Banks, Thomas (1888-1953)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS BANKS: born in 1888 at Castleford, Yorks. At the age of twelve he surrendered to Christ and knew with increasing assurance the joy of salvation. He early showed a love for music and literature, one incident of his young manhood being the purchase of a copy of Keats’ poems, the first poem of which he eagerly read while yet he was covered with the dust of the colliery where he worked. 

Called to preach, he was trained at Hartley Victoria College and began an effective ministry in the Pontefract circuit. He later travelled in Colchester, Great Yarmouth (twice), Oldham, Glossop, Bath, Norwich and Cleckheaton. In all his circuits he was a diligent pastor, a kind and cheerful visitor, and a wise administrator. Children trusted him. It was characteristic that ere he died he chose for one of his funeral hymns a children’s hymn, and requested that prayer should specially be made for the scholars of the Cleckheaton (Central) Sunday School. 

A man of strong convictions, he stood at times in the defence of unpopular causes both in the Church and without. Preaching was his chief joy; in that he excelled, showing striking originality in both matter and manner; he made careful preparation and spoke with fluent ease. He kept the common touch. Towards the close of 1950 he had a serious illness which revealed the strength of a patience grounded in faith. Though he resumed his work, his fortitude cost him more than his friends knew. Another breakdown occurred at the end of May 1953, from which he did not recover. He passed with a calm cheerfulness to his triumph on June 22, 1953, in the sixty-sixth year of his life and the fortieth of his ministry.


Thomas was born on 21 March 1888 at Castleford, Yorkshire, to parents John, a coal miner, and Elizabeth.

He married Amy Robinson (1895-1972) in the summer of 1917 in the Hemsworth Registration District, Yorkshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • John (b abt1920) – a Methodist minister(1953)
  • Charles (b1922)

Thomas died on 22 June 1953 at Cleckheaton, Yorkshire.


  • 1913 Pontefract
  • 1914 Colchester
  • 1917 Yarmouth I
  • 1921 Oldham II
  • 1924 Glossop
  • 1928 Bath
  • 1931 Yarmouth Temp
  • 1941 Norwich Queens
  • 1947 Cleckheaton Cen


Methodist Minutes 1953/157

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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