitt
Awarded the Military Cross
Page link: George Kendall OBE (1882-1961)
George Kendall OBE (1882-1961)
WW1 Army Chaplain
Page link: George Kendall's Communion Chalice
George Kendall's Communion Chalice
Used on the Battlefield in WW1
Page link: George Standing, CBE, DSO, MC (1875-1966)
George Standing, CBE, DSO, MC (1875-1966)
Senior United Board Army Chaplain
Page link: Harold Henry Woodward (1878-1949)
Harold Henry Woodward (1878-1949)
WW1 Primitive Methodist Chaplain
Page link: Joseph Firth OBE (1885-1973)
Joseph Firth OBE (1885-1973)
Awarded the Military Cross
Page link: Philip J Fisher
Philip J Fisher
'Khaki Vignettes'
Page link: Robert Featherstone Wearmouth (1882-1963)
Robert Featherstone Wearmouth (1882-1963)
Miner, Soldier and Minister
Page link: Thomas Sands
Thomas Sands
WW1 Chaplain
Page link: Tom Rowland Spray
Tom Rowland Spray
WW1 Army Chaplain (1915-19)