Coggle, Bertrand John, B.Sc. (1903-1982)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

BERTRAND JOHN COGGLE B.Sc.: born in Wymondham, Norfolk on 11th March 1903, the sixth of seven children, His father was a wood-turner, and his childhood was spent largely in East Anglia. Leaving school in 1916, he did several jobs, including six years as an apprentice motor mechanic, before acceptance in 1924 for the Primitive Methodist Ministry. 

He went as a pre-collegiate probationer to the Penge and Bromley Circuit. After training at Hartley College he served in the following circuits: London Mission (South East), Burton-on-Trent, Northampton (Kettering Road), Walkden, Bradford (Rehoboth), Bradford (Low Moor), Preston (Lune Street), Pontypool (Eastern Valley), Cardiff (Roath) and Ebbw Vale. He spent three years as an active supernumerary at Uckfield before returning to Wymondham in 1971. 

He testified to the influence of Primitive Methodism in home and family life, and in his conversion, call to preach and education. His strongly held convictions on matters of churchmanship sprang from those roots. He always read widely and carefully and the award of an external degree of B.Sc. of London University in Economics, Sociology and Politics in 1948 reflected both his efficient organisation of his time and his concern on all social issues. The lucid argument and balanced judgements of Christian Social Ethics (1956), which he wrote with his friend John Byrnes, were typical of him. He served the former Christian Citizenship Department for many years. 

He was a fine circuit minister, preaching with passion and caring deeply for people. He found special joy in the building of the church at Llanyravon in Cwmbran. In 1931 he married Helen Mary Large and they adopted three children. In retirement he continued to care for people, to enjoy his garden and family, and to preach. Deafness was an Increasing handicap but his generous spirit and sense of humour were unaffected. He died suddenly but peacefully on 11th January 1982 in the seventy-ninth year of his age and the fifty-fifth year of his ministry.


Bertrand was born on 11 March 1903 at Wymondham, Norfolk, to parents Charles, a wood turner, and Elizabeth.

The 1933 Who’s Who of Methodism records that he was a milk boy and later newsboy at the age of 11 and 12 and left school aged 13 to help the family income.

He married Helen Mary Large (1904-1962) in the summer of 1931 at Little Clacton, Essex.

Bertand died on 11 January 1982 at Wymondham, Norfolk.


  • 1924 Penge & Bromley
  • 1926 Hartley
  • 1928 London M, SE
  • 1931 Burton on Trent
  • 1933 Northampton, Kettering Rd
  • 1937 Walkden
  • 1947 Bradford Rehoboth
  • 1950 Bradford Low Moor
  • 1951 Preston Lune St
  • 1956 Pontypool E Val
  • 1963 Cardiff Roath
  • 1968 Mid Sussex (S)


Methodist Minutes 1982/58

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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