Gurling, John Thomas (1841-1900)
Transcription of Obituary In the Christian Messenger
MR. JOHN THOMAS GURLING, of New Wandsworth Circuit.— John Thomas Gurling passed peacefully to his rest on the 6th April, 1900, at the age of 69 years. He was born in the parish of St. Giles, in the year 1831. His early life was spent at Windsor. He subsequently removed with his parents to Reading. Here he became conscious of salvation by faith in Jesus, and was received as a member of the Friar Street Society. During the ministry of the sainted Joseph Toulson and Peter Coates, his name was put on the local preachers’ plan. Four years later he went to reside at Battersea, and since 1863 was associated with the Hammersmith Mission, and the Wandsworth Circuit until his death. He was a shrewd man of business, and by industry and perseverance he improved his circumstances and became an important and respected citizen. He filled several public offices with credit. He was a guardian of the poor, overseer of the parish, and for 20 years he served on the Battersea Vestry. He was a man of considerable ability as a preacher, and a liberal supporter of our church. During the early years of his life he worked hard for the cause. For some time however, his health had been gradually failing, and he ultimately became a great sufferer, and was precluded from preaching or taking any active part in the work and even from attending the services at all. About the month of October, 1899, the disease from which he suffered became greatly aggravated, and during the subsequent months he was never able to lay down to rest, but was confined to a sitting posture. He bore his sufferings with exemplary patience and fortitude. He was a striking illustration of how the religion of Jesus Christ enables a man to endure pain, and calmly to contemplate approaching dissolution. As the end drew near he was perfectly resigned and eager to depart. Having waited day by day in expectation of release, he was at last suddenly set free from pain on that beautiful morning of spring. As the buds were opening and the flowers springing into life, his spirit rose to the life which is immortal, the long night of pain and sorrow was succeeded by a bright eternal morning. Many friends followed the remains to their last resting place in the Wandsworth cemetery. The Rev. W.E. Crombie, an old friend of the family, with the Rev. T. Sadler, conducted the service at the grave, which was very impressive. For those who are left behind, the partner of his joys and sorrows, and his children, we bespeak a life alike useful, with the same triumphant and peaceful ending, and a happy meeting in the better land.
Family and other information
John was born in 1841 (not 1831 as stated above) at Marylebone, Middlesex. His father Thomas was a labourer.
The 1881 census return identifies John as an auctioneer and valuer.
He married Elizabeth Ann Tidbury (1848-1923) on 8 July 1865 at St Mary, Battersea. His marriage record identifies him as a widower and census returns identify a daughter, Eliza (b abt1859), by the earlier marriage. John and Elizabeth had eight children identified in census returns.
- John Thomas (1866-1909) – a traction engine and steam roller driver (1901)
- Emily Susan (abt1868-1947)
- Alice Harriet (abt1870-1958)
- Annie Florence (1873-1959) – a milliner (1911); married Frederick Marshall in 1918
- Martin Henry (1875-1927) – a house decorator (1901); emigrated to Canada in 1905 and later to USA
- Albert Edwin (1877-1946) – a newspaper manager (1911)
- Clara Louisa (abt1879-1960) – a clerk (1911); married Thomas Burnell in 1925
- Daisy Marie (1885-1973) – a clerk (1911); married Leonard Thomas Jackson in 1922
Christian Messenger 1903/95
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers