Armed Forces

In August 1914, the voice of the Primitive Methodist Leader thundered, ‘A wave of madness has swept over Europe, and Britain is invited to plunge into a fury that is insane… It is the policy of Bedlam and it is the statecraft of hell.' 

A week later, in an astonishing U-turn, the President, Arthur Guttery, called for young men to enlist, declaring, ‘Our chapels are not the refuge of dissent; they are the citadels of liberty, and they train men who will break all tyranny in pieces.’  Methodist women were not exempt: ‘Braver still are the women, who surrender their husbands, sons and sweethearts, and who hide their tears in smiles that their loved ones may not be distressed.’ 

Many responded to the call, believing with the Wesleyan president, Dinsdale Young, that ‘love of country is part of the love of God.’ But others, also for conscience’ sake, chose a path which led to rejection, persecution, and even in extreme cases, death.

Page link: 'Three Months with the Colours'
'Three Months with the Colours'
Harold Phillipson, enlisted in RFA, 1916
Page link: Bourne College
Bourne College
Those who served (1914-18)
Page link: Cyril Antliff Humphries (1896-1924)
Cyril Antliff Humphries (1896-1924)
The 'terrible fruit' of the trenches
Page link: Ernest George Shepherd
Ernest George Shepherd
First World War
Page link: Francis John Harper (1880-1966)
Francis John Harper (1880-1966)
A Primitive Methodist Minister who served in the armed forces in WW1
Page link: John Fletcher Redhead (1889-1915)
John Fletcher Redhead (1889-1915)
killed in action at Gallipoli
Page link: Letter from G H Batty to Harry Carlill
Letter from G H Batty to Harry Carlill
from Rhine Army, Germany 1919
Page link: Norman Shepherd
Norman Shepherd
Page link: Northam Primitive Methodist Church
Northam Primitive Methodist Church
A Memorial Presented by Sergeant A. W. Kingston
Page link: Quibell Cooper
Quibell Cooper
Page link: Royton PM Chapel, Lancashire
Royton PM Chapel, Lancashire
WW1 Roll of Honour
Page link: Soldiers' Letters, Farnworth, 1917
Soldiers' Letters, Farnworth, 1917
Queen Street Primitive Methodist Sunday School
Page link: Sydney Phillipson: 'Vignettes of France', 1915
Sydney Phillipson: 'Vignettes of France', 1915
A soldier's account of his journey to the trenches
Page link: The Bible on Salisbury Plain
The Bible on Salisbury Plain
Ten Thousand Soldiers join the Carry-your-Bible Movement
Page link: Tragedy Strikes
Tragedy Strikes
The Owen family of Pell Street Primitive Methodist Chapel
Page link: Tunstall, Jubilee PM Church
Tunstall, Jubilee PM Church
Memorial tablets (1914-18)
Page link: Walter Robinson Vaughan (1894-1916)
Walter Robinson Vaughan (1894-1916)
Coppenhall Methodist Church Memorial, Crewe, Cheshire
Page link: War poems of Sydney Phillipson
War poems of Sydney Phillipson
Written from the front line 1915-18
Page link: Wilfred Austin Salt
Wilfred Austin Salt
Wounded at Mons
Page link: William Owen (1898-1918)
William Owen (1898-1918)
Packmoor Primitive Methodist Church