Armstrong, William Henry (1909-1975)

Transcription of the Obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

William Henry Armstrong: born in Stokesley, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, on 27th March 1909, into a family whose Methodist connection dated back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. He was educated locally and, on leaving school at the age of fifteen and a half, began work in a newsagent’s shop and office. Always a voracious reader, he became librarian at Stokesley at the age of sixteen. Under the influence of the Rev. John Upright, he became a local preacher, offered for the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church in 1931 and entered Hartley Victoria College. From college he was appointed to the Bahamas District where he served in the circuits for seventeen years. He never forgot anybody; on a return visit to Nassau he could greet most people in the Methodist Church, and many outside it, by name. From 1951 he served in the Jamaica District as Deputy Chairman of the Sub-Synod of Central America (Panama, Canal Zone and Costa Rica). From 1959 until 1968 he was Caribbean Secretary for the British & Foreign Bible Society, covering a vast area from Barbados to Belize, and from British Guiana to Bermuda. He was a popular preacher, a raconteur extraordinaire with a phenomenal memory for amusing anecdotes, the life and soul of every party and synod. Although he had a great sense of humour, he cared deeply for innumerable people, especially when they were in trouble. He was ‘all things to all men’ – equally at home with the Duchess of Windsor or the market-vendor, equally at ease with the Governor of a Colony, the Bishop or the Pentecostal preacher. On his return to England in 1968 he served one year in the London Mission (Rivercourt and Shepherd Bush Road) Circuit among immigrants. Ill-health forced him to retire early, but as a supernumerary his services were greatly appreciated, particularly for two years in the Leeds (North-East) Circuit. He died in hospital at Middlesbrough, from cancer of the spine, on 21st October 1975 in the sixty-seventh year of his age and the forty-second year of his ministry.


William was born on 27 March 1909 at Stokesley, Yorkshire, to parents Matthew henry, a butcher, and Ada.


  • Hartley
  • 1934 Bahamas Dt.
  • 1951 Jamaica Dt.
  • 1959 Jamaica Dt per BFBS
  • 1967 Miss Comm
  • 1966 London Rivercourt
  • 1969 Under MMS
  • 1970 Supernum


Methodist Minutes 1976/61

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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