Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
WILFRED EDWIN CURRY, M.M.: born at Thornley, Durham, in 1806. He entered the Primitive Methodist ministry, and after training at Hartley College he served his probation in the South Wales Mission. Early in his ministry he responded to the call of the Church overseas and served for twelve years in Northern Rhodesia. After two years in Exeter, during which he was chaplain to the High Sheriff who, in appreciation, presented him with a most lovely preaching robe, he again went abroad, this time to the Gold Coast. After seven years of heroic and self-sacrificing toil, he contracted a disease from which he never completely recovered.
Returning home, he served in the Somerset Mission and at Dorchester where, in 1955, illness compelled retirement. His was a full and varied life. When he was an accepted candidate for the ministry, the first World War broke out, and he enlisted in the army. He was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery on the Somme Front. Soon afterwards he became an Army officer, and later still an Air Force pilot. Had he wished, he could have remained in Government service, but his heart was set on the work of the Christian ministry, for which he had outstanding gifts.
He excelled as an administrator, and his thoughtful preaching was greatly appreciated. He had the gift of getting on with people, readily giving and receiving friendship, which made him an ever-welcome pastor. His impact upon public life was manifest, and many public bodies attended his funeral in Dorchester, the Mayor and corporation being among those represented. In spite of the illness in his later years, against which he bravely struggled, many give thanks to God for his work in the Somerset Mission and in Dorchester. He died on the 23rd December 1956, in the sixty-first year of his age and the thirty-sixth of his ministry.
Wilfred was born on 24 October 1896 at Thornley, Co. Durham, to parents Matthew Wilson Curry, a coal miner, and Isabella Longmire.
The 1911 census return records Wilfred as an office boy.
He married Gladys Eileen Sparks (1897-1962). Records identify three children.
- Jean Eileen (b abt1926)
- Ian Wilson (1929-1991)
- Audrey Mina (1931-1995 – married Douglas Tom Ralph
Wilfred died on 23 December 1956 at Stour Provost, Dorset.
- 1921 S Wales Mission
- 1924 N Rhodesia
- 1937 Exeter
- 1939 Gold Coast
- 1946 Somerset M
- 1950 Dorchester
Methodist Minutes 1957/197
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers