Smith, Henry Valentine (1857-1908)

Transcription of Obituary in the Christian Messenger

Henry Valentine Smith was born at Grinston, Norfolk, on February 14th, 1858, and 26 years ago, in our London Road Chapel, Lynn, devoted himself to the Master. For a time Sunday school work was done, but his chief form of service, for 25 years, has been as a local preacher. His work was to him a responsibility and a joy. He believed that a preacher must give attention to reading and thought, and though not a wide reader studied many serviceable books. His 17 years’ work on the Briston Circuit secured for him the confidence and esteem of all his brethren. Six years he was Circuit Steward, and freely gave himself to the varied services of his office. He was a member of the District Committee, and several times delegate to District Meeting.

A much more extended time of service was anticipated for him, but it was not to be. Whole pursuing his work as a shunter at the Melton Constable Railway Works, on January 6th, he was knocked down and run over by an engine, sustaining terrible injuries and shock. First aid was rendered, and after a while our brother was despatched by special railvan to Norwich Hospital. But it was too late. In a few hours he left the broken tabernacle and rose to “the house not made with hands.” One word uttered during his journey assures us of his being present with the Lord: “I am glad I am saved.”

At least a thousand people gathered to the funeral services, on January 12th, conducted by Rev. W.L. Spooner. The procession to and from the grave was led by the Salvation Army Band. The memorial service was conducted by the writer in our Briston Chapel, on February 2nd. For the widow and son we pray. May they, may we all, follow on the upward path till the veil is passed and our home secured in the presence of the Eternal Light.

W.L. Spooner.

Family and other information

Henry was born on 14 February 1857 (not 1858) at Grimston (not Grinston), Norfolk, to parents Henry and Mary Ann. He was baptised on 21 Mar 1857 at Congham, Norfolk.

Henry, senior, worked the land.

Henry married Mary Ann Marsters (b1852) on 4 February 1882 at North Wootton, Norfolk. Census returns identify one of three children.

  • Bertie (b abt1887) – a shop assistant (1911)

Henry died on 6 January 1908.

References

Christian Messenger 1908/120

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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