Beal, Frederick William (1880-1969)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1924

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

FREDERICK WILLIAM BEAL: born in Hull in 1880, he responded to the call to the Ministry when working as a qualified plumber in his father’s business. After training at Hartley College he served in the following circuits: Long Eaton, Nottingham II, Nuneaton, Newcastle upon Tyne I, Sunderland II, Aldershot C.F., Newcastle upon Tyne III, Leeds VIII, Ikeston, Stockton (Paradise Row) , Bradford (Woodhouse Grove), Hinckley (Albert Road), retiring and settling in Hinckley in 1948. 

In all his circuits he was greatly beloved of his people and kept in touch with friends in them to the end of his life. He had a quiet gaiety about him that attracted young people many of whom in later years paid tribute to his influence upon them. His interest in young people earned him a place on the Board of Governors of the Hinckley Grammar School and Burbage Junior School. For years he was a member of Rotary and served a year as its President. During the First World War he worked as a rivetter in the Greenock shipyards during the week, returning to his circuit at the weekends. For three years he served as a Chaplain to the Forces and for many years as an officiating Chaplain to military and naval units. People came to him with their problems from all quarters, glad to avail themselves of his wise counsel and rich experience. He never sought the limelight but exercised his ministry amongst the ordinary people of his circuits and churches. Yet recognizing his administrative gifts the Bradford District nominated him Chairman, in which capacity he served with distinction. His preaching was of a high order and as a pastor he excelled. 

His latter years were beset by failing health but his mind was always alert. He attended worship as long as he was able and was always a great encourager of his brethren. Always an avid reader, he built up a fine library, including modern works of theology and philosophy. This friendliest of ministers died in his sleep on the 18 May 1969, in the eighty-ninth year of his age and the sixty-fourth of his ministry.


Frederick was born on 25 October 1880 at Hull, Yorkshire, to parents John Beal, a plumber, and Maria Cawkill.

The 1901 census return identifies Frederick as an apprentice to a plumber, glazier & gas fitter.

He married Elsie Wakefield (abt1886-1954) in the summer of 1909 in the Shardlow Registration District, Derbyshire. Birth records identify one child.

  • Raymond  John Cawkill (b1911)

Frederick died on 18 May 1969 at Leicester, Leicestershire.


  • Hartley
  • 1905 Long Eaton
  • 1907 Nottingham II
  • 1909 Nuneaton
  • 1911 Newcastle I
  • 1916 Sunderland I
  • 1918 Aldershot, Chaplain to the Forces
  • 1921 Newcastle III
  • 1925 Leeds VIII
  • 1930 Ilkeston
  • 1935 Stockton park Row
  • 1938 Bradford Wood Green
  • 1942 Hinckley Albert Road
  • 1948 Hinckley Albert Road (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1924/391

Methodist Minutes 1969/206

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for this record of the life and ministry of Rev Beal. I can add that during his time as a Chaplain to the Forces, he served in Iraq and North-West Persia. An article in the Primitive Methodist Leader (dated 23/4/1925) commented about Beal: “Anyone listening to him will know he is thoughtful, hard-headed, as well as aflame for the salvation of men. He reads and thinks. He studied Babylon and Ninevah on the spot, the former particularly in its relation to the Exile. And he can read. Getting Dr Peake’s Commentary sent out the Mesopotamia he read it through from cover to cover, exegesis and all! A occasional contributor to the Leader and the magazines, he possesses a literary gift which, when opportunity serves, will be used to some purpose.”

    His son Ramond was taken prisoner in France in May 1940, serving with the Royal Army Service Corps at the time.

    I am currently trying to research further his time with the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.

    By Rev Paul Roberts (03/05/2020)

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